11 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

After Aretha Franklin left Columbia Records and recorded this 1967 classic for the smaller Atlantic Records, she altered the course of music. She also found her place atop the soul-R&B pantheon and in the hearts of millions of listeners. But it wasn’t just that barrel-chested voice of hers—and its ability to soothe and caress—that did it. Nor was it the way she strutted through songs with hip-swinging sassafras and unspoken sexuality; she was born with that stuff. This album made her huge because A) the timing for it was perfect, and B) she teamed up with producer Jerry Wexler. Wexler (and engineer Tom Dowd) got Aretha transmitting from deep within her personal history, which included her Detroit childhood and singing gospel in churches and touring the Jim Crow South with her famous minister pop, Rev. C.L. Franklin. From her own confessional “Baby, Baby, Baby” to Otis Redding’s “Respect” to Chip/Morman’s “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” to Sam Cooke’s prayer-like “A Change Is Gonna Come” to the aching title song, you can tell Franklin is singing from the depths of her being.

EDITORS’ NOTES

After Aretha Franklin left Columbia Records and recorded this 1967 classic for the smaller Atlantic Records, she altered the course of music. She also found her place atop the soul-R&B pantheon and in the hearts of millions of listeners. But it wasn’t just that barrel-chested voice of hers—and its ability to soothe and caress—that did it. Nor was it the way she strutted through songs with hip-swinging sassafras and unspoken sexuality; she was born with that stuff. This album made her huge because A) the timing for it was perfect, and B) she teamed up with producer Jerry Wexler. Wexler (and engineer Tom Dowd) got Aretha transmitting from deep within her personal history, which included her Detroit childhood and singing gospel in churches and touring the Jim Crow South with her famous minister pop, Rev. C.L. Franklin. From her own confessional “Baby, Baby, Baby” to Otis Redding’s “Respect” to Chip/Morman’s “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” to Sam Cooke’s prayer-like “A Change Is Gonna Come” to the aching title song, you can tell Franklin is singing from the depths of her being.

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