Tuniver.se - Your music. Discovered.
Get TuneUp Companion!

Artist: Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin

Bio

Aretha Franklin (March 25, 1942 - August 16, 2018) was a Memphis, Tennessee born and Detroit, Michigan reared American iconic gospel, soul, and R&B singer, songwriter and pianist. Many have called her "The Queen Of Soul" and "Lady Soul". She is renowned for her soul and R&B recordings (on many, of which, she accompanied herself on keyboards and piano, a skill she learned at an early age, learning to play by ear, according to lifetime friend Smokey Robinson) but was also adept at jazz, rock, blues, pop, and gospel. She is generally regarded as one of the best vocalists ever by such industry publications and media outlets as Rolling Stone and VH1, due to her phenomenal technical and interpretative talents. Adept at the piano as well as having a gifted voice, Franklin became a child prodigy. By the age of fourteen, she signed a record deal with Battle Records, where her father Reverend C.L. Franklin recorded his sermons and gospel vocal recordings, and she issued Songs of Faith in 1956. She is the second most honored female popular singer in Grammy history (after Alison Krauss), having won eighteen competitive Grammys (including an unprecedented eleven for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance, eight of them consecutive). The state of Michigan has declared her voice to be a natural wonder. Franklin is perhaps best-known for her interpretation of Otis Redding's Respect, recorded in 1967 with sisters Carolyn Franklin and Erma Franklin. Many of her songs, however, were originals that have since been covered by other artists. Some of her best-known compositions include (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone, Ain't No Way, All the King's Horses, Baby, Baby, Baby, Call Me, Dr. Feelgood, Rock Steady, Spirit in the Dark, and Think (which she performed in the film The Blues Brothers). On March 25, 1942, Aretha Louise Franklin was born at 406 Lucy Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee, to Barbara (née Siggers) and Clarence LaVaughn "C. L." Franklin. Her father was a Baptist minister and circuit preacher originally from Shelby, Mississippi, while her mother was an accomplished piano player and vocalist. Her parents both had children, three in total, from outside their marriage. The family relocated to Buffalo, New York, when Aretha was two. Before her fifth birthday, in 1946, C. L. Franklin permanently
More at Last.fm

Concert Dates

No content available.

News

No content available.

Articles

Aretha Franklin The Source, Jan 1998

View Original

THE SUBJECT is female singers, and we’re gonna make it easy on ya.

View Original

Aretha. One word and one woman who sums up the joy, pain, possibility, redemption and triumph of the music we call soul.Yes, yes, there are other female singers who matter and in ways Aretha may or can not. There is no slight intended, trust me. But it is damn near impossible to even think about the sound of the female voice without invoking Aretha’s name and paying homage to her influence.

Listing Aretha’s accomplishments, achievements, sales figures and accolades would not only take up nearly all of the space allotted, it seems superfluous. Like, you know already, don’t you? Does it help you feel Aretha more to know that the Grammy for Best Female Vocals, in the R&B category, was referred to by the industry as the Aretha Franklin award? Listen, the way to feel Aretha is to luxuriate in her music. Those songs she cut down in Muscle Shoals. The timeless Atlantic Records sessions. Soul music.

We hear Aretha in the bruised, prideful hip hop blues of Mary J. We catch glimpses of Aretha in Erykah Badu’s head wrap, and when Missy and Kelly Price refuse to look like underfed teenagers. Skilled as a writer,a pianist and a Voice, Aretha is the sound that a woman learns to make. You can dig her as a child but she becomes a part of you after the scarring begins. The first heartache. Then the second. The door slam, the fist, the birth. The death, the renewal and ultimately the revival. Perhaps it’s only fitting that before Lauryn Hill gave us her own album, she wrote and produced 'A Rose Is Still A Rose', for her idol Aretha Franklin.

As Aretha had learned from Mahalia Jackson, a new generation learns from Aretha. Our once and always Lady of Soul.

Aretha Franklin: Hey Now Hey (Atlantic) Cream, Sep 1973

View Original

IT'S BEEN HIP for mainstream rock critics to knock Miss Franklin for some time now, in much the same way the current vogue is to confess with relish that you don't dig Van Morrison.

