Rolling Stone: 50 Greatest Aretha Franklin Songs

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Rolling Stone: 50 Greatest Aretha Franklin Songs

Post by Dexter » Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:37 pm ... gs-110647/

The 50 Greatest Aretha Franklin Songs
Essential moments from pop music’s greatest voice

“American history wells up when Aretha sings,” said no less an authority than President Barack Obama.

The vocal achievements of Aretha Franklin have informed much of modern soul, gospel, R&B, dance music and especially rock. Beyoncé considers Franklin’s voice “one of God’s blessings.” Said Mary J. Blige, “When it comes to expressing yourself through song, there is no one who can touch her. She is the reason why women want to sing.” Patti Labelle described Franklin simply as “the best singer in the world.”

Franklin’s powerful instrument can be heard across a recording career that spans nearly 60 years. On the Columbia sides of the early Sixties, she laid into standards like then-current stars Sinatra or Nat King Cole, rivaling her backing orchestras for sheer power. Her classic Sixties and Seventies sides soundtracked the Civil Rights Movement, an object lesson in how a singer can embody and define her time. As poet Nikki Giovanni wrote, Franklin “lifted her voice in question and complaint and why not and we’re going to and voiced the needs of a generation.”

From there, Franklin found homes across genres: not just a testament to the versatility of her music, but to how the world had been shaped by it. Early Eighties collaborations with Luther Vandross were a smooth slide into funk-pop and quiet storm, a mid-Eighties New Wave makeover made her an MTV star and a Eurythmics collaborator, hip-hop groups like EPMD and Gang Starr mined her funky Seventies work for beats, 1994’s “A Deeper Love” made her a chart-topping modern house diva, a collaboration with Lauryn Hill linked her neo-soul and by 2014 she gracefully covered Adele. Here’s just 50 essential songs from the greatest voice pop music has ever produced.

50. “Jump to It” (1982)
49. “Try a Little Tenderness” (1962)
48. “Rolling in the Deep (The Aretha Version)” (2014)
47. “Spanish Harlem” (1971)
46. “A Rose Is Still a Rose” (1998)
45. “People Get Ready” (1968)
44. “First Snow in Kokomo” (1972)
43. “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” (1985)
42. “Soul Serenade” (1967)
41. “See Saw” (1968)
40. “Dr. Feelgood (Love Is a Serious Business)” (1967)
39. “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1986)
38. “Good to Me As I Am to You (1968)
37. “Day Dreaming” (1972)
36. “Wholy Holy” (1972)
35. Aretha Franklin and George Michael, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (1987)
34. “I Say a Little Prayer” (1968)
33. “Freeway of Love” (1985)
32. “Are You Sure” (1961)
31. “Oh Me Oh My (I’m a Fool for You Baby)” (1971)
30. “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” (1974)
29. “A Deeper Love” (1994)
28. “Skylark” (1963)
27. “One Step Ahead” (1965)
26. “Call Me” (1970)
25. “The House That Jack Built” (1968)
24. “Lean On Me” (1971)
23. “Angel” (1973)
22. “A Change Is Gonna Come” (1967)
21. “Night Life” (1967)
20. “Eleanor Rigby” (1969)
19. “Something He Can Feel” (1976)
18. “United Together” (1980)
17. “Young, Gifted and Black” (1972)
16. Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin, “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves” (1985)
15. “(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone” (1968)
14. “Spirit in the Dark” (1970)
13. “Mary, Don’t You Weep” (1972)
12. “Drown in My Own Tears” (1967)
11. “The Weight” (1969)
10. “Rock Steady” (1971)
9. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (1971)
8. “Baby I Love You” (1967)
7. “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” (1967)
6. “Amazing Grace” (1972)
5. “Chain of Fools” (1967)
4. “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” (1967)
3. “Think” (1968)
2. “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” (1967)
1. “Respect” (1967)

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