6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This CD contains two albums from Aretha Franklin's Columbia period which has been maligned both rightly and wrongly for the last 40+ years. Usually this period has been criticised for poor song selection (eg. Broadway standards and overfamiliar jazz tunes) and the imposition of inappropriate productions and arrangements on Aretha. However these two albums are generally considered the best of a patchy bunch. Unforgettable is a tribute to one of Aretha's more notable vocal influences the R&B/Jazz great Dinah Washington and may've been cut after Washington's premature death in late 1963 which might explain why Aretha seems to be putting a bit more feeling into this material than alot of her Columbia sides of the time. Runnin' Out Of Fools rounds up alot of Aretha's more soul orientated sides from this period though it has a much more "uptown" soul sound than would be apparent on her titanic Atlantic sides from 1967 onwards. Since all of the songs on "Fools" are covers of recent soul hits and arguably none surpasses the original it is definitely one for the fans though it is facinating to hear Aretha tackle Dionne Warwick's immortal "Walk On By" in a nearly identical arrangement. There are occasional signs on "Fool's" of Aretha's trademark soaring, hollering, strongly gospel inflected vocal technique which she would perfect in later years but mostly things are still a little too 'polite' for those who love her classic Atlantic material, it is still a case of a 'work in progress' (though one that will be much appreciated by fans). Edsel also tack on three bonus tracks, two of which are nothing to write home about but one, "One Step Ahead", holds some extra interest for being sampled to chilling effect on Mos Def's classic "Ms. Fat Booty" (in fact I prefer Mos Def's use of the sample to the original tune (!) which never really quite gets going and one that accurately sums up so much of Aretha's Columbia work). In conclusion at this price if you are a fan you be a fool to pass on this opportunity to hear some of the strongest formative Aretha well packaged and with excellent sound quality.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2009
Aretha Franklin's early recordings while she was at Columbia consisted of material that she felt comfortable with at the time. Many gems are buried here and are well worth rediscovering, however the big bonus is the very rare and impossible to find 1964 single, One Step Ahead. Previously only available on a long out of print Columbia Greatest Hits vinyl collection, it is included here in all it's glory. Just wonderful!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 May 2013
It's early Aretha, so it's not peppered with the funky soul house-crew that made her hits some of the greatest soul sounds ever committed to tape - but this faithful and lavish tribute to Dinah is a wonderful slice of The Queen of Soul.
There is lush orchestration that echoes Dinah's expansive style, and also small group laid-back jazz, where Aretha's voice shines through clear and true.
Her love of Dinah's legacy is as obvious as this is an instant choice for any fan of great vocal performance...and my copy cost me £0.01 plus p&p, I'll get arrested sometime!