Aretha Franklin

Live in Stockholm 1968

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AllMusic Review by

That this isn't an authorized DVD is made immediately clear by the presence of a time code throughout this concert, as well as the slightly grainy image quality, which is OK but certainly not from a first-generation source. Still, it's an opportunity for serious Aretha Franklin fans to see her live in concert at her peak, singing well and literally sweating with effort for much of the 49-minute black-and-white show. You could be forgiven for wondering if you have the right disc when Franklin opens the show with "There's No Show Business Like Show Business," which is certainly not the kind of material that was drawing fans to her concerts anywhere around the globe in 1968. She gets down to real business soon enough, however, and concentrates on real soul tunes throughout most of the performance. Oddly, it takes her a while to get to the big hits she'd chalked up by the time of this program, but that does give you a chance to hear some relatively little-traveled songs like "Don't Let Me Lose This Dream" and a cover of the Rascals' "Groovin.'" Though she's performing with nothing but a vocal mic for much of the time (with assistance from three female backup singers), she does go to the piano to play and sing one of the highlights of the set, "Dr. Feelgood." And toward the end, she finally does get to the hits the audience must have been anticipating most highly, including "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)," "Respect," and "Chain of Fools." The DVD's bumped up to an hour-long length with the addition of a couple lip-synced clips from a 1967 TV show hosted by New York DJ Murray the K, along with a couple pre-superstardom 1965 clips from the Shivaree program.