Q - 11/93, p.1444 Stars
- Excellent - "...classic stuff, with the passion of genuine spiritual release and a variety of material which puts today's soul music well and truly in the shade..."
Personnel: Aretha Franklin (vocals, piano); Tommy Cogbill, Jimmy Johnson, Bobby Womack (guitar); Frank Wess (tenor saxophone, flute); Charlie Chalmers, Andrew Love, King Curtis, Seldon Powell (tenor saxophone); Floyd Newman, Willie Bridges, Haywood Henry (baritone saxophone); Wayne Jackson, Bernie Glow, Melvin Lastie, Joe Newman (trumpet); Tony Studd (bass trombone); Spooner Oldham (piano, electric piano, organ); Jerry Jemmott (bass); Roger Hawkins (drums); Carolyn Franklin, The Sweet Inspirations (background vocals).
Recorded at Atlantic Studios, New York between December 1967 and April 1968. Originally released on Atlantic (8186). Includes liner notes by David Nathan.
Digitally remastered by Bill Inglot and Dan Hersch (DigiPrep).
Composers: Clyde Otis; David Porter; Don Covay; Dorian Burton; Teddy White; Isaac Hayes; King Curtis; Mabon "Teenie" Hodges; Ron Miller; Ronnie Shannon; Sam Cooke; Steve Cropper; Hal David; Burt Bacharach.
Personnel: Aretha Franklin (vocals, piano); Jimmy Johnson , Tommy Cogbill, Bobby Womack (guitar); Frank Wess (flute, tenor saxophone); King Curtis, Andrew Love, Seldon Powell, Charles Chalmers (tenor saxophone); Floyd Newman, Willie Bridges, Haywood Henry (baritone saxophone); Joe Newman , Wayne Jackson, Bernie Glow, Melvin Lastie (trumpet); Tony Studd (bass trombone); Spooner Oldham (piano, electric piano, organ); Roger Hawkins (drums); The Sweet Inspirations, Carolyn Franklin (background vocals).
Liner Note Author: David Nathan.
Recording information: Atlantic Studios, New York, NY (12/16/1967-04/18/1968).
Photographer: David Gahr.
Unknown Contributor Role: Charles Chalmers.
Arrangers: Tom Dowd; Mardin; Arif Mardin.
Aretha Now opens with the explosive "Think," an ecstatic performance propelled by the singer's gospel-like fervour and punchy piano playing. It set the tone for yet another self-assured selection, in which Franklin brought her expressive voice to bear on a series of excellent songs. She brings new authority to material first recorded by Sam Cooke ("You Send Me"), Don Covay ("See-Saw") and Dionne Warwick ("I Say A Little Prayer"), investing each with a ferocious pride and zeal. The original songs are equally strong, resulting in one of the most accomplished soul albums of the 60s. She is the Queen of soul.