Album #117 – Lady Soul

Album #117

WOW!!! This album was a welcome, refreshing change from the psychotic sounds of Laura Nyro. I really loved this album. It contains two of Franklin’s biggest hits: Chain of Fools and (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman. Natural Woman reminds me of a scene from one of my favourite sitcoms, Murphy Brown. Brown, played by Candace Bergen, is a journalist on a news magazine waiting to interview Aretha Franklin who is Brown’s favourite singer of all-time. Franklin shows up late and hilarity ensues. Watch the clip below to see the meeting:

This album is even better than I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You. Aretha is even more soulful and bluesy here. Her voice is magnificent. I enjoyed every moment of this album. The Memphis “Stax Records” Soul sound is all over this record. Franklin also uses strings and horns cleverly in most of the songs. The emotion in her voice is so raw and pure. I feel like I am in a Church that Aretha used to sing in as a child. Her voice and urgency is as powerful as a revival meeting. Good As I Am To You captures this perfectly. Fun fact: The late Ellie Greenwich makes an appearance singing back-up on Chain of Fools. Greenwich was famous for collaborating with Phil Spector in the early 60’s and wrote many of the big songs he produced including one of my favourite Christmas songs, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) which was on one of the albums I have listened to already. This album was a joy to listen to and I will definately be adding it to my collection. Every song was great and Aretha’s covers of The Young Rascals’ song Groovin’ and Curtis Mayfield’s song People Get Ready are worth checking out and are probably the best cover versions of those songs. I even wrote the review of this album before it was finished because I knew the rest of the album would be just as good!!! Overall, I give this album 5.5 out of 5.

Next: Vincebus Eruptum by Blue Cheer

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