50 Essential Albums of 1967

From the Doors' debut to Aretha Franklin's first smash

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Aretha Franklin, 'I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You'
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Aretha Franklin - I NEVER LOVED A MAN THE WAY I LOVE YOU Album Cover20/50

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.

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