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Spirit in the Dark [Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered]

Aretha FranklinAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Price: $23.35 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2008 $9.49  
Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, 1993 $23.35  
Vinyl, 2003 $18.92  

Amazon's Aretha Franklin Store


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“There are singers,” said Ray Charles, “then there is Aretha. She towers above the rest. Others are good, but Aretha is great. She’s my only sure-enough sister.”

Since the moment Aretha stepped to the pulpit at her father’s famed New Bethel Baptist Church as a young girl singing in the great gospel tradition, the world has recognized her as a musical ... Read more in Amazon's Aretha Franklin Store

Visit Amazon's Aretha Franklin Store
for 252 albums, 6 photos, videos, discussions, and more.

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Frequently Bought Together

Spirit in the Dark + Young, Gifted and Black + Lady Soul
Price for all three: $49.77

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  • Young, Gifted and Black $21.42
  • Lady Soul $5.00

Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 14, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: 1970
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B00000335K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,127 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Don't Play That Song
2. The Thrill Is Gone (From Yesterday's Kiss)
3. Pullin'
4. You And Me
5. Honest I Do
6. Spirit In The Dark
7. When The Battle Is Over
8. One Way Ticket
9. Try Matty's
10. That's All I Want From You
11. Oh No Not My Baby
12. Why I Sing The Blues

Editorial Reviews

One of Aretha's most committed-sounding albums--which, of course, is really saying something--the 1970 Spirit in the Dark remains among the high points of her Atlantic work. The breakup of her marriage may be an unspoken theme, but just as striking is her reinvention of well-known songs and motifs, even more dramatic here than usual. Both dovetail in her take on "The Thrill Is Gone," which climaxes on a surprising interpolation of the phrase "free at last." --Rickey Wright

Product Description

From 1970 one of her most overlooked but one of her best!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When this plays, I'm 16 again March 20, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Although a hit-and-miss quality may have come later, frankly, no album by Aretha Franklin originally released between 1967 and 1974 was a weak one. The "Spirit In The Dark" LP, Atlantic 8265, arrived smack-center in that golden zone on August 24, 1970. I distinctly remember her introducing "Don't Play That Song," which came out as a 45 (Atlantic 2751) on July 20th, on the Johnny Carson show. Then it was hurry as fast as one could to a record store - you didn't dawdle once you knew she had a new one. Put on this song (and maybe Bread's "Make It With You") and it's the summer of '70 again. Oh, how good it sounded starting up on the car radio!
Much as she did with Otis Redding's "Respect," she here takes B.B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone" and makes a lasting personal imprint yet again. Best with headphones on, where it's just you and her voice and magnificent piano work, with all other distractions locked out. "Spirit In The Dark" (which, along with "Thrill," was another single, Atlantic 2731, 5/7/70) is one of the best examples of gospel-meets-secular in Aretha's catalog. Fully five of Aretha's own compositions are contained here - the most she put on a single album. Among these, both "Pullin'" and "You And Me" also saw release as B-sides on singles.
For me, the great jewel in this one was and still is Gerry Goffin & Carole King's "Oh No Not My Baby." A happy song, with everyone warning Aretha that the guy's no good, but she triumphs in the end: "Yesterday he gave me a ring..." Listening to Franklin's jubilant delivery, one can't help mentally listing other items from the Goffin-King songbook we could wish Aretha had also interpreted. (Imagine the serious warning she might have delivered on "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby'"!)
This one won't fail you, folks.
Read more ›
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars UNBEATABLE ! September 3, 2000
Format:Audio CD
There are three reasons this disc gets the high five rating: 'The Thrill is Gone', 'Try Matty's' and 'Why I Sing the Blues' ! I always felt this was an under-appreciated effort by Aretha. Aretha's piano work is forever as distinctive as is Ray Charles', and 'Try Matty's', besides being SUCH an Aretha song!, is transported by the glistening piano work she pulls off! This is one of the best of Ahmet Ertegun's almost mystical collaborations with this Genius! 'Why I Sing the Blues' with its compound rhythms and that un-bottled phrase "Lookit! I brought this talent back - move over and give it some!" is both a political anthem and one of the most sophisticated pieces of pop around. Aretha is a rare force of nature and this disc smokes like a hurricane! Get it!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Aretha December 11, 2005
Format:Audio CD
This is definately an overlooked Aretha Franklin album. While it's not her best of her Atlantic albums, it still holds it's own and is very consistent. Some really inspired cover song choices, the best being her version of "Oh No Not My Baby". This album features the most of her own compositions, 5 in total. She sounds refreshed and overall it's an enjoyable album start to finish.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soul In the pocket December 5, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Listen this is a great album. Aretha plays piano on each tune which in itself is a treat. Side One is a jewel...I have 2000 records and I come back to this one alot. I actually have it on vinyl and came here to buy it for a friend.

