Q - 7/93, p.1065 Stars
- Indispensable - "...[the songs are] all extracted from her golden years, '67-'74, so choice is simply a matter of weighing wonderfulness by the pound..."
Personnel includes: Aretha Franklin (vocals, piano); Chips Moman, Jimmy Johnson, Eddie Hinton, Jerry Weaver, Charlie Freeman, Hugh McCracken, Cornell Dupree, Don Arnone, David Spinozza (guitar); Joe Farrell (flute, tenor saxophone); Hubert Laws (flute); The Memphis Horns (horns); Spooner Oldham (electric piano, organ); Richard Tee, Ken Lupper (organ); Barry Beckett, Jim Dickinson, Mike Utley, Donny Hathaway (keyboards); Kenneth Bichel (synthesizer); Tommy Cogbill, David Hood, Tommy McClure, Eric Gale, Chuck Rainey (bass), Roger Hawkins, Sammy Creason, Al Jackson, Ray Lucas, Bernard Purdie, Rick Marotta (drums); Pancho Morales (congas); Robert Popwell, Doctor John, Ralph MacDonald (percussion); Erma Franklin, Carolyn Franklin, The Sweet Inspirations, The Sweethearts Of Soul, The Southern California Community Choir (background vocals); Joe South.
Producers: Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd, Arif Mardin, Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones.
Compilation producer: Kim Cooke.
Producers: Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd, Arif Mardin, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield.
Compilation producers: Norma Edwards, David Nathan.
Includes liner notes by Norma Edwards.
Personnel: Aretha Franklin (vocals, piano, background vocals); Cissy Houston, Ellie Greenwich (vocals); Chips Moman, Cornell Dupree, Jimmy Johnson , David Spinozza, Duane Allman, Eddie Hinton, Hugh McCracken, Jerry Weaver, Charlie Freeman (guitar); Don Arnone (acoustic guitar); Joe Farrell (flute, tenor saxophone); Hubert Laws (flute); King Curtis (brass); The Memphis Horns (horns); Spooner Oldham (electric piano); Kenneth Lupper, Richard Tee (organ); Donny Hathaway, Jim Dickinson, Mike Utley, Barry Beckett, Billy Preston (keyboards); Kenneth Bichel (synthesizer); Al Jackson, Jr. , Ray Lucas, Rick Marotta, Roger Hawkins, Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, Sammy Creason (drums); Pancho Morales (congas); Dr. John, Robert "Pops" Popwell (percussion); Erma Franklin, The Sweethearts of Soul, Carolyn Franklin (background vocals).
Liner Note Author: Larry LeBlanc.
Director: James Cleveland.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Eric Clapton; Joe South; King Curtis.
The title may not be 100-percent accurate, since the songs here are culled from Franklin's soul years, roughly between 1967 and 1974, and she's had lots more hits since then. That nit picked, however, this is a genuine embarrassment of riches, with Aretha's soaring voice and under-appreciated piano decorating one wonderful genre-defining song ("Respect," "Chain of Fools," "Natural Woman," "Since You've Been Gone") after another. The most revelatory cut is probably "I Say a Little Prayer," in which Franklin imbues the song with a spine-tingling gospel flavor without ever losing the pop delicacy of the original Dionne Warwick version. But just about everything else here is essential listening.