- Released: March 25, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Living Blues - 9-10/01, p.80
"...Shows that the Queen of Soul imbued torch standards with her own righteous uplift long before she conquered the universe..."
- 1.I Wonder (Where You Are Tonight)
- 3.Laughing On The Outside (Crying On The Inside)
- 4.Without The One You Love
- 5.This Bitter Earth
- 6.Just For A Thrill
- 7.Try A Little Tenderness
- 8.I Wish I Didn't Love You So
- 9.But Beautiful
- 10.What A Diff'rence A Day Made
Personnel includes: Aretha Franklin (vocals, piano); Robert Mersey (arranger).
Producers: Robert Mersey, Clyde Otis.
Compilation producer: Leo Sacks.
Recorded between April 27, 1962 and February 10, 1965. Originally released on Columbia Records. Includes liner notes by David Ritz.
Digitally remastered by Mark Wilder (2000, Sony).
Prior to becoming the Queen Of Soul, former gospel prodigy Aretha Franklin made her first foray into secular music in the early '60s, under the auspices of MOR kingpin and Columbia Records head Mitch Miller. LOVE SONGS features material from this era but by virtue of her amazing talents, she emerges sounding more like Dinah Washington than Patti Page.
Accompanying herself on piano, the then- 20 year-old tackles lushly orchestrated numbers normally associated with Washington ("What a Difference a Day Makes"), Billie Holiday ("But Beautiful"), and Frank Sinatra ("Only the Lonely"). Aretha even manages to inject some grit into the bluesy "Muddy Water" and "Trouble in Mind," cutting loose against a background of Wes Montgomery-flavored guitar and a swinging rhythm section. Despite Miller's best efforts to sanitize Aretha's sound, LOVE SONGS comes off as a hip collection, tailor-made for cocktails and slow dancing.