By Raymond Ward, Chicago Crusader
LONG LIVE THE QUEEN! When Aretha Franklin joined Atlantic Records in 1967, it was the beginning of an unprecedented run that would ultimately cement her place as a music legend, a global household name, and one of the most influential singers of all time. Within the space of just three years, her name was almost never out of the U.S. Pop and R&B Top 20, garnering nine gold singles, three gold albums, as well as three Grammy Awards and her first string of international hits.
Atlantic and Rhino Records will release a new collection that spotlights this historic period in her career. The Atlantic Singles Collection 1967-1970 will be available in two physical formats on September 28, with a double-CD ($19.98) and a double-LP ($31.98) versions available. The collection will also be available for digital download and via streaming services.
The Atlantic Singles Collection 1967-1970 features 34 singles which Franklin released during her first three years with Atlantic Records. The track listing for the vinyl version has been shortened to fit the LP format.
Arranged chronologically, the songs on the new collection originally appeared on six studio albums: I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You (1967), Aretha Arrives (1967), Lady Soul (1968), Aretha Now (1968), Soul ’69 (1969), This Girl’s In Love With You (1970) and Spirit In The Dark (1970). The only exception is Franklin’s cover of Elton John’s “Border Song,” which was released as a single in 1970 and later appeared on her 1972 album Young, Gifted and Black.
The Atlantic Singles Collection 1967 – 1970 is stacked with many of Franklin’s best-known songs including the nine #1 R&B hits “I Never Loved A Man,” “Respect” (also a Pop #1), “Baby I Love You,” “Chain Of Fools,” “(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone,” “Think,” “Share Your Love With Me,” “Call Me” and “Don’t Play That Song.”
Several of the songs on this collection are cover versions that underscore Aretha Franklin’s exceptional skill at reinterpreting music and making songs her own. Among the highlights are her versions of Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me,” The Band’s “The Weight,” The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” and Dionne Warwick’s “I Say A Little Prayer,” which became a Billboard Top 10 hit for Franklin in 1968.