Aretha Franklin

Jewels in the Crown: All Star Duets with the Queen

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AllMusic Review by John Bush

There are duet records, and then there is recording "Jumpin' Jack Flash" with Keith Richards. A 16-track compilation of Aretha Franklin's duets from the '80s and '90s, Jewels in the Crown: All-Star Duets with the Queen benefits from the high-profile partners that the Queen of Soul has been able to hook over the years (plus a trio of new tracks featuring sympathetic partners: John Legend, Mary J. Blige, and Fantasia). Spanning her Arista years, the collection runs the gamut of studio techniques from the '80s to the 2000s. Six songs come from the '80s, including the Keith Richards feature, which is a little too pristine to suit a version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash." Others from the same era sound better, such as "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves" with Eurythmics (which benefits from David Stewart's digital studio knowledge), and Franklin's hit duet with George Michael on "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)." The '90s duets are also mixed, including a lackluster pairing with Frank Sinatra on "What Now My Love" (from the original Duets album), but also an energetic live performance of "Chain of Fools" with Mariah Carey that works much better than could be expected. Of the new tracks, John Legend's "What Y'All Came to Do" is the best, an upfront and testifying jam with deft vocal freestyles from Legend and Franklin.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Aretha Franklin feat: Keith Richards 05:08
2 Aretha Franklin feat: Eurythmics 05:55 SpotifyAmazon
3 Aretha Franklin feat: George Michael 04:03 SpotifyAmazon
4 Aretha Franklin feat: Frank Sinatra 03:16 SpotifyAmazon
5 Aretha Franklin feat: Fantasia 04:16 SpotifyAmazon
6 Aretha Franklin feat: John Legend 03:17
7 Aretha Franklin feat: Mary J. Blige / The Boys Choir of Harlem 04:17
8 Aretha Franklin feat: Elton John 04:26 SpotifyAmazon
9 Aretha Franklin feat: Whitney Houston 04:52 SpotifyAmazon
10 Aretha Franklin feat: Gloria Estefan / Bonnie Raitt 04:40
11
Aretha Franklin feat: Luther Vandross 04:34 SpotifyAmazon
12 Aretha Franklin feat: Michael McDonald 05:12 Amazon
13 Aretha Franklin feat: Mariah Carey 03:12 SpotifyAmazon
14 Aretha Franklin feat: Mary J. Blige 04:11 SpotifyAmazon
15
Aretha Franklin feat: George Benson 04:21 Amazon
16 Aretha Franklin feat: New York Recording Orchestra 03:20 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick