Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, R&B
If you were considering this interesting collection as a musical backdrop to an evening of romance, you'd be far better served by any number of slow-jam collections. While Franklin's vocal performances here include some of... more »
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If you were considering this interesting collection as a musical backdrop to an evening of romance, you'd be far better served by any number of slow-jam collections. While Franklin's vocal performances here include some of the best of her Atlantic recordings, the song choices lack conformity. The queen of soul recorded a slew of great ballads during her 12-year tenure with the label and fortunately some of those cuts are included: only Franklin aficionados may be familiar with standout album tracks like the wonderful "You and Me," the wistful "If You Don't Think," and the mellow "Crazy He Calls Me." But was it necessary to include "Baby I Love You," "A Natural Woman," and "Something He Can Feel" for the umpteenth time in a Franklin package? The musical flow isn't as smooth as one might like from a love-songs collection, but Aretha prevails regardless. --David Nathan
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TRULY THE UNDISPUTED QUEEN OF SOUL!
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have loved Aretha Franklin for as long as I can remember and have at least 10 CD's by her. This collection of songs is the best I've ever heard. The way Aretha sings "You Send Me," This Girl's in Love with You," Look into Your Heart" and "A Brand New Me" brings chills up and down my spine. However, when you hear my favorite, "If You Don't Think," you will truly understand why she is, without doubt, THE UNDISPUTED QUEEN OF SOUL! I continually set the repeat botton on my CD player to hear her sing "If You Don't Think" over and over again. She sings the blues like I've never heard it before and hits notes that you wouldn't believe! Trust me, you've got to get this CD!"
Nice, But Rhino Could Have Been More Selective Re Contents
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the six pages of liner notes written by Norma Edwards she begins by saying "Some think that Aretha Franklin was crowned the Queen of Soul for her reign over the R&B (and pop) charts in the '60s and early '70s. I believe she got the name because she is the best at conveying her deepest feelings, her soul, through song and music." Amen to that.
However, I have to agree with David Nathan in the official blurb above. Rhino, with a wealth of Atlantic "love song" selections to choose from [55 R&B Hot 100 singles from 1967 to 1979, 45 of which also made the Billboard pop Hot100 (another 16 scored on the Adult Contemporary charts after their introduction in 1961) - not to mention countless album cuts - instead elected to include Natural Woman and Baby I Love You for - to quote Mr. Nathan - "the umpteenth time."
Natural Woman is also available on dozens of multi-artist compilations for that era. It's not as if Rhino needed a "hook" to sell the CD. Any Aretha Franklin compilation will sell merely on its own merits, regardless of content. Just consider the 15 Grammy Awards, Grammy's Living Legend Award  and Lifetime Achievement Award , plus the fact that she was the first woman to be inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame . Just the name Aretha Franklin guarantees sales.
With the liner notes are several more nice photographs of Aretha, and a complete contents discography along with a list of the Atlantic albums which first contained each of the 16 selections.
A nice summation is the Aretha quote in the liner notes which first appeared in Newsweek in August 1967: "(Soul) is the ability to make other people feel what you're feeling. It's hard to laugh when you want to cry. Some people can hide it. I can't, so when I sing it doesn't come across fake." It most certainly does not.