Aretha Franklin

Don't Play That Song

Composed by Ahmet Ertegun / Betty Nelson

Song Review by

After having several chart-topping gold singles that were recorded at Atlantic Records' New York recording studio, Aretha Franklin changed her recording base to Criteria Studios in Miami, FL. One song that resulted from her spring 1970 sessions resulted in another number one single for the Memphis native. Ben E. King had a Top Two R&B/number 11 pop hit with "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)," co-written with Atlantic co-founder Ahmet Ertegun. Franklin decided to cover the song on her Spirit in the Dark album. Producer Jerry Wexler used a band called the Dixie Flyers that he'd spotted at a Memphis blues festival on "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)." Franklin's snappy take on the tune, co-produced by Wexler, engineer Tom Dowd, and arranger Arif Mardin, sold more than a million copies, held down the R&B top spot for three weeks, and made it to number 11 pop in the fall of 1970.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Spirit in the Dark 1970 Rhino
Live at Fillmore West 1971 Speakers Corner 3:17
Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974, Vol. 7 (1967-1969) 1985
Various Artists
20 Greatest Hits 1987 Warner Bros. / WEA 2:59
The Golden Age of Black Music: 1970-1975 1988
Various Artists
Atlantic 2:59
Sounds of the Seventies: 1970 - Take Two 1990
Various Artists
The Queen of Soul 1991 Atlantic / Rhino 3:01
Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974 [Box] 1991
Various Artists
Atlantic 2:57
Rhythm & Blues: 1970 1992
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
A Natural Woman [WZ] 1993 WZ Tontr├Ąger Vertriebs 2:58
The Very Best of Aretha Franklin, Vol. 2 1994 Rhino 3:01
Queen of Soul: The Very Best of Aretha Franklin 1995 Rhino
25 Years of Soul: 1970 1997
Various Artists
Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback 2:59
Think & Other Hits 1998 Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback 3:02
The Best of Aretha 1999 Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback 3:02
Best of Aretha Franklin [BMG International] 2002 Global TV 3:00
The Blues & Soul, Vol. 2: 1970-1971 2002
Various Artists
Connoisseur 3:00
Respect: The Very Best of Aretha Franklin [Warner] 2002 Warner Elektra Atlantic Corp.
Respect [BCI] 2003 BCI-Eclipse Distribution 3:00
Lady Soul [Brentwood] 2004 BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) / Brentwood Records 3:00
The Very Best of Aretha Franklin, Vols. 1-2 2004 Atlantic 3:01
Don't Fight the Feeling 2005 Rhino 3:40
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:00
The Soul Story, Vol. 1 2006
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:59
Soul Story Infomercial Set 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:59
Forever Aretha Franklin 2007 Madacy 3:00
Oh Me Oh My: Aretha Live in Philly, 1972 2007 Atlantic / Rhino / Rhino Atlantic 1:51
No Image 2008 Rhino Atlantic 3:01
Original Album Series 2010 Rhino Atlantic 2:59
No Image 2014 Rhino 3:02
The Atlantic Albums Collection 2015 Atlantic / Rhino
No Image
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Vol. 9: 2006-2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:00
The Old Grey Whistle Test: Soul
Various Artists
blue highlight denotes editor's pick