aretha franklin

Recent content on Elsewhere by Graham Reid tagged as aretha franklin.

Various: Eccentric Soul, The Big Mack Label (Big Mack/Southbound)

Various: Eccentric Soul, The Big Mack Label (Big Mack/Southbound)

The Big Mack label out of Chicago -- launched on a dollar and a dream by entrepreneur Ed "Big Mack" McCoy -- lasted 20 years from the early 60s without a hit, or even the suggestion of one. While Motown ruled, Big Mack struggled on the margins, and yet it also produced some exceptional if cheaply recorded and somewhat ragged...

Amy Winehouse: Frank Deluxe (Island)

Her life might the equivalent of a pub brawl (indeed sometimes it is, literally), but then again some seminal singers didn't always live a quiet life in the suburbs. What Winehouse's court appearances and fragile state have meant however is that there are holding actions on the part of her record company until she gets back on the rails....

ARETHA FRANKLIN, THE QUEEN OF SOUL: Oh, how the mighty have risen

ARETHA FRANKLIN, THE QUEEN OF SOUL: Oh, how the mighty have risen

When American critic Dave Marsh complied his The Heart of Rock and Soul in the early 90s -- a free-swinging personal recount of the “1001 greatest singles ever made” from doo-wop Moondogs (1955) to dance floor Madonna (1985) -- one name turned up repeatedly. For those who nostalgically put Abba up the charts again (and again)...

OTIS REDDING: The lost legacy of a soul genius

OTIS REDDING: The lost legacy of a soul genius

The life and death of Otis Redding is replete with ironies. The man who displaced Elvis in the British magazine Melody Maker as top male vocalist in ’67 – knocking off the King after an eight-year straight residency – could barely crack the top 10 in his homeland. Yet after his death in December that year – his...

JANIS JOPLIN: Singing out the painful sparks within

JANIS JOPLIN: Singing out the painful sparks within

Of all those admitted to that illustrious pantheon of Dead Sixties Rock Stars, Janis Joplin has been the one least well served. Jimi is revered and regularly remarketed; and Jim has his reissued albums, an Oliver Stone bio-pix, a new headstone in Pere La Chaise and people still seem to refer to him as “a poet”. And Janis?...

THE AMAZING VOICE OF TIMI YURO: Soulful, sassy and show tunes

THE AMAZING VOICE OF TIMI YURO: Soulful, sassy and show tunes

When PJ Proby burst onto the British pop scene in 1964 he was an amazing anomoly. The Texas-born singer had been doing demos for various people in the States (including Elvis) and arrived in the UK to appear on a Beatles television special. He cracked a number of big pop hits in '64-'65 (Hold Me, Mission Bell, Let the Water Run Down) and with...

Aretha Franklin: Don't Play That Song For Me (1970)

Aretha Franklin: Don't Play That Song For Me (1970)

It's a well established fact that some songs write themselves into our autobiographies: we remember our first love by our favourite song, can be taken back to exactly where we were and who we were with when a certain piece of music plays, songs conjure up time and place . . . Talkin' 'bout them Night Moves. The Classic Hits radio format...

THE BARGAIN BUY: Aretha Franklin; The Original Album Series (Rhino)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Aretha Franklin; The Original Album Series (Rhino)

It's widely acknowledged that Columbia really didn't know what to do with the young Aretha Franklin -- although it is a convenient myth that she didn't record much for them worth hearing. But it is certainly true that when she moved to Atlantic in '66 at age 24 and came under the tutelage of Jerry Wexler she found her voice as the finest...

Freda Payne: Band of Gold/Contact/Reaching Out (Edsel/Triton)

Freda Payne: Band of Gold/Contact/Reaching Out (Edsel/Triton)

Although it was slightly ambiguous about who had failed on the wedding night, it is Freda who says her new husband should come back and "love me like you tried before". And so we might guess . . . This was interesting and slightly saucy stuff -- was he gay or impotent? -- but the sexy Payne from Detroit turned it into a hit in...

Angelique Kidjo: Oyo (Razor and Tie/Shock)

Angelique Kidjo: Oyo (Razor and Tie/Shock)

When singer Kidjo from Benin emerged in the early Nineties it seemed to me she got more mileage than she deserved, largely on the back of her story and looks rather than the music. Her early albums prior to and including Aye ('94?) really did nothing for me and so I tuned out for a while. But then it became increasingly clear that Kidjo was...

