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Young, Gifted And Black Original recording remastered

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Amazon's Aretha Franklin Store


Image of album by Aretha Franklin


Image of Aretha Franklin


“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

Visit Amazon's Aretha Franklin Store
for 247 albums, 6 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Young, Gifted And Black + Spirit In The Dark + Aretha Now
Price For All Three: 24.58

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  • Spirit In The Dark 7.95
  • Aretha Now 7.95

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Product details

  • Audio CD (31 Jan 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rhino Records
  • ASIN: B00000335M
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,832 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.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Oh Me Oh My [I'm A Fool For You Baby] 3:420.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Day Dreaming 3:590.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Rock Steady 3:130.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Young, Gifted And Black 3:340.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. All The King's Horses 3:560.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. A Brand New Me 4:260.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. April Fools 3:290.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. I've Been Loving You Too Long 3:360.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. First Snow In Kokomo 4:040.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. The Long And Winding Road 3:380.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Didn't I [Blow Your Mind This Time] 3:420.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Border Song [Holy Moses] 3:190.99  Buy MP3 

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By David R. Bishop VINE VOICE on 15 Jan 2007
Format: Audio CD
Young Gifted and Black is my favorite Aretha Franklin album. It's not her most highly acclaimed, and not her most succesful. There isn't a British hit single here, but what feeling and what healing pours out of the grooves.

The title track was a No 1 British hit for Bob & Marcia in 1970. As much as I like that version and Nina Simone's original, Aretha takes the song to a whole new place. Her voice swoops and soars around the melody, taken at a slow pace.

'Brand New Me', 'Oh Me Oh My (I'm A Fool For You Baby)' and 'Day Dreaming' are joyous statements of new love. Her own song 'First Snow In Kokomo' offers a rare glimpse into Aretha's personal life, and a happy new relationship.

The album has it's dark corners, notably 'All The Kings Horses' (covered a couple of years ago by Joss Stone on 'Soul Sessions'). Never was a hopeless lost love lamented so finely. Given that, the album is much more upbeat than much of her earlier work. There isn't a single blues on this set. I love Aretha singing blues, but she was always capable of a lot more too.

She was never a prolific songwrier, most of the songs here were versions of songs that had been out before. I don't use the term 'cover versions', because Aretha Franklin brought something new and special to every song she sang. She chose her songs with care, wisdom and the odd flash of genious. She was probably the first major artist to acknowledge Elton John by including 'Border Song'.

'Rock Steady' proves that the lady could funk it up with the best of them, and she makes The Beatles 'Long and Winding Road' sound like a gospel song.

If you have a greatest hits compilation and want to get into Aretha Franklin a bit more, then I recommend this one as a great starting place.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andy Edwards TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 Nov 2007
Format: Audio CD
By the time Aretha released "Young Gifted and Black" in 1972, she had proved that she could bounce back from something of a commercial slump, with her triumphant live concerts in San Francisco (Feb 1971), which resulted in a hugely succesful live album. Some of the songs here had been recorded well before those live dates, with Aretha going back into the studio shortly afterwards to complete the album. Looking back over her career, this period can be seen as possibly Aretha's most creative - she is clearly at her peak, both interpreting other's material and writing her own songs.

Aretha had produced an anthem for Black pride with "Respect", and she revisited that theme with the title track, a gospel infused rendition of Nina Simone's composition, and there is a similar feel on her interpretations of both "Long and Winding Road" and "Border Song". The latter surprised many, but surely can be viewed as a plea for equality and tolerance, in keeping with the title track. That said, it is the deeply personal songs which define this set, giving a portrait of the artist that had been only glimpsed previously.

Of these, "All the Kings Horses", a bleak tribute to her failed marriage to Ted White, and "A Brand New Me" a celebration of her new found optimism stand out. Similarly "Day Dreaming" is clearly a reference to her new love, as is "First Snow in Kokomo". From the same sessions, "Bridge Over Troubled Water" became a smash single (only appearing on a Greatest Hits album) and "With Pen in Hand" was held over to her 1974 album "Let Me n Your Life", probably because it was TOO personal for the 1972 release.

