.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/2179f05e826553680a043e38ca8acf8c0b42361e.jpg Take a Look: Aretha Franklin Complete on Columbia

Aretha Franklin

Take a Look: Aretha Franklin Complete on Columbia

Columbia/Legacy
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 4.5 0
March 22, 2011

From the summer of 1960, when 18-year-old Aretha Franklin made her first Columbia recordings, until January 1967, when she cut her torrid Atlantic debut, "I Never Loved a Man (The Way That I Love You)," the Queen of Soul was royalty in waiting. Her many producers at Columbia (including John Hammond, who signed her to the label) tried hard to frame and wrangle Franklin's holy spirit, tortured heart and operatic force, mistaking her natural vocal power for a crossover gift — from the church to jazz, show tunes and pop covers — instead of a turning point. But the stirring can be heard all over these 11 CDs, cutting through the shimmer and the sweetening in the funky impatience of "Won't Be Long" from 1960, Franklin's poised-R&B command in 1964's "Runnin' Out of Fools," and "I'll Keep on Smiling," from the same year, co-written by the singer and an earthy preview of her Atlantic destiny. A DVD in this set has five TV clips from '64, including one of Franklin at the piano, doing Dinah Washington's 1944 hit "Evil Gal Blues." Franklin was not yet Lady Soul, but she looks and sounds ready for her close-up.

Listen to "Won't Be Long":

Gallery: The Week's Hottest Live Shots

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “San Francisco Mabel Joy”

    Mickey Newbury | 1969

    A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com