Respect: Aretha's Influences and Inspiration

Respect: Aretha's Influences and Inspiration


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Aretha Franklin is not especially thought of as a "cover" artist since she wrote a good deal of her own material (and had many songs supplied to her to interpret first), but she has covered many soul, R&B, and gospel songs on record. The idea behind Respect: Aretha's Influences and Inspiration is a very good one: to collect a couple dozen versions of songs, often the original ones, that Franklin herself would record, usually on Atlantic in the late '60s and early '70s (though songs that she recorded prior to 1967 on Columbia and even her teenaged '50s gospel sides, are also represented). A few of the tracks on this CD are very well known, and in fact were sometimes even big hits in their own right, like Dionne Warwick's "I Say a Little Prayer," Nina Simone's "To Be Young, Gifted and Black," Otis Redding's "Respect," Brenda Holloway's "Every Little Bit Hurts," Ray Charles' "Drown in My Own Tears," James Carr's "The Dark End of the Street," and Ben E. King's "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)." For the deeper soul fan, however, the chief pleasures are the more obscure templates that you might not already have in your collection, including cuts by legends like Wilson Pickett, Bobby Bland, Jackie Wilson, Ray Charles, Bill Withers, Percy Mayfield, Johnny Ace, James Carr, Howard Tate, and Bobby Womack. Especially interesting are the more obscure source points for Franklin, like Thelma Jones' little-known original version of "The House That Jack Built"; Dinah Washington's "Soulville," one of the hardest-rocking tracks she ever did; efforts by singers (Jean Wells on "Sit Down and Cry," and Mary Wheeler on "Prove It") who are known almost exclusively to soul collectors; and lowdown blues by Big Maybelle (on "Pitiful"). Owing to Franklin's taste and the skills of her predecessors, the effect is very much like that of hearing a good soul/R&B mixtape, but one with thoroughly expert annotation and packaging. Even some of the well-known cuts are made more interesting to experts by the use of (in the case of Redding's "Respect" and King's "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)") rarer LP versions. It does have to be said that it can't quite maintain the level of songs that were classics in their pre-Franklin incarnations (like the aforementioned ones by Redding, Simone, King, and Warwick, as well as Don Covay & the Goodtimers' "See Saw") throughout. Little Miss Cornshucks' "Try a Little Tenderness," for instance, is quaint next to the soulafied treatments of Redding or Franklin. On the whole, however, it's that too-rare cross-licensed thematic compilation that's both highly entertaining and highly educational.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/10/2009
Label: Ace Records Uk
UPC: 0029667035323
catalogNumber: 1214
Rank: 104147

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Burt Bacharach   Conductor
Weldon Irvine   Conductor
Horace Ott   Conductor
Jimmy Haskell   Conductor

Technical Credits

Percy Mayfield   Composer
Nina Simone   Arranger,Composer
Steve Cropper   Composer,Producer
Otis Redding   Composer
Titus Turner   Composer
Bill Withers   Composer,Producer
Bobby Womack   String Arrangements
Dinah Washington   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Weldon Irvine   Composer,Orchestration
Bobby Lance   Arranger,Composer
Dan Penn   Arranger,Composer
Tyran Carlo   Composer
Quinton Claunch   Producer
Ed Cobb   Composer
Tommy Cogbill   Producer
Hal David   Composer,Producer
Hal Davis   Producer
Tom Dowd   Producer
Ahmet Ertegun   Composer,Producer
Michael Gayle   Composer
Henry Glover   Composer,Producer
Berry Gordy   Composer
Rene Hall   String Arrangements
Curley Hamner   Composer
Joe Hicks   Composer
Morris Levy   Composer
Chips Moman   Arranger,Composer
Fred Norman   Arranger
Clyde Otis   Composer
Horace Ott   Arranger,Composer
Jerry Ragovoy   Composer,Producer
Don Robey   Composer
Art Rupe   Producer
David Spinozza   Arranger
Hy Weiss   Producer
Jerry Wexler   Producer
Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey   Composer
Milton DeLugg   Direction
Al Jackson   Producer
Rudolph V. "Doc" Russell   Producer
Fred Mendelsohn   Producer
Curtis Lewis   Composer
Malcolm Baumgart   Liner Notes
Mick Patrick   Liner Notes
Harry Woods   Composer
Reginald Connelly   Composer
David Mattis   Composer
Fran Robins   Composer
Lou Stallman   Composer
Rose Marie McCoy   Composer
Benjamin Nelson   Composer
John Alexander   Composer
Jimmy Haskell   Arranger
Don Covay   Composer
Marc Gordon   Producer

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