The band is so in the pocket...if you are a musician trying to feel it...this is a good teacher.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Album June 29, 2005
By Jake Z
Format:Audio CD
This is a nice album from Aretha's early career. It includes two hit singles including the title track and "Don't Play That Song". This album also contains quite a few songs that she wrote herself, 5 in total. Some interesting cover choices from Jimmy Reed to B.B. King, also a great cover of "Oh No Not My Baby". Her voice is in top form. Overall a great R&B soul album from the Queen!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who will wear the Crown? November 12, 2009
Format:Audio CD
The Queen Of Soul indeed. This album rolls along like thunder in the hills.
She makes Whitney and Mariah sound like Tom Waits wheezing into a paper bag.
All Aretha's Atlantic albums are essential. Every home should have them.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Before "Who's Zoomin' Who," There Was... March 15, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Aretha's swingingest studio session of the '70s, with tributes to Ben E. King, Carole King, B.B. King and Jimmy Reed, and an all-star cast highlighted by Duane Allman's lower-register guitar part on Dr. John's "When This Battle Is Over." If there are any sceptics left, she proved it all here. Ask the experts. Superlatives cannot do this album justice. It's really that good. Not to underrate "Money Won't Change You" or "The Old Landmark" or "Til You Say You Love Me," but still. Amaze your friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Aretha's Masterpiece June 13, 2011
By Oremi
Format:Audio CD
I believe this is Aretha's more consistent album ever. Her musical genius shines through on her inspired piano playing and her amazing voice displays incredible depht and emotion without sounding overbearing.Her compositions rank among her best ever. Spirit in the Dark is for me a showcase for Aretha's essence as a singer.I've listened to this music almost on a daily basis and never cease to be uplifted by this woman's inredible power.OHHHHH I feel the Spirit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Got my all time favorite Aretha song on it---"Pullin"
Published 3 days ago by Russ Keller
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
An Artetha Franklin must have
Published 1 month ago by lectro pro
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love it!
Published 2 months ago by Germaine Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars Something Is Really Beginning For The Queen Of Soul!
With the long awaited release of her This Girl's in Love With You at the very start of the year, Aretha Franklin made it perfectly clear that she was going to keep sticking with... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Andre S. Grindle
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a true Remaster! Dissapointed.
I purchased this from Michael's Rare CD's and More, sold as a remastered album. Having received this great Aretha album today, I can tell you, this is NOT a remaster. Read more
Published 6 months ago by chuck deccio
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Aretha
Another classic Aretha album on Atlantic. Perhaps not the acme of her production there, but these are quibbles when we're discussing a talent as awesome as Aretha's. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sun Ira
5.0 out of 5 stars Aretha comes thru
The CD title says it all, this is a great blend of songs and Aretha knocks a few of these tunes out of the park. Read more
Published 11 months ago by PM Blues
5.0 out of 5 stars release the spirit
This was another tremendous album by Aretha that remains unjustly underrated by most of her fans. Maybe they just haven't heard the whole thing? Read more
Published on April 11, 2012 by Donald E. Gilliland
1.0 out of 5 stars Unplayable CD
I ordered this CD from Amazon LLC .It arrived in a timely fashion well packaged.When I tried to play the music on the item it was unplayable ,it sounded like it had been dragged... Read more
Published on March 7, 2012 by redgusjack
5.0 out of 5 stars buy it
this album is excellent; blues, Rhythm & blues, all together in a very good album.
Published on July 13, 2008 by Alessandro Filippini
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