Aretha Franklin, 'I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You'
Aretha Franklin didn't emerge fully formed from the
head of Jerry Wexler – she had many minor hits on Columbia before Atlantic made
her a goddess. But with its mix of superb new soul songs (Franklin helped write
four) and perfect old R&B standards (from Ray Charles, King Curtis, Sam
Cooke, Otis Redding), this is a living monument to a singer and the style she
first epitomized and then transcended. Wexler wanted the Stax band to ground
his great hope but was refused, so he turned to the white guys down the road in
Muscle Shoals – who cut most of the album in New York.