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Don't Fight The Feeling: The Complete Aretha Franklin & King Curtis Live At Fillmore West Box set

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 May 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B0006SSOH2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 440,892 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
These are the complete shows recorded over three days at the filmore west.It is a limited edition of only five thousand copies.all albums are numbered.this has to be the greatest live album ever recorded.Aretha franklin the queen of soul,King curtis the greatest saxophone player in the field of r and b ,soul and rock n roll.and to top it of Ray Charles joins Aretha on stage to perform " spirit in the dark". also you will hear "respect,dr feelgood,don't play that song,by Aretha .King curtis with his mind blowing " memphis soul stew " buy this now while you've got the chance.sixty one masterpieces of music.lots of unreleased tracks that were not on the original released albums. KING CURTIS has now passed into music history having been stabbed to death outside is house in new york by a drug addict,what a waste of life.this remarkable box set is a must for all fans of 60s 70s soul music.if you don't dig this then there's no hope for you.BRIAN SAXOPHONE JONES.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9541d5b8) out of 5 stars 10 reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9573ed20) out of 5 stars Aretha, King Curtis and Ray Charles Getting Down Live 21 May 2005
By C. A. Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
By 1971, Aretha Franklin was the undisputed "Queen of Soul." yet, she had never recorded a proper live album, according to Atlantic Records producer and exec Jerry Wexler, who had signed Franklin to the label in 1966.

Between 1966 and 1971, Aretha recorded a string of R&B and blues hits for Atlantic including her signature song "Respect." She was an unparalled success, but by early 1971, she had suffered the breakup of a marriage, a rumored breakdown and struggled with other personal problems that kept her out of the Atlantic recording studios for much of 1969.

However, by 1970-71, Aretha had given birth to another child (her fourth son) and had re-emerged on the music scene, revitalized and ready to make new music. Although her name and records were fixtures in many black American homes, Wexler wanted to cross her over to mainstream audiences. He decided to record a live album with Franklin at the perfect crossover venue, San Francisco's Fillmore West, a small theater that played host to hippie or "longhair" audiences.

The Fillmore crowds often took in rock concerts by the likes of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix (both deceased by 1971), Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. Wexler figured this would be the prime time to present Franklin's brand of gospel-fueled soul to the Fillmore's regulars.

Although the Fillmore was a smallish venue for Franklin, Wexler convinced her it would provide the right intimate setting for a live recording.

He was right. For three nights in March of 1971, Aretha played to enthusiastic audiences of white hippies, conservatives, blacks, Asians, men and women and just plain old Aretha junkies. the result was the album ARETHA LIVE AT FILLMORE WEST, released on Atlantic in May 1971.

The album became a best-selling recording and the exciting live album that Wexler had always wanted. It was much better than "Aretha In Paris," a previous live recording from 1968 that found Aretha backed by a traditional and sometimes stiff sounding show band.

For the Fillmore dates, Wexler persuaded Aretha to replace her show band with a funked up group led by super-saxophonist King Curtis (Curtis Ousley). Curtis (who also wrote many of the arrangements for the Fillmore dates) also recruited the musicians, which included Truman Thomas (elec. piano), Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (Drums), Pancho Morales (Congas), Cornell Dupree (guitarist) and bassist Jerry Jemmott. To this ensemble, dubbed "the Kingpins," Curtis added special guest organist Billy Preston and the Memphis Horns.

The result was a funky band ready to groove and get down with "the Queen." As I said before, some of the music recorded at the Fillmore West was released as two seperate Atlantic albums, one by Aretha, and the other by King Curtis, "Live At Fillmore," released just three months after Aretha's Fillmore set. Both of those albums have been expanded and remastered for the digital age.

The result is "DON'T FIGHT THE FEELING: THE COMPLETE ARETHA FRANKLIN AND KING CURTIS LIVE AT THE FILLMORE WEST," a four disc, limited-edition set that includes 61 tracks, 42 of them previously unreleased.

If you are an Aretha completist, like me, it's absolutely essential.

You get to hear most of the music recorded by Aretha, King Curtis and the Kingpins over the course of the three night engagement.

"DON'T FIGHT THE FEELING..." includes both of the original live albums by Curtis and Aretha, as well as songs that were edited from the 1971 albums. Fans will get to hear Aretha tackling Jimmy Webb's "Mixed Up Girl," a tune previously recorded by singer Thelma Houston and perhaps performed only occasionally in Franklin's shows around this period. Also included are live renditions of three of Aretha's biggest hits "Call Me" "Share Your Love With Me," and "You're All I Need to Get By," which were edited from the original Fillmore album.

For the Fillmore dates, Aretha also interpreted songs composed by mainstream rock and pop musicians/songwriters Paul Simon, Stephen Stills and David Gates, and this set includes her soulful readings of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Make It With You," and "Love The One You're With."

