Aretha Franklin

Soul Queen

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AllMusic Review by

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.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:51 Amazon
2 3:18 SpotifyAmazon
3 2:19 SpotifyAmazon
4 4:08 SpotifyAmazon
5 2:54 SpotifyAmazon
6 2:28 SpotifyAmazon
7 2:08 SpotifyAmazon
8 3:23 Amazon
9 2:47 SpotifyAmazon
10 2:54 SpotifyAmazon
11 3:44
12 2:44 SpotifyAmazon
13 2:49 SpotifyAmazon
14 2:38 Amazon
15 2:26 SpotifyAmazon
16 3:59 SpotifyAmazon
17 2:19 SpotifyAmazon
18 2:27 SpotifyAmazon
19 4:14 SpotifyAmazon
20 3:32 SpotifyAmazon
21 3:16 SpotifyAmazon
22 2:30 SpotifyAmazon
23 2:46 SpotifyAmazon
24 2:22 SpotifyAmazon
25 3:32 SpotifyAmazon
26 4:50 SpotifyAmazon
27 2:57 SpotifyAmazon
28 2:33 SpotifyAmazon
29 3:02 SpotifyAmazon
30 3:06 SpotifyAmazon
31 2:29 SpotifyAmazon
32 3:21 SpotifyAmazon
33 2:58 SpotifyAmazon
34 2:43 SpotifyAmazon
35 3:38 SpotifyAmazon
36 2:38 SpotifyAmazon
37 3:57 SpotifyAmazon
38 4:42 SpotifyAmazon
39 3:31 SpotifyAmazon
40 3:34 SpotifyAmazon
41 4:04 SpotifyAmazon
42 3:02 Amazon
43 5:34 SpotifyAmazon
44 3:21 Amazon
45 4:26 SpotifyAmazon
46 3:42 Amazon
47 3:36 SpotifyAmazon
48 3:34 SpotifyAmazon
49 3:14 SpotifyAmazon
50 4:00 SpotifyAmazon
51 3:53 SpotifyAmazon
52 3:27 SpotifyAmazon
53 5:46 SpotifyAmazon
54 4:30 SpotifyAmazon
55 3:25 Amazon
56 2:51 SpotifyAmazon
57 3:50 SpotifyAmazon
58 2:37 SpotifyAmazon
59 3:28 Amazon
60 6:22 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick