Trying To Get To You

Monday, November 05, 2007

Aretha On Her Own

While most of the music world has been aflutter over Radiohead's decision to bypass the major labels, I'm more excited to discover (via yesterday's NY Times) that Aretha Franklin has completed her deal with Clive Davis and has started her own label, Aretha Records. For years, I've lamented Aretha's continued pursuit of the young R&B audience, which necessitated having songs and producers that simply did not suit her, at the expense of music that could showcase the continued power and emotional range of her singular voice. This is very good news.

Her first album, Aretha: A Woman Falling Out Of Love, will feature songs written and produced by Aretha herself, and I simply can't wait to hear it. Of other note, Atlantic/Rhino has just released a live album of Aretha in Philadelphia from 1972. I haven't heard it yet, but I look forward to getting my hands on it.


Anonymous said...

I just got a two-pack of BOTH the unreleased Atlantic stuff and the Live 1972 yesterday from mail-order Rhino. (I think you can only get the live one thru Rhino, and it's limited.) Great stuff. What I can say about the live one is that it's not quite in the vein of the masterpiece of Fillmore West, it's a much bigger, "showier" band (string and horn section) and she does a lot of covers and quick hits in medley form. She sounds amazing, but again, expecting the same groovefest of the Fillmore release (probably my fave live album ever), I was just a little dissappointed with the release. Since it was basically left for dead in the tape library where it was unearthed, there is very little info on the show, particularly band personnel. Fortunately, there is a great instrumental jam on "Young, Gifted, and Black", where it's pretty easy to determine at least that Cornell Dupree and Bernard Purdie are present (quite unmistakably.) I'd love to assume it's Chuck Rainey on bass, but just not sure. Regardless, I'd still recommend you get your hands on it. It is a gem.

Private Beach said...

Aretha has lacked musical direction for far too many years. I wish someone could get Rick Rubin to do for her what he did for Johnny Cash: get her in the studio with a handful of sympathetic musicians and a bunch of strong songs, and get her back to basics.

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