11 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With this 1967 album, soul music got a most deserving queen. Franklin’s earthshaking vocal performance and the feel-it-in-your-knees groove on “Respect” transform an Otis Redding number into a women’s rights anthem that demands dancing. Meanwhile, the title track takes her glorious gospel performance and injects it with a shot of steamy soul, courtesy of The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. And when Aretha wails on Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” you know she speaks the truth.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With this 1967 album, soul music got a most deserving queen. Franklin’s earthshaking vocal performance and the feel-it-in-your-knees groove on “Respect” transform an Otis Redding number into a women’s rights anthem that demands dancing. Meanwhile, the title track takes her glorious gospel performance and injects it with a shot of steamy soul, courtesy of The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. And when Aretha wails on Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” you know she speaks the truth.

TITLE TIME

About Aretha Franklin

With her inimitable fusion of grace and grit, Aretha Franklin is the definition of soul music. The daughter of renowned Detroit preacher C.L. Franklin, Aretha can testify with all the liberating joy of her gospel roots. She can ache with the sadness of a singer who truly felt the blues, and swing with a playfulness to match her jazz heroes. After nearly a decade honing what would become her singular voice, Franklin, who was born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1942, brought a blast of black-and-proud empowerment to the pop charts at the peak of the civil rights era, using the hard-driving grooves of Alabama studio-session legends the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section to counter Motown’s slick crossover sound. Though rarely straying long from gospel in the decades that followed, Franklin made the brassy 1967 anthem “Respect” her calling card and evolved alongside soul itself, gliding from assertive funk jams to hushed quiet-storm ballads to synth-coated pop hits on 1985's Who’s Zoomin’ Who?. Whether her devastating version of Simon & Garfunkel's “Bridge Over Troubled Water” or her volcanic interpretation of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” nothing captures Franklin’s range like her trove of covers, which are often so deeply felt that she has all but reclaimed them as her own.

HOMETOWN
Memphis, TN
BORN
March 25, 1942

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