RTIST: Aretha Franklin
TITLE: Lady Soul
YEAR RELEASED: 1968
CHART ACTION: #2 US, #1 R&B, #25 UK
SINGLES: (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (#8 US, #2 R&B, #79 UK), Chain of Fools (#2 US, #1 R&B, #37 UK), (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone (#5 US, #1 R&B, #47 UK), Ain’t No Way (#16 US, #9 R&B)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Covers some well known tracks too
LINEUP: Aretha Franklin, Roger Hawkins, Eric Clapton, Bobby Womack, Joe South, Jimmy Johnson, Tommy Cogbill, Spooner Oldham, King Curtis, Warren Smith, other horn players, Erma Franklin, Carolyn Franklin, Cissy Houston
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A classic record containing crucial hits and soulful interpretations, backed by a crack band. What’s not to love?
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Featuring tracks written especially for her, some originals written by her or her sister, and some nice covers, this album burned up radio and turntables in 1968.
Two singles released in 1967 paved the way, whetting everyone’s appetite for the album. The first three singles are signature tracks for her entire career (interesting that “Natural Woman” only hit #8 since that’s such an anthem). Aretha’s depth shows while giving performances of the covers like “People Get Ready”. She puts it all in those tracks as well instead of just quickly finishing them to make the numbers.
With such a packed record, it shouldn’t be a question what grade to give it. The question should be is it better than her first Atlantic record. Hmmm….
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Carolyn Franklin wrote “Ain’t No Way”, which charted as a B-side. It’s that good.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, single mixes and a long version of “Chain of Fools”
GRADE A+: Another classic Aretha record.