Throughout the album, there is impressive support on backing vocals, from her sisters, Erma and Caroline, and The Sweet Inspirations.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
This is a quality recording with Aretha Franklin sounding brilliant, with all the backing music really well recorded. This is class !!!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By audry on 14 Mar 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In my younger years I had this as an album. I loved it then. I love it as a CD.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 24 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Essential Aretha 25 July 2001
By "chasmusic" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I can remember where I was when I first heard certain Aretha Franklin songs: outside an ice cream parlour on a hot July day hearing Spanish Harlem from the shop girl's radio; driving down a dusty country road at night under a canopy of stars and groovin' to Rock Steady and lying on a beach in Tunisia, this beautiful country of ancient Carthage and mosques and hearing Don't Play That Song For Me. Young, Gifted and Black was a pivotal album for me. From the jazzy strain of the first song Oh Me Oh My, the sweet and sensual Day Dreaming, the sexy, funky groove of Rock Steady to the stirring Black consciousness raising song, Young, Gifted and Black. The covers of songs from artists Otis Redding, the Beatles, Burt Bacharach and Elton John are remarkable. In the song, I've Been Loving you too Long, hear the desperate/defiant pleading in her voice, "I've been loving and loving you too long, don't make me stop now." The raw emotion she projects gets to me every time. With the Beatle's, Long and Winding Road and Elton John's, Border Song, she takes these songs to Church, fills them with gospel fervour and testifies with them. Aretha is accompanied by the cream of session musicians, Richard Tee, Billy Preston, Grady Tate and Cornell Dupree, and vocal backing by the incomparable Sweet Inspirations. Every song on this album is a gem, a minor miracle. Aretha Franklin reached her zenith with this album. This is a timeless classic, and an essential Aretha Franklin recording.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Epitome 4 Feb 2006
By Joseph Knecht - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have to echo Tall Paul's comments above. I'm a dabbling soul fan, and a friend recently recommended "Rock Steady." When he asked me if I knew it I kept thinking of some other "Rock Steady." You know the mid 90's RNB-groove-one? It's by "The Whispers," Google just told me so. That's what came to mind when he said "Rock Steady." He gave me a funny look.

At the same time, it popped up in the great book Yes, Yes Y'all: Oral History of Hip Hop's First Decade. Aforementioned friend gave me a disc of mp3 music with "Rock Steady" on it. Now I understand that funny look. I fell immediately in love with it's funky soul, and it's quite possibly my favorite song at this moment.

So today I'm driving through town, and I see a funky red sign on the sidewalk reading "Estate Sale - Vintage Vinyl." Lucky for me, it was my day off, and I resolved to stop in.

Inside a failed coffee shop stands its owner with some random "estate sale" detritus and 10 boxes of vinyl. You never know what you'll see in those kinds of boxes. Of course, there are the regulars: the apparently much loved and apparently much left such as Sergio Mendez and Brazil '66 (and/or '77), Sing Along with Mitch, the "Hooked on Swing" comps, and plenty of faceless instrument records with exclamatory titles like "Conga Brass!" or "Powerful Percussion!" But in between those, there's always something else, and if you're lucky, you find something great.

Today I was lucky. I found it: "Young, Gifted and Black," in "A" condition. Based on first listen and what the estate guy said, this record may never have been played before tonight. Apart from "Rock Steady," I hadn't heard it yet. Now I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have just heard this record for the first time.

Aretha is abolutely perfect. Thrilling. She soars on each song, hitting especially amazing heights on the title cut in particular. In terms of pure melodic precision, I can't think of a voice so, well, PURE, save maybe Ella Fitzgerald. I don't think the musicians and arrangements could be any better. Bernard Purdie on drums, Donny Hathaway on keys; these are good names to find. To top it off, this record (all but two tracks) have Tom Dowd at the controls. That means the recording sounds absolutely fantastic. I learned about Mr Dowd through a wonderful documentary I recently (still on the TIVO!) saw on IFC. In it are pictures of Tom and Aretha, probably from these very sessions!

For me today, upon the first listen of this record, it's as though the planets have aligned and this record is the result. That's just barely hyperbole. It truly delights me that there are still musical gems like this, 34 years old, that I can still experience with virgin ears. After the experience, I can say with total confidence that for any fan of black music (go ahead and get upset if you must, but you shouldn't), this album is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL.

(And Tall Paul is right, I think this record must be heard on vinyl for best results, and he eplained why well. So do yourself a favor and dust off the old turntable, your ears will thank you.)
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Great set that is missing 3 must-have tracks 21 Oct 2007
By Peace Brotha - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Yep, YGB is one of the soul masterpieces of the early 70's. I can't possibly add anything more to all of the excellent reviews here, except this:

The 3 cuts that SHOULD have been released with this reissue from the beginning as bonus material are now finally available on the 'Rare and Unreleased Recordings From The Golden Reign Of The Queen Of Soul' set. (Smooth title, eh? Whew.)

