Aretha Franklin has simply been one of the greatest singers of the modern generation, and whether bringing her powerful, passionate voice to bear on gospel standards, songs from the Great American Songbook, jazz standards, pop ditties, or deep Southern soul and R&B, she has always had the presence — much like Ray Charles — to make anything she touches unmistakably hers. Franklin began her career in gospel when she was still a teenager, and her amazing vocal talents, coupled with her fine piano playing, marked her as a once-in-a-lifetime kind of artist, qualities very apparent to legendary talent scout John Hammond, who signed her to Columbia Records. The problem Hammond and Columbia immediately ran into, though, was how to best present that spirited voice to the secular pop world. Between 1960 and 1969 (her first release for the label was actually in 1961), Columbia tried Franklin in a variety of styles and settings, and if none of them exactly caught fire the way her legendary later sides for Atlantic Records would, they still allowed Franklin to explore a lot of avenues, and she was too good a singer not to be at least memorable in all of them. This wonderful box set includes CDs of Franklin’s seven full-length albums for the label, two CDs of her work with producers Bobby Scott (in 1963) and Clyde Otis (in 1964), a CD of singles produced by Bob Johnston, plus rarities that were sweetened and released after Franklin left Columbia for Atlantic and a DVD featuring Franklin performing several songs at the piano on The Steve Allen Show in 1964. It’s a tremendous set, and it portrays an artist working her own way toward how to best present herself to the world. We all know she got there. ~~ AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett
The Electrifying Aretha Franklin is the Queen of Soul’s sophomore album for Columbia Records. Produced by Hammond, this intimate outing features hits including “You Made Me Love You,” “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody” and “It’s So Heartbreakin’.” This 1962 classic is an outstanding representation of Franklin’s undeniable power and musicianship. This deluxe reissue version contains seven bonus tracks.
On her debut for Columbia Records, the legendary Aretha Franklin demonstrates her ability to evoke a variety of moods from the compelling “All Night Long” through the saucy “Sweet Lover,” to the rocking “Who Needs You?” Produced by John Hammond, the album features all-star musicians including Ray Bryant on piano. This quintessential collection serves as Lady Soul’s first steps and a must for any music connoisseur.
Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American singer and musician. Franklin began her career singing gospel at her father, minister C. L. Franklin’s church as a child. In 1960, at age 18, Franklin embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records only achieving modest success. Following her signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as ‘Respect’, ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ and ‘Think’. These hits and more helped her to gain the title The Queen of Soul by the end of the 1960s decade.
Yeah!!! (or Aretha Franklin In Person With Her Quartet) is the eighth studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin, Released on May 17, 1965 by Columbia Records. Contrary to the overdubbed sounds of audience murmurs, the album was not a live album, but instead was recorded live at New York’s Columbia Studios and produced by Clyde Otis. This would be Franklin’s last collection of jazz recordings until the release of 1973’s Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky), released during her landmark tenure at Atlantic Records. An expanded version of the album that also contains the original session tracks without audience overdubs has been released on CD in the Columbia Box Set Take A Look: Aretha Franklin Complete On Columbia. Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American singer and musician. Franklin began her career singing gospel at her father, minister C. L. Franklin’s church as a child. In 1960, at age 18, Franklin embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records only achieving modest success. Following her signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as ‘Respect’, ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ and ‘Think’. These hits and more helped her to gain the title The Queen of Soul by the end of the 1960s decade.
Aretha Franklin is one of the giants of soul music, and indeed of American pop as a whole. More than any other performer, she epitomized soul at its most gospel-charged. The Queen in Waiting is Aretha Franklin’s 2002 compilation album featuring popular tracks “God Bless the Child”, “Skylark”, “Only the Lonely” and “Try a Little Tenderness”. The album includes Aretha’s last Columbia recordings produced by Bob Johnston, noted for his work during this period with Bob Dylan; and songs that Columbia “sweetened” with new musicians after Aretha left the label.
Unforgettable: A Tribute to Dinah Washington is the sixth studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin. Released on February 18, 1964, by Columbia Records, The album is a tribute dedicated to the recently deceased singer Dinah Washington. The sessions were recorded in New York. A few tunes were cut with strings in order to bring out the essential ballad character of the songs (with the help of Bob Mersey’s arranging); most of the tracks, though, were made with the assistance of a small and sympathetic accompanying group for which Mersey supplied minimal written guidance.
Chart History/Awards – Reached #2 on Billboard‘s Top R&B Albums. – “Day Dreaming” reached #1 on Billboard‘s Top R&B Singles. – “Brand New Me” reached #1 on Billboard‘s Top R&B Singles. – GRAMMY®: Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. – Included on VH1‘s “Greatest Albums of All Time.”
“…an extremely personal, beautiful record…controlled throughout by one sensibility, Miss Franklin’s…” – Rolling Stone
Queen of Soul: The Atlantic Recordings is an 87-track, four-disc box set that covers Aretha Franklin’s Atlantic career, spanning from 1967’s “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” to 1976’s “Something He Can Feel.” Over the course of the set, all of Aretha’s best-known songs, including all of her Top Ten pop and R&B singles, are included. For fans who only know the singles, the set is primarily notable for the wealth of album tracks and forgotten singles that are included, which nearly equal the hits in terms of quality. Stopping just short of her move to disco, The Queen of Soul just misses being a totally comprehensive collection, but it remains definitive – it may miss some of her later hits, but every one of her greatest tracks is in the box. The Queen of Soul is one the cornerstones of any soul collection. (more…)