16 of Aretha's most legendary Atlantic sides...the term essential doesn't pay them enough "respect!" Includes Respect; Chain of Fools; Do Right Woman, Do Right Man; (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman; Think; I Never Loved a Man (the Way I Love You); Baby I Love You; (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone; The House That Jack Built; I Say a Little Prayer , and more.
This 16-track disc and its companion piece (Volume 