Aretha Franklin Aretha  (2-CD)
Vinyl LP Details
- Number of Records: 2
- Released: November 20, 2020
- Originally Released: 2020
- Label: Atlantic
Personnel: Aretha Franklin (vocals, keyboards); Cornell Dupree, Michael McGloiry, Paul Jackson, Jr., David Williams, Steve Lukather (guitar); David Sanborn, Dave Tofani (alto saxophone); Seldon Powell (tenor saxophone); Lew Delgatto (baritone saxophone); David "Fathead" Newman, Michael Brecker (saxophone); Lew Soloff, Randy Brecker (trumpet); Peter Gordon, John Trevor Clark (French horn); Barry Rogers (trombone); David Foster, David Paich, Richard Tee, Michael Lang (keyboards); Bob Christiansen (synthesizer); James Jamerson Sr., Scott Edward, Louis Johnson, Michael Porcaro (bass); Tony Coleman (bass, drums, keyboards, background vocals); Bernard Purdie, Ed Green, Jeff Porcaro (drums); George Devens (percussion); Todd Cochran (programming).
Background vocals: Cissy Houston, Myrna Smith, Sylvia Shemwell, Estelle Brown, The Original Sweet Inspirations, Edie Lehmann, Marti McCall, Myrna Mathews, Charles Jackson, Hamish Stuart and Brenda Corbett.
Producers: Arif Mardin, Chuck Jackson, Aretha Franklin.
Engineers include: Lee DeCarlo, Frank Kejmar, Jeremy Smith.
This is Aretha Franklin with not just strings, but plenty of horns, keyboards, disco grooves and Eighties-style synths. One's enjoyment of the album depends on how much one is willing to plough through to get to the point, which is Franklin's amazing voice. While the gospel-style backup singing on Franklin's Atlantic material was lean and funky, here it can verge on the cloying. These aren't Aretha's Muscle Shoals recordings, but there are still plenty of great musicians on this record, people like Steve Lukather, James Jamerson, Steve Porcaro and Cornell Dupree. Likewise, while the material can't hold a candle to tunes like "Respect" or "Think," it's letter-perfect R&B for the Eighties, and Franklin sings the hell out of what she's got to work with. After you listen to this, check out a compilation like ARETHA'S GOLD for further proof of what the fuss is really all about.
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