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Soul Queen

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Album Review

Aretha Franklin has simply been one of the greatest singers of the modern generation, and whether bringing her powerful, passionate voice to bear on gospel standards, songs from the Great American Songbook, jazz standards, pop ditties, or deep Southern soul and R&B, she has always had the presence — much like Ray Charles — to make anything she touches unmistakably hers. Franklin began her career in gospel when she was still a teenager, and her amazing vocal talents, coupled with her fine piano playing, marked her as a once-in-a-lifetime kind of artist, qualities very apparent to legendary talent scout John Hammond, who signed her to Columbia Records. The problem Hammond and Columbia immediately ran into, though, was how to best present that spirited voice to the secular pop world. Columbia tried Franklin in a variety of styles and settings, but none of them exactly caught fire with the public — that didn't happen until after the singer had moved on to Atlantic Records and an inspired pairing with producer Jerry Wexler, who brought out Franklin's deep soul roots by putting her in front of the Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section. The hits came pouring out, including "Chain of Fools," "Respect," "Spanish Harlem," and several other iconic classics, all of which are featured in this 60-track playlist drawn from Franklin's productive stay at Atlantic. Heard together like this, they form the heart and soul of her impressive legacy.

Customer Reviews

One disappointing flaw.

This is a great & economical collection from Aretha's Atlantic years. Nice, if not extraordinary, sound quality, and obviously, it is awe inspiring music. Unfortunately, the track April Fool is actually just a repeat of Day Dreaming. This seems like a sloppy mistake by Apple or Rhino. I hope they fix it. Otherwise, a very nice set.

Incredible !

Very few artist have created a body of work this rich an this great. When Aretha is done, there will never be another like her. I was not born in her generation, but listening to her music over the years with my parents and grandparents, I wish I could have been. I promise you, this album should be the blueprint of how R & B music should sound and feel today. Still today, its sounds so good and so original.

This is the one...

60+ albums of Aretha's here on itunes, so much material, so many hours of pouring over the choices, but this is it; the authentic Aretha that we crave. More than 3 hours of the Queen, rocking, stomping, toe-tapping, coo-ing and pouring her heart out. Too many amazing cuts to mention...just buy it! Add Mockingbird from Jazz to Soul, and its complete.


Born: March 25, 1942 in Memphis, TN

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Aretha Franklin is one of the giants of soul music, and indeed of American pop as a whole. More than any other performer, she epitomized soul at its most gospel-charged. Her astonishing run of late-'60s hits with Atlantic Records -- "Respect," "I Never Loved a Man," "Chain of Fools," "Baby I Love You," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Think," "The House That Jack Built," and several others -- earned her the title "Lady Soul," which she has worn uncontested ever since. Yet as much of an international institution...
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