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Soul '69 [Original recording remastered]

Aretha Franklin Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: £7.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Biography

“There are singers,” said Ray Charles, “then there is Aretha. She towers above the rest. Others are good, but Aretha is great. She’s my only sure-enough sister.”

Since the moment Aretha stepped to the pulpit at her father’s famed New Bethel Baptist Church as a young girl singing in the great gospel tradition, the world has recognized her as a musical ... Read more in Amazon's Aretha Franklin Store

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Soul '69 + Young, Gifted And Black + Spirit In The Dark
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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Jan 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rhino Records
  • ASIN: B00000335I
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,484 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Ramblin' 3:10£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Today I Sing The Blues 4:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. River's Invitation 2:40£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Pitiful 3:04£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Crazy He Calls Me 3:29£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Bring It On Home To Me 3:45£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Tracks Of My Tears 2:56£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody 3:08£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Gentle On My Mind 2:28£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. So Long 4:36£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. I'll Never Be Free 4:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Elusive Butterfly 2:45£0.79  Buy MP3 


Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Aretha's forgotten gem! If you're looking for hit singles, forget it - it's just Aretha with a stellar cast of musicians, turning her mighty talents to jazz standards, to the blues and lending her own inimitable voice to a few pop tunes too.
There's a rollicking big band version of Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me", and a haunting take on "Tracks of My Tear". If you think Smokey's version can't be bettered, just listen to this! Those 60s country-folk tunes "Elusive Butterfly" and "Gentle on My Mind" get the full-on soul treatment, with congas, flashing Fender Rhodes chords from Joe Zawinul and, of course, the girls chirping away merrily in the background.
But 2 tracks in particular stand out as a reminder that, when Aretha's firing on all cylinders, the sheer intensity and feeling in her voice can reduce you to a trembling wreck. Aretha takes James Ray's song of love betrayed,"If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody", to new heights, as she pleads "Tell me why, why did you have to hurt me?". "I'll Never Be Free" is about that one love in your life which remains, burning in your soul, long after you've gone your separate ways ("Each time I hold somebody new, My arms grow cold, thinking of you"). And when Aretha sings it, you know she's lived it.
Quite simply, this album is Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, at her very best - and then some!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost fantastic 14 Dec 2010
By TR
Format:Audio CD
This album is nearly an amazing album but doesn't quite make it. Rather than the classic Muscle Shoals musicians Aretha teamed up with on her previous hit soul albums for Atlantic here she is teamed up with a selection of jazz musicians. These include: Joe Zawinul, Ron Carter and various horn men who have appeared with the Basie Band.

On the plus side you get some storming big band versions of Ramblin, Rivers invitation and Bring it on home to me. The arrangements are great and never overwhelm Aretha's voice. You also get some soulful ballads in Today I sing the blues, So long and I'll never be free that allow Aretha to shine.

On the negative side you get some soul pop on Gentle on my mind and Elusive butterfly and also overall a few to many ballads. The're ok but dilute the strength of the album. On the truly negative side you get an absolutely attrocious cover of Tracks of my tears that is so chessy it left me having nightmares for weeks afterwards.

This album could have been a classic if they had been more rigorous in the direction they were going - a big band album. Maybe they were worried they would alienate Aretha's soul or pop following so watered it down. It's a shame as a few omissions and a few inspired replacements (why not Ray Charles guesting in a more formal capacity than he did on Aretha's Filmore album) would have made this an absolute classic.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not strictly Soul, but still a gem 26 Nov 2007
By Andy Edwards VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Aretha's collaboration with Jerry Wexler came about because, despite an obvious talent, her Record label, Columbia, had failed to ignite the fire within her, having pigeon -holed as a Jazz singer. Wexler gave her an edge, and that produced the groundbreaking "Never Loved a Man" album.

Ironic, then , that 5 albums later, Wexler took her back to Jazz, but this time with the R&B edge that allowed Aretha room to swoop and soar around the melody in her inimitable style. Soul 69 is, then, something of a misnomer, but don't let that put you off.

Starting with a big band rendition of Ramblin', it is clear that this will be an Aretha album with a difference. "River's Invitation" and "Crazy..." are notable for Kenny Burrell's guitar, and "Tracks of my Tears" and "Gentle on my Mind" both swing along in a way that neither Smokey nor Glenn Cambell could have envisaged.

For me, the stand out tracks are "Today I Sing the Blues" and "I'll Never Be Free", both aching with loss, made more poignant because Aretha was enduring troubled times, her marriage to Ted White close to breakdown.

