- Released: January 13, 1998
- Originally Released: 1998
- Label: Atlantic
- 1.Today I Sing The Blues
- 4.I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)
- 5.Night Life
- 6.I Wonder
- 7.Takin' Another Man's Place
- 8.Night Time Is The Right Time
- 9.River's Invitation
- 10.Good To Me As I Am To You
- 11.It Ain't Fair
- 12.Going Down Slow
- 13.Drown In My Own Tears
- 14.You Are My Sunshine
- 15.Dr. Feelgood (Love Is A Serious Business)
- 16.The Thrill Is Gone (From Yesterday's Kiss)
Personnel includes: Aretha Franklin (vocals, piano); Jimmy Johnson, Kenny Burrell, Joe South, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman (guitar); David "Fathead" Newman (alto saxophone); King Curtis, Charlie Chalmers (tenor saxophone); Ernie Royal, Snooky Young (trumpet); Jimmy Cleveland, Urbie Green, Benny Powell (trombone); Junior Mance (piano); Spooner Oldham (electric piano, organ); Tommy Cogbill, Jerry Jemmott (bass); Roger Hawkins (drums); Cissy Houston, Erma Franklin, Carolyn Franklin, Almeda Lattimore, Brenda Bryant, Margaret Branch (background vocals).
Producers: Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd, Arif Mardin.
Compilation producer: Norma Edwards.
Includes liner notes by Norma Edwards.
Digitally remastered by Bill Inglot & Dan Hersch (DigiPrep).
The title may be ARETHA'S BLUES, but this compilation goes far beyond such a simple designation. This selection of early Atlantic material finds Franklin mixing gospel with the deep soul of her Muscle Shoals back-up crew on tracks like "Today I Sing The Blues." On "Pitiful," she swings with a big band horn arrangement that wouldn't sound out of place on a Ray Charles record.
Franklin's passionate singing style easily allows her passage to the deep pathos of the blues. Both Percy Mayfield ("River's Invitation") and B.B. King ("The Thrill Is Gone [From Yesterday's Kiss]") are given their due. She tackles country material such as Willie Nelson's "Night Life" and makes it her own. Even the covers of "You Are My Sunshine" and "Night Time Is The Right Time" easily stand toe-to-toe with Brother Ray's better-known versions. Franklin's gospel roots are never far away as feisty back-up singers and stride piano (often played by Lady Soul herself) make songs such as "Dr. Feelgood (Love Is A Serious Business)" a sanctified affair.