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  • Spirit in the Dark
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Spirit in the Dark Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Import


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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, December 14, 1993
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Biography

“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
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 14, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: 1970
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B00000335K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,901 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

Product Description

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

Amazon.com

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

Customer Reviews

Oh, how good it sounded starting up on the car radio!
D.V. Lindner
Her musical genius shines through on her inspired piano playing and her amazing voice displays incredible depht and emotion without sounding overbearing.
Oremi
This is definately an overlooked Aretha Franklin album.
J. M. Zuurbier

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By D.V. Lindner on 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 By LuelCanyon on 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 By J. M. Zuurbier on 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 By David G. Engelhardt on 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 By Jake Z on June 29, 2005
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 By ShinyDemon on 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Nightshift on November 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
By this time EVERYBODY knew what to expect from Aretha, and this project was no different from her past Atlantic albums which included Her Originals and Her Legendary Cover Versions!. It had gotten to the point Artists' was hoping she (Aretha) DID NOT record their songs, because by the time she'd put her 'touch' to them...It was all over, but the shouting! The "Spirit In The Dark" Album generated a total of 4 (Four) Billboard Charting Singles! The Billboard #3 Hit Single "Spirit
In The Dark", it's B-Side which 'Tagged' along for an 8 (Eight) week Billboard Chart Single run "The Thrill Is Gone", the Gold Billboard #1 Hit Single "Don't Play That Song", and Billboard #5 Hit Single "You And Me", along with Album Favorites: "Try Matty's", and "That's All I Want From You". This album too was another SMASH Album! And as always we wanted for the next Aretha Franklin Album.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kent Wittrup on 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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