View Original

Like Morrison, Aretha Franklin is in a position where she can almost transcend the norm of record criticism by virtue of the fact that she has now recorded enough classics to easily obscure the occasional piece of dross she may slip into an album.

Not counting greatest hits collections, this is her 11th LP for Atlantic, and I've loved every one. Of the others, only one ever came across as being given less than a great deal of care and attention (that was This Girl's In Love With You). By looking back at her earlier sets, excluding of course the Live At The Fillmore and Amazing Grace, one can immediately dispute most of the brickbats hurled at her by the American rock press and the British soul specialists.

Hey Now Hey has been described as too jazz-based to be considered worthwhile as a great Aretha album. Soul 69 which contained the beautiful version of 'Tracks Of My Tears' was a jazz album from start to finish, with its Basie-Ellington early Fifties-styled charts and was sold as such. Just because Miss Franklin co-produced Hey Now Hey with Quincy Jones doesn't make it a jazz album; a couple of tracks can be loosely labelled thus, and her piano solos on a couple of cuts compare more favourably with Oscar Peterson than the gospel progressions usually associated with her. In fact, in basic track construction the only noticeable diversion is in the overall length of certain cuts, some of which may, on reflection, be a little too long.

She's also been accused of losing vocal involvement through excessively contrived vocal delivery. But on close examination the song selection and style is identical to earlier albums. There's the long personal ballad, 'Angel', written by sister Carolyn, which compares with 'Ain't No Way' or 'Sit Down & Cry' or 'You & Me'. The blues workout 'Just Right Tonight' is equal to 'Thrill Is Gone', 'Good To Me As I Am To You' or 'Dr Feelgood'. The uptempo numbers, 'So Swell When You're Well' and the title track are no less riveting than 'Since You've Been Gone', 'Think' or even 'Rock Steady' and 'Spirit In The Dark'. The only track that really fails to involve the listener completely is her version of Bobby Womacks' 'That's The Way I Feel About 'Cha' which at 7 mins, is far too long and eventually becomes a little tedious.

The accusation that, due to the inclusion of 'Somewhere', the album is contrived as an answer to the 'threat' of Roberta Flack are patently silly. Aretha Franklin's long string of gold records are going to take Miss Flack, despite her immense talent, an awful long time to equal. Regardless of any consensus of opinion Aretha Franklin is a far more accomplished singer and pianist that Roberta Flack and their styles are a little incompatible from a repertoire point of view anyway.

The lyrical quality of the album is as high if not higher than previous albums and her piano solos, particularly on 'Somewhere', are devastating. Also in that same cut is a beautiful alto solo from Phil Woods. The standard of sideman on this album gives her some of the best support she's had since the Soul 69 album. Joe Farrell's tenor solo on 'Angel' and Billy Preston's beautifully styilised blues solo on 'Just Right Tonight' stand out.

The argument as to whether Aretha Franklin is the best female singer today can go on, but she is still the world's most successful female singer ever, and that many people can't be wrong. She's a beautiful lady and this is one hell of a beautiful record. What more proof do you need?

Auctions

No content available.

No content available.

No content available.

Top Albums

more
less
Respect cover art

Respect

Buy Amazon.com     Buy iTunes    

more
less
more
less
20 Greatest Hits cover art

20 Greatest Hits

Buy Amazon.com     Buy iTunes    

more
less
Soul Queen cover art

Soul Queen

Buy Amazon.com     Buy iTunes    

more
less

Top Songs

Respect cover art

Respect

Buy Amazon.com     Buy iTunes    

I Say a Little Prayer cover art

I Say a Little Prayer

Buy Amazon.com     Buy iTunes    

Think cover art

Think

Buy Amazon.com     Buy iTunes    

Chain of Fools cover art

Chain of Fools

Buy Amazon.com     Buy iTunes    

Rock Steady cover art

Rock Steady

Buy Amazon.com     Buy iTunes    

Video

No content available.

Recommended Albums

more
less
more
less
more
less
more
less