Aretha Franklin

Rock Steady

Song Review by

One of the most important singles by Aretha Franklin, "Rock Steady" is one of her few self-penned hits, and was also a very timely song indeed. Built on a sturdy, funk/R&B-driven base, the melody and bass lines have more than a hint of gospel to them. A wonderful dance record, it came at the dawn of the 1970s and perfectly bridged the gap between Memphis R&B and was what soon to become known as disco music. The lyrics are unashamedly sensual, with fabulous and effective references to driving, among other things, which mirror a sexual experience. Some brilliant organ padding and powerful, tasteful drumming (possibly the work of legendary session drummer Bernard Purdie) take the song to even greater heights. Available on several collections, namely The Best of Aretha Franklin, it is highly recommended.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
This Is Soul [Atlantic] 1968
Various Artists
Atlantic / Rhino 3:14
Young, Gifted and Black 1972 Atlantic & Atco Remasters / Rhino 3:13
No Image 1976 Atlantic
Max Weinberg Presents: Let There Be Drums, Vol. 3 197?
Various Artists
Rhino 3:14
The Best of Aretha Franklin 1984 Rhino / Atlantic 0:00
30 Greatest Hits 1985 Atlantic 3:13
Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974, Vol. 7 (1967-1969) 1985
Various Artists
Atlantic 0:00
No Image 1990
Various Artists
Razor & Tie
Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974 [Box] 1991
Various Artists
Atlantic 3:12
Queen of Soul: The Atlantic Recordings 1992 Rhino 3:12
The Very Best of Aretha Franklin, Vol. 2 1994 Rhino 3:15
Dance Seventies 1995
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 3:12
Only Rock 'N Roll 1970-1974: #1 Radio Hits 1996
Various Artists
Essex 3:12
70's Radio Hits, Vol. 6 1997
Various Artists
Rhino Flashback
A Natural Woman & Other Hits 1997 Rhino 3:13
Soul Legends [Rhino] 1997
Various Artists
Rhino Flashback 3:13
Dance 70's 1997
Various Artists
Rhino / Essex 3:13
Ultimate 70's R&B Smashes 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:14
Bar-B-Que Soul-A-Bration 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:14
O.G. Funk: Locking, Vol. 2 1998
Various Artists
Eclipse Music Group 3:12
Everybody Dance: Remixed Dance Classics 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 5:57
Blues Summit 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 0:00
Golden Age of Hollywood 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 0:00
Legendary Jazz 1998 Rhino 3:14
Funk Jam! 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 3:14
Soft Rock Classics [Rhino Box] 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 0:00
Rock On, 1971: Ain't No Sunshine 1999
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:13
Free Soul: The Classics of Aretha Franklin 2000 Warner Elektra Atlantic Corp. 3:07
Old School Soul, Vol. 2 2000
Various Artists
Thump Records 3:11
The Funk Box 2000
Various Artists
Hip-O 3:12
Aretha's Best 2001 Rhino 3:14
Best of Aretha Franklin [BMG International] 2002 Global TV 3:12
Respect: The Very Best of Aretha Franklin [Warner] 2002 Warner Elektra Atlantic Corp. / Warner Music 3:12
Old School Box of Soul 2002
Various Artists
Thump Records 3:11
Funk Drops 2 2002
Various Artists
Warner Music 3:13
Under Her Spell 2002 Hear Music 3:15
Respect [BCI] 2003 BCI-Eclipse Distribution 3:14
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Hear Music
Jammin Soul, Vol. 1 2003
Various Artists
Rhino Flashback 3:13
Superstars of Seventies Soul 2004
Various Artists
Shout! Factory / Sony Music Distribution 3:28
Lady Soul [Brentwood] 2004 BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) / Brentwood Records 3:14
Funk Gold 2005
Various Artists
Hip-O 3:14
Legends of Soul: Very Best of Aretha Franklin & Otis Redding 2005 WEA 3:11
Old School Celebration 2006
Various Artists
Rhino 3:10
Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974, Vol. 8: 1970-1974 2006
Various Artists
WEA International 3:13
Ultimate 16: Lite FM Rock 70s 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 3:12
Daddy Cool [Universal] 2006
Various Artists
Universal International 3:13
Atlantic R&B Box Set 2006
Various Artists
WEA International 3:13
What It is! Funky Soul and Rare Grooves: 1967-1977 2006
Various Artists
Rhino 4:32
Old School Funk Celebration 2007
Various Artists
Thump Records 3:10
Queen of Soul: The Best of Aretha Franklin 2007 WEA 3:12
Gracie [Original Soundtrack] 2007
Original Soundtrack
Lakeshore Records 3:09
The Platinum Collection 2007 Warner Platinum 3:12
Rare & Unreleased Recordings from the Golden Reign of the Queen of Soul 2007 Rhino 4:30
Soul Queen 2007 Atlantic / Rhino 3:14
The Very Best of Aretha Franklin: The '70s 2008 Atlantic / Rhino / Rhino Atlantic 3:15
Only in America: Atlantic Soul Classics 2009
Various Artists
Atlantic / Rhino / Rhino Atlantic 3:14
Sweet Soul of the '70s: Stone in Love with You 2009
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:13
Sweet Soul of the '70s [Time Life] 2011
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:13
The Queen of Soul [Rhino 2014] 2014 Atlantic / Rhino 3:16
Sweet Soul Music: 1971 2014
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 3:12
The Atlantic Albums Collection 2015 Atlantic / Rhino 2:59
The Queen of Soul [Rhino 2018] 2018 Atlantic / Rhino
3/60: Soul Classics
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 3:13
No Image A*Vision Entertainment / Atlantic 0:00