Various Artists: Good God! Born Again Funk (Numero/Southbound)

Various Artists: Good God! Born Again Funk (Numero/Southbound)

The recent DVD Soundtrack for a Revolution showed how music uplifted the spirits and bonded those in the struggle for civil rights in the US in Sixties. This terrific, funky and soulful collection of contemporary gospel has much the same impact. You don't doubt Ada Richards is filled with spirit of the Lord when she roars "I'm drunk and...

Various Artists: The Hal David and Burt Bacharach Songbook (EMI)

Various Artists: The Hal David and Burt Bacharach Songbook (EMI)

Just a quick notice of this locally compiled double disc set which follows in the Lennon-McCartney and Goffin-King collections in this series. Some great acts here on David's lyrics wrapped in Bacharach's arrangements: the Shirelles with the Beatles' favourite Baby It's You; Cilla Black peeling the paint on Anyone Who Had a Heart; the...

Maggie Bell: The Best of Maggie Bell (Angel Air/Southbound CD/DVD)

Maggie Bell: The Best of Maggie Bell (Angel Air/Southbound CD/DVD)

Bell was one of those paint-peeling, bluesy post-Joplin singers of the late Sixties and Seventies whose path crossed that of Long John Baldry, Rod Stewart, Led Zeppelin, Eric Burdon and others with whom she guested. The raw-throated singer also fronted Stone the Crows for four albums, embarked on a solo career, consistently won acclaim in...

Catherine Russell: Inside This Heart of Mine (World Village/Ode)

Catherine Russell: Inside This Heart of Mine (World Village/Ode)

With an excellent ensemble of understated but very classy players, jazz-cum-r'n'b singer Russell takes a sophisticated journey down the byways of ol' New Orleans, finger-snapping Swing Era sounds, cool blues and other related styles on a warmly produced album which includes materiaal by Fats Waller, Harold Arlen, Duke Ellington, early r'n'b star...

Solomon Burke: Nothing's Impossible (Shock)

Solomon Burke: Nothing's Impossible (Shock)

The extraordinary Solomon Burke has enjoyed that rarity in popular music, not just a second coming but a sustained one. Music history is full of acts who come back after their first seminal period but few of them -- Dylan a notable exception, the Searchers' story the more common -- have a sustained run of artistic as well as commercial...

SAM COOKE, GOSPEL INTO POP: The change was always gonna come

SAM COOKE, GOSPEL INTO POP: The change was always gonna come

At this distance, we can’t be expected to understand what the death of Sam Cooke in the sleazy Hacienda Motel in ’64 meant to black Americans. The former gospel singer was found slumped against a wall – naked except for an overcoat and one shoe, gunned down by the motel owner after a woman he’d picked up in a bar...

Renee Geyer: You Broke a Beautiful Thing (1999)

Renee Geyer: You Broke a Beautiful Thing (1999)

Lord knows some artists can be "difficult" -- and many of those who have tried to interview Australian Renee Geyer (never my doubtful pleasure) have returned chastened, frustrated and sometimes downright angry. It was hardly surprising then when Paul Kelly produced an album for her entitled Difficult Woman in '94. Her 2000...

Renee Geyer: The Definitive Collection 1973 - 1998 (Mushroom)

Renee Geyer: The Definitive Collection 1973 - 1998 (Mushroom)

This great Australian soul, funk and blues singer appeared at Elsewhere recently -- more of that in a minute -- but here by coincidence is 18 track collection of some of her finest moments from her four decade career, including her gutsy take on James Brown's classic It's A Man's Man's Man's World on which she really shines. Also here is her...

Various Artists: Eccentric Soul; Smart's Palace (Numero/Southbound)

Various Artists: Eccentric Soul; Smart's Palace (Numero/Southbound)

An earlier volume of not dissimilar desperate, crazy, urgent, cheaply-recorded and often exciting soul from the Sixties and Seventies drew great praise at Elsewhere (see here) -- and, once again -- although you might never have heard a single name previously -- you can't help but be hooked by the sheer energy these artists bring. Smart's...

BURT BACHARACH IN 1995: The slow rehabilitation

BURT BACHARACH IN 1995: The slow rehabilitation

Mainstream pop culture has witnessed some peculiar pairings, none more so than when Noel Gallagher, mastermind and songwriter behind the Britrock band Oasis, climbed on stage in London recently to perform with Burt Bacharach. Gallagher, a 29-year-old mouthy wide boy from Manchester, would seem to have nothing in common with the urbane,...

