Barrett | Washington, D.C. United States | 10/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Even those of us who regard Aretha as peerless can be forgiven for letting some of her goings-on between 1980 and '94 pass us by. After all, other than a half-dozen of her Atlantic releases, the queen's albums have been erratic affairs; and at Arista (the label covered on this compilation), where she was produced by the likes of Narada Michael Walden and Luther Vandross (and even lesser lights), was there much reason to expect anything more? As it turns out, yes. In both material and arrangements during this period, Aretha may have moved away from the soul-fired R&B of her greatest records, but instead she unfurled yet another side of her phenomenal gift: the ability to church-ify pop without obliterating it. So we get 15 impassioned gems, only a few of which made pop radio (and one of which, the astonishing "A Deeper Love," was a soundtrack-only item). The quality here is so consistent, it may just send you back to the cutout bins to which Arista has consigned most of the original albums -- not to mention this one. You'll be glad you took the trouble to seek it out."
Her best from 1980-94 plus a few new tracks.
Justo Roteta | Los Angeles, California United States | 01/01/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Aretha Franklin's Arista recordings are filled with as many hits as misses. Whereas her Luther Vandross-produced sets ("Get It Right" and "Jump To It") were both excellent most of her other releases were simply too trendy and overproduced. While I won't deny that Aretha experienced a deserved career revival during the mid-'80s I'll also say that there were many embarassing moments on virtually all of her post-1984 Arista albums. This IS a good collection of her post-Atlantic work but most of her Arista LPs simply don't hold a candle to her 1967-74 Atlantic works."
A naturally talented natural woman. 3 1/2 stars
Mikeisha Best | Mitchellville, Maryland United States | 02/16/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"All my life I have heard Aretha Franklin referred to as the "Queen of Soul." Of course, I have heard plenty of her songs throughout the years, but I felt that in order to really study her as a vocalist, I would have to listen to an entire album. Fortunately, I was very familiar with many of the songs found on "Greatest Hits 1980-1994)." I randomly picked up an Aretha album and am glad I chose this one. As a unit, this is an enjoyable album. There are weak moments here as well as strong ones. However, the material that is strong is very strong. The weak material isn't terrible, it just isn't top notch. There are up-tempos, mid-tempos, and ballads here. I really like Aretha's voice; soul flows out very naturally. But, she has this girlishness to her voice that serves as both a gift and a curse. She has good vocal control, but, in that area, there is room for improvement.
One of my all time favorite Aretha songs is found on this LP and it is called "Willing to Forgive." I still remember when this song was released in 1994 and how much I enjoyed listened to it when it was played on the radio. The lyrics are outstanding and so the production and her delivery. This ballad is about a man who is caught cheating and Aretha's feelings toward the situation. She informs him that she will forgive him but she may go out and do some cheating, just to get even. I love this song! "Deeper Love" is featured on the "Sister Act 2" soundtrack. It's one of the strongest tracks here. This song is a dance number, but with very impressive lyrics. "Jump to It" and "Freeway of Love" are also standout up-tempo tracks. "Get it Right" is outstanding as well, but it channels Luther Vandross's hit, "Heaven Knows" melody-wise. "Get it Right" has an old school feel to it. The lyrics are good; it's a feel good song. I heard "Honey" for the first time when I listened to this album, but I truly fell in love with it. Doing everything for a man, yet he still mistreats you is this track's subject matter. As usual, Babyface outdid himself. Over and over he astounds me! The weaker songs include "Another Night", "I Dreamed a Dream" and "Jimmy Lee."
So, now I know why she holds the title as the "Queen of Soul." I have grown to like her more and more over the years and am interested in knowing more about her, music-wise. I know she's a piano-player and grew up in the church (that is obvious because her voice is gospel-influenced.) I recommend this album because it was easy listening. Pick this album up!
Mikeisha's Top 5
1. "Willing to Forgive" 2. "Honey" 3. "Deeper Love" 4. "You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)" 5. "Get it Right" "
OVER 40 YEARS OF HITS....WHO HAS TOPPED AND/OR BROKE THAT RE
Mr. Nightshift | Los Angeles, CA | 02/13/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This collection focuses on her years at Arista records (She was with them for almost 25 years) this covered the years 1980 to 1994! Having 4 (Four) Billboard #1 Hit Singles: "Freeway Of Love", "I Knew You Were Waiting For Me" with George Michael, "Jump To It", and "Get It Right", All included here!, And 10 (Ten) Top Ten Hits! 5 (Five) are included on this collection...Not bad for an artist who has been having MAJOR HITS since the 60's!!! This collection picks up after she left Atlantic Records. At Arista she took a slightly different direction in sound (Aretha has no problem with keeping up with today's sound, but not forgetting her natural soul sound throughout). Many of us are waiting for her new release which should hit any day hopefully BEFORE 2009 ends (It's already been recorded, plus another Gospel album that's waiting in the vaults). This is a nice juicy collection that's sure to delight!"
Bear | Serenity, Georgia USA | 07/15/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this cd just for Aretha's version of 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' which is listed as track 16 in the Amazon listing. The cd I received only has 15 tracks and does not include 'Jumpin' Jack Flash'. Amazon's listing is deceptive at best and should be corrected. Apparantly you have to buy the import version of this cd to get track 16, which would have been nice to know before I wasted time and money buying this one. Guess I'll have to start all over."