Among the great things about Aretha, and something I think we can all learn from, has been her versatility and her ability to move and change with the times. During her long and illustrious career she has proved herself to be equally at home in the gospel, blues, jazz, doo-wop, rhythm and blues, soul, pop, dance and modern R ‘n’ B idioms. She also has a scary ability to ‘own’ the song every time, no matter who the original was by or how successful it had been. Dionne Warwick’s I Say A Little Prayer is a great example of this. Aretha’s version started out as something she sang for fun in between recordings while in the studio working on her 1968 Aretha Now album. A decision was eventually taken to record the track and release it as a B side. It went on to reach No. 4 in the UK charts.
Aretha has worked with an amazing and diverse array of great 20th century artists including George Benson, Curtis Mayfield, Annie Lennox, George Michael, Luther Vandross and Mary J. Blige. Bearing all of this in mind, I think it’s fair to say that Aretha is not only the Queen of Soul, she is also a Queen of Reinvention.
1. Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What’s I’m Gonna Do) – Let Me into Your Life, 1974
2. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman - Lady Soul, 1968
3. I Say A Little Prayer – Aretha Now, 1968
4. Respect - I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You, 1967
5. Jump To It – Jump To It, 1882
6. You Send Me - Aretha Now, 1968
7. No Matter What, So Damn Happy 2003
8. Giving Him Something He Can Feel - Sparkle, 1976
9. Angel – Hey Now Hey (The Otherside Of The Sky) 1973
10. Day Dreaming - I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You, 1967
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