Eddie Hinton: I Want a Woman (1986)

Eddie Hinton: I Want a Woman (1986)

Alabama-born Eddie Hinton (1944-95) is hardly a household name but was one of the great Southern soul songwriters and sessionmen. As a Muscle Shoals musician he played guitar on scores of sessions (for everyone from Aretha Franklin to Boz Scaggs, Elvis to Solomon Burke) and was a prolific, if under-recorded, songwriter. His most notable hit...

Tom Jones: Praise and Blame (Island)

Tom Jones: Praise and Blame (Island)

The late-career revival isn't uncommon these days (Bob Dylan, Bettye LaVette, Solomon Burke, Johnny Cash et al) but it still comes as a surprise, especially in the case of 70-year old Tom Jones who could have coasted into retirement with albums of interesting standards (in the manner of Rod Stewart) or even just pick up a few contemporary songs...

Nina Simone: At Town Hall/The Amazing Nina Simone (Jackpot/Southbound)

Nina Simone: At Town Hall/The Amazing Nina Simone (Jackpot/Southbound)

Troublesome woman though she may have been -- angry, politically volatile, courageously self-obssessed -- there was never any denying her phenomenal, rare talent. Classically trained but with her heart also in gospel, r'n'b, jazz and blues, Nina Simone (1933 - 2003) crossed stylistic boundaries on piano as if they didn't exist, and her...

AL GREEN INTERVIEWED (2004): Soul from pulpit to the street

AL GREEN INTERVIEWED (2004): Soul from pulpit to the street

In Memphis, a few kilometres south of Graceland is a small church in Hale Rd, a sidestreet off Highway 51 also known as Elvis Presley Boulevard. Not many music lovers make it this far; they are waylaid by the fridge magnets, postcards and facsimile of Elvis' drivers licence further back up the highway, or are taking the tour around the room...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Adele: 21 (XL)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Adele: 21 (XL)

Adele's debut album of two years ago -- 19, when she was 19 -- announced the arrival of a great British soul voice even if some of her original material wasn't quite as strong as it could have been. Still, she was only 19 -- but she hardly deserved to be lumped in with the new breed of British women singers coming through (notably Amy...

RUMER INTERVIEWED (2011): Thankful, and slowing it right down

RUMER INTERVIEWED (2011): Thankful, and slowing it right down

With her debut album Seasons of My Soul; the British singer Rumer has delivered an album destined for many 2011 Best of the Year lists come December. For Rumer – born Sarah Joyce in Pakistan 30 years ago – it has been the culmination of a long and quite remarkable journey. After she and her mother returned to England, she...

THE BARGAIN BUY: Wilson Pickett; Original Album Series (Rhino)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Wilson Pickett; Original Album Series (Rhino)

For many people their sole knowledge of Wilson Pickett might be as the guy who did/didn't turn up at the end of The Comittments, the invisible inspiation for that band. A few might know of his great song Land of 1000 Dances which -- ironicaly, like the Beatles' Twist and Shout -- came right at the end of the so-called dance craze era, or...

THE BARGAIN BUY: Margie Joseph; Original Album Series (Atlantic/Rhino)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Margie Joseph; Original Album Series (Atlantic/Rhino)

The point of the on-going weekly Bargain Buy suggestion is not just to direct readers to fine music going cheap, but to also encourage you to take a chance on an unknown or only vaguely familiar name because the album(s) recommended are . . . yes, cheap. A perfect example is this five CD set by Margie Joseph out of Mississippi whose pedigree...

THE BARGAIN BUY: Amy Winehouse: Back to Black (Universal)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Amy Winehouse: Back to Black (Universal)

If you were one of the few who didn't buy Amy Winehouse's second album Back to Black on release in 2006 you doubtless picked it up when it came out as an expanded edition a couple of years later. Or, failing that, picked up the four-CD box set which coupled the expanded version with her debut Frank and some extra tracks which accompanied that...

Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse: Body and Soul (2011)

Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse: Body and Soul (2011)

Yes, March this year doesn't seem to be digging too far back in the vaults . . . and maybe even that notion of "vaults" might seem a little distasteful to some given Amy Winehouse dying so recently. But here is a measure of the high regard in which she was held by someone who knows his way around a standard, 85-year old Tony...

Irma Thomas, The Irma Thomas Collection (1996)

Irma Thomas, The Irma Thomas Collection (1996)

In music, titles are bestowed by The People rather than being handed down from above -- and they are so singular and specific that there can only be pretenders but no replacement figures. So there is only one King of Rock'n'Roll and that's Elvis, only one Queen of Soul and that will always be Aretha, and only James Brown will ever be considered...

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