One of the highlights of Aretha's original Fillmore live album was an extended reprise of one of her own compositions "Spirit In the Dark," in which she was joined by The Genius, Ray Charles ("He's the right Reverend, ain't he?," Aretha is heard asking the Fillmore crowd at one point...) Their historic workout on "Spirit" runs almost 20 minutes. And, as it was on the 1971 recording, "Spirit" remains as one of the high points of "DON'T FIGHT THE FEELING."

The liner notes reveal that Charles had to be convinced to let Atlantic release his portion of the show. He had to be convinced that his impromptu performance lived up to his high standards.

And does it ever! It's one of the few times Aretha and Ray were featured on a commercial recording together. They would perform on television together.

The only drawback to the four disc set is that some of the tunes become repeatative because they are repeated on the discs. So you get to hear Aretha tear into another of her classics, "Dr. Feelgood," at least three times. However, each time she does something a little bit different (Aretha never sings a song the same way). In addition to the often inspired bits of singing, you also get to hear a few missed cues, some strained notes, a crack in a lyric, and a few missteps by the band (usually the horns) and Aretha's backup singers. For example, each time the band launehed into "You're All I Need...," the singers, billed here as the "Sweethearts of Soul" (Brenda Bryant, Margeret Branch (Aretha's cousins) and Pat Smith) missed their opening cue. Not once mind you, but each time the song was performed. It's hilarious. but the kind of thing that makes a live performance so fascinating.

Turns out, even Aretha was surprised by the reception she received from the Fillmore crowds. She's heard telling them: "You have been much more than I could have ever expected..." and she promises them that they will hear more of her work wirh King Curtis. Sadly, this was not to be, for Curtis was eventually murdered, stabbed to death outside his New York apartment in August, 1971. Fittingly, this four disc set also includes some of his last recordings and serves as a fitting tribute to his memory.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9573ed74) out of 5 stars Essential 22 May 2005
By Peace Brotha - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The prior reviewer said just about everything there is to say about this set, and said it well at that.

I just want to highlight a few things mentioned. First of all, this is a limited edition set ... so when they're gone, that's it.

Second, this history-making concert is absolutely essential for any hardcore fan of Aretha's. As mentioned, she never sings a song the same way twice and there are moments of absolute transcendence here.

Even if you are not a hardcore fan of the Queen of Soul, this set is good to have for the way this complete stop at the Fillmore unfolded. King Curtis and his band were excellent, and in my opinion the best band to have EVER backed Aretha (and I've heard a lot of them). Aretha was 100% on point, too ... a little hoarse with some vocal cracks, but that's OK: this kind of soul is not about sweetness and light, it's about raw earth. No overdubs here.

This is a great set that deserves serious consideration by collectors and casual fans alike. Here's hoping that Rhino Handmade soon releases more things that are tucked away in the vault by this living legend, Miss Aretha Frankin: The One and Only Queen Of Soul.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95cb100c) out of 5 stars Killer, Killer, Killer Performances! 20 Jun. 2005
By rollo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This set has Aretha, the Queen of Soul accompanied by the King of Curtis and his all star band live at the Fillmore West in the early 70's recorded over 3 or 4 nights doing a similar show. Aretha and the king are in rare form as they give you 2, or 3 different renditions of some of the same songs such as "Dr. Feelgood", "Whiter Shade of Pale", and "Make It With You". They even performed a song I never heard before called "Mixed Up Girl" where Aretha and the band got disjointed and mixed up and the mistake was so cool that it was hip. These performances were originally recorded in excellence by Wally Heider engineers and remastered distinctly by Rhino.(who always give good remaster) If you are an Aretha or King Curtis fan, buy this record. Buy it quick. I think they only pressed about 5000 of this collection. "Don't Fight The Feeling!"
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x957e100c) out of 5 stars Aretha Fans Rejoice! 28 Jun. 2006
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In July 2006 Rhino will release a Deluxe 2 CD version of Aretha's "Live at Fillmore West". This is great news if, like me, you're an Aretha fan who cannot afford the 'Don't Fight the Feeling' set.

The first disc of the Deluxe edition is the original album and the second disc contains 13 of the best performances from all three nights including alternate versions of many songs featured on the original. The disc also includes four songs that did not appear on the original -- "Call Me," "Mixed-Up Girl," "Share Your Love With Me" and Franklin's version of Ashford and Simpson's "You're All I Need To Get By."
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95cb1810) out of 5 stars ARETHA ROCK'S THE HOUSE...BRAVO!!! 22 Aug. 2005
By Bradly Briggs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Aretha Franklin has always been a stunning singer to see in concert and I first had this wonderous experience in 1964 before Aretha hit the big time...by the time this great Fillmore concert was recorded the legend was at her peak in every way!! For me the single original disc captures this legendary event with the great King Curtis, Billy Preston and Ray Charles just fine and that is what I give Five Stars to and NOT this overly long and repetitive box set which keeps repeating itself and is only for the collector was feels the need to have every recorded note by the great Lady Soul...but the single disc burns and I enjoy it often and highly recommend it...a legendary event that will never happen again and Aretha Franklin is always a Five Star act and anyone who would give anything less knows nothing about greatness in music...Bravo Aretha and keep on rocking steady!
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