Tuesday, February 14, 2017

'Retha Retires

Hey Nineteen
That's 'retha Franklin
She don't remember the Queen of Soul
Hard times befallen the soul survivors
She thinks I'm crazy, but I'm just growing old

- Hey Nineteen, Steely Dan
Aretha Franklin announced her retirement last week.  Time is moving along.

I remember when she exploded on the music scene.  She'd spent six years with Columbia Records where they tried to make her into a mainstream artist singing pop standards.  It didn't work.  In early 1967, she signed with Atlantic Records which let her be what she was.  From the spring of 1967 through the fall of 1968 she had eight consecutive Top Ten hits.  In order:

I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)
Respect (written by Otis Redding)
Baby, I Love You
(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman 
Chain of Fools
(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone

And finishing with a single on which both sides made the Top Ten; The House That Jack Built and I Say A Little Prayer.

This is an alternate take of Chain Of Fools, substantially different than the version that was released in 1967.  Listen to Aretha's opening.  It is so good, it'll send chills down your spine.

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