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Released - 1994. Songs first released on Atlantic Records, this album released on Rhino Records. Produced by Jerry Wexler except Tracks 13 through 16 Produced by J. Wexler, T. Dowd & A. Mardin

Aretha Franklin - Lead & Backing Vocals, Piano


Carolyn Franklin - Backing Vocals
Erma Franklin - Backing Vocals
The Sweet Inspirations - Backing Vocals
Ellie Greenwich - Backing Vocals

Jimmy Johnson - Guitars; Duane Allman - Guitar on "The Weight"; King Curtis - Tenor Saxophone;  Joe South - Guitars; Bobby Womack - Guitars; Spooner Oldham - Electric Piano;Tommy Cogbill - Bass and Guitar; Roger Hawkins - Drums;  Gene Chrisman - Drums; Melvin Lastie, Joe Newman, Bernie Glow - Trumpets; Tony Studd - Bass Trombone; Seldon Powell, Frank Wess - Tenor Saxophones; Haywood Henry - Baritone Saxophone

There are many different session musicians who appear on these many songs who are not credited on the album.

SONG (written by)



Respect (Redding) 1967     10.0
Baby I Love You   (Shannon) 1967       7.8
I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) (Shannon) 1967       7.5
Chain of Fools (Covay) 1967     10.0
Do Right Woman, Do Right Man  ( Moman/Penn) 1967     10.0
(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman  (Goffin/King/Wexler) 1967     10.0
(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone  (A. Franklin/White) 1967     10.0
Ain't No Way  (C. Franklin) 1968       7.5
Think   (A. Franklin/White) 1968     10.0
See Saw  (Covay/Cropper) 1968       9.4
The House That Jack Built (Lance/Robbins) 1968     10.0
I Say a Little Prayer  (Bacharach/David) 1968       9.5
The Weight  (Robertson) 1969       8.6
Eleanor Rigby  (Lennon/McCartney) 1969       8.4
Share Your Love With Me  (Braggs/Malone) 1969       6.9
Call Me  (A. Franklin) 1970       7.5
Ave.     8.94


This greatest hits album was volume one of two LPs, both issued at the same time in 1994 for Aretha Franklin, with this one covering the hits she had in the late '60s with Atlantic Records, and the other one covering her hits from the '70s.

As far as just Soul music goes, every song on here are tens, but with this being a Classic Rock site, when I rate songs here I take that into account and rate each song accordingly. I also realize many fans of Classic Rock don't consider Soul music a part of the genre, but if you were around in the '60s, well you know that it was, even if the modern day Classic Rock stations ignore Soul music.

As I always like to point out, it isn't unusual for a listener to have a favorite song on an album that isn't the best overall song on the LP, and for me with this greatest hits package, that is the case. My favorite Aretha Franklin tune has always been "(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone", just the way she belts out this song has always had a way with me. Of course, I can pick several favorites here, including her most famous song, "Respect". I can still remember the day and where I was when I first heard this one, in the kitchen playing around with the old AM radio dial, checking out different stations. Living in the New York City area, there were lots of stations on the airways to explore, and I stopped to hear some other song that was playing (can't remember now what it was). When it ended, on came the deejay and he said he had this new release from Aretha Franklin called "Respect" that he would play next. I don't think any one song ever knocked me out the very first time I heard it, in the way this one did. I was totally blown away by this new song and the next day after I got paid for my newspaper route, I headed over to the nearest record store and got me the single. Seems I wasn't the only one who was blown away from "Respect" either, as it not only reached number one on both the Pop and R&B charts, but most today feel it is the best ever recorded Soul song.

The truth is, when Aretha sings almost any song, I get a feeling unlike any I feel from any other female singer, other than Janis Joplin perhaps. What a powerful voice and does she know how to use it! The next best song found on this LP is "Think", a song she wrote and again perfect for her singing style, as all the songs on here are. No question, she is the Queen of Soul!

- Keno 2005

To listen to some soundclips from THE BEST OF ARETHA FRANKLIN, or to purchase it, click on: The Very Best of Aretha Franklin: The 60's

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