Soul 69 is not an archetypal Aretha album, with it's big band styling, but get past that and you can hear the Queen of Soul in her usual vocal form. This is one to be savoured over time and you will come to appreciate it's place in the hearts of Aretha devotees.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What - no 10 star option?? 3 Sep 2000
By LuelCanyon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is one of the supreme recordings in the history of the medium! Aretha in the absolute prime of her self-discovery on Atlantic, the hippest Muscle Shoals musicians around, musical arrangements that are unafraid of themselves, and a superior choice of material make this THE Aretha Franklin album, in my view! Every cut is a highlight- the natural, high-flying vocal improvisations of 'Ramblin' and 'Bring It On Home To Me', Aretha's astonishing interpretation of Billie Holiday's 'Crazy He Calls Me', the remaking of 'Gentle On My Mind' into something finally so distinctive- what can one say about an art this Right, this Complete? Just keep repeating the mantra...a RE tha .... a RE tha ... a RE tha......not much else to say. Thank god the Rev. C. L. had his baby girl in our lifetimes!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUSICAL REINVENTION AT ITS BEST 1 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Easily my favorite Aretha Franklin recording, Soul '69 combines the singer's great jazz, blues and pop instincts to produce a fusion that sounds like nothing in her extensive catalogue. The recording's title is oddly misleading, providing little clue as to what this remarkable song package really offers. The wailing vocals, bluesy and jazzy, echoed by the screaming horn arrangements, and the big band productions offer some remarkable interpretations and rearrangements to a list of some well chosen contemporary -- 1969? -- songs . Aretha has never sounded so inspired. I have returned to this masterpiece many times. In an odd way, it has a seamless feel, much like Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks", that sets a consistent tone -- heartbreak? discontent? The character in these songs may be lamenting, but with a fierceness and toughness (and ocassional tenderness) that makes each song soar. The singer's reworking of Smokey's classic "Tracks of My Tears" transforms sadness into defiance. If someone has ever really done you wrong, put on this record. Believe me, you will not cry. You'll CELEBRATE having everpienced the pain. You will won't walk away from these songs feeling like anyone's victim. These songs are bewitching chants on LOVE.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best ever 22 April 2005
By Lorena L. Kelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is perhaps the best ever of Areatha's Atlantic Recordings because it masterfully showcases another side of Aretha. This album represents what Columbia Records tried to do but couldn't. As other reviewers have suggested, the title is misleading. Rather than straight up soul this album showcases Aretha's jazz and blues leanings. As she did with Otis Reddings' Respect, Lady Soul makes you forget about Smoky Robinson's rendition of Tracks of My Tears. This is no small feat. River's Invitation is a tour de force also. In addition to Aretha's searing voice, this outing is driven by outstanding sessions talents such as Richard Tee on keyboards, Bernard Purdie on Drums and I believe Cornell Dupree on guitar is along for the ride. This is definitely a must have album if you are serious about collecting great music.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It should've been called "Jazz '69"... 24 Sep 2007
By Olukayode Balogun - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
... as that would've been a far more accurate title and might have alerted many jazz lovers to the fact that the Queen of Soul had made a jazz album. I suppose one can argue that anything Aretha Franklin does is soul but still...

According to the inner-sleeve info, Franklin finished recording this album (in September 1968) at the tail end of an eighteen month high. The period had begun with the release of "I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)" in March 1967 and by the time it had ended, had included ten consecutive hit singles, seven of which were million-sellers and six topping the R&B charts. In other words, the lady was at the top of her game when she sat down at the piano surrounded by a "bevy of great musicians" to begin recording "Soul '69".

That said, the reaction to this particular piece of work was reportedly muted and I guess I can understand why. The album failed to produce any hit singles (but that has never bothered me anyway and hopefully doesn't bother anyone who reads this review) and in a second attempt to get the right folks to connect with this great music, five of the twelve songs on here were later re-released by Atlantic on a more fittingly titled album, Aretha's Jazz. They were included with three tracks from the Quincy Jones-produced Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky). I've had "Aretha's Jazz" for years and love it but I was still really happy to learn about this album and "Hey Now Hey", and a special shout out goes to my friend mackdiva for pointing both albums out to me.

Anyway, this particular album of big band arrangements and jazz instrumental improvisations was produced by Jerry Wexler and the music, especially the orchestration, was arranged and conducted by Arif Mardin. Personally, I think the album is awesome. Granted, Franklin is without peer when it comes to soul, R&B and probably even gospel but to hear her tackle jazz is a pure delight. She sounds vocally free, unfettered, unrestrained and sounds like she's enjoying every minute. It's perfect Sunday afternoon music. I love the entire album but "Ramblin'", "Today I Sing The Blues", "Crazy He Calls Me", "Elusive Butterfly" and "Pitiful" with its groaning horn refrain, will forever be my firm favourites.

If you're not into vocal jazz, I'd say approach with caution (unless you're a die-hard Aretha Frankin fan). But if you are into jazz you'll love this whether you're into Franklin or not. If you ARE a Frankin fan AND you enjoy jazz though, you'll be beaming from ear to ear. This one's an absolute winner.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I submitted this review a year ago didn't include my name. 14 Sep 2001
By WILLIAM WEBSTER - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
MUSICAL REINVENTION AT ITS BEST, June 30, 1999 Reviewer: A music fan from L.A. (Silverlake) California Easily my favorite Aretha Franklin recording, Soul '69 combines the singer's great jazz, blues and pop instincts to produce a fusion that sounds like nothing in her extensive catalogue. The recording's title is oddly misleading, providing little clue as to what this remarkable song package really offers. The wailing vocals, bluesy and jazzy, echoed by the screaming horn arrangements, and the big band productions offer some remarkable interpretations and rearrangements to a list of some well chosen contemporary -- 1969? -- songs . Aretha has never sounded so inspired. I have returned to this masterpiece many times. In an odd way, it has a seamless feel, much like Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks", that sets a consistent tone -- heartbreak? discontent? The character in these songs may be lamenting, but with a fierceness and toughness (and ocassional tenderness) that makes each song soar. The singer's reworking of Smokey's classic "Tracks of My Tears" transforms sadness into defiance. If someone has ever really done you wrong, put on this record. Believe me, you will not cry. You'll CELEBRATE having everpienced the pain. You won't walk away from these songs feeling like anyone's victim. These songs are bewitching chants on LOVE.
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