Those cuts -- Heavenly Father, I Need A Strong Man, and My Cup Runneth Over -- were recorded during the YGB sessions, according to the excellent liner notes written by David Nathan. Each of them are easily the equal of anything that made it to the final album.

The 'Golden Reign' is essential for any Aretha fan on its own merits. But if you specifically like the sound Aretha had on YGB, you should check it out for those 3 tracks (or purchase them on iTunes or something). You will wonder how in the world they were left off the original YGB release!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Classic Aretha; A Gorgeous Blend of Pop and Soul 4 Nov 2005
By saint james - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
It was a extraordinary task. A monumental one, yet I have finally come up with a favorite Aretha album/cd. "Young, Gifted and Black" has won the honor. I love this album because of the beautiful choice of songs and the blend of gospel infused soul music mixed with some of her sophisticated pop songs chosen for this project.

Aretha is in fine vocal form. Here you don't experience the gritty hoarse notes that are evident on some of the earlier releases ala "Dr. Feelgood" and others. Those recordings have their own charm and soulful beauty. They rushed Aretha into the ears and hearts of many appreciative listeners and made them fans. "Young, Gifted and Black" cemented Aretha as the Queen of Soul. Here, Aretha is sharp, clever and versatile. Her writing is inspired; "Daydreaming" and "First Snow in Kokomo" (one of my all time favorite Aretha compositions). Her interpretations are equal, even better than the originals in most cases; "Brand New Me"; with Aretha's jazzy piano jam and her scat-like vamp; A KILLER! "Oh Me Oh My (A Fool For You) is a soulful and restrained version of original artist Lulu's rendering. Listen to Aretha sing ..."I really don't care" into the second line of the second bar. You'll believe she is tellin' the truth. When Aretha sings the chorus with that vampy harmonized female background it is the epitome of soul. Soul music is less about the subject matter and the style of singing than it is about the portrayal of real emotion projected into the interpretaion of the lyric. Aretha hits almost all the points on this projects with just one notable exception....

Aretha's failed version of the Delphonic's "Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time?" is really and truly a mess. Aretha overplays her hand with a overly ambitious background vocal arrangement which sounds like an early rehearsal tape of what it was meant to become. The voices don't blend here. One second soprano with a wide open vibratto is the chief offensive participant. She strains to sing the first soprano part and it sounds awful. Her own lead is at the top of her register and nearing vocal histrionics. Too much. She all but obliterates the beautiful melody. Leaving the original version the definitive version.

Aretha's turn at Dionne Warwick's "April Fools" is an ambitious attempt to show versatility and an appreciation for an absolutely beautiful lyric. Her overblown arrangement obscures the stunning sentimentality of the words. This song needed the sophistication and subtle approach that the writers intended. Dionne caught and mastered it. Sorry 'Ree.

This project is an excellent presentation of Aretha's vocal virtuosity; her composition skill and her funky piano genious. Many of her hits; "Respect", "Natural Woman", "Think", "Since You Been Gone" and many others can be heard on radio every day. These under-appreciated stylings are seldom heard anywhere other than a true Aretha officionado's turntable or CD player. A Classic in every sense of the word. If you don't have this. Your collection is incomplete.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Absolutely Brilliant 8 Mar 2007
By P. K. Thomas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I remember this album from youth. My mother had the original on vinyl and found solace, inspiration and truth in this blissfully soulful offering from Ms. Franklin, the undisputed best female voice America has ever produced. To say that my mother almost wore a hole in this record is an understatement. At the ripe old of 5 I could sing Day Dreaming, All the King's Horses and Rock Steady from memory. And my mother made sure that I knew that I was indeed young, gifted and black! I'm 35 years older now and was happy to find that not only did I still remember the words but now I truly understand what they mean. I can appreciately Ms. Franklin's interpretation of the Beatles' Long and Winding Road as well as Elton John's Border Song. I can feel and identify with the emotions that she imbues into each and every song. More importantly I can truly appreciate Aretha's true gift of soul and artistry. This is one of my favorite albums not only because of the sentimental memories I've attached to it but for the pure beauty of it! If you want to hear Aretha Franklin at her best (not just the hits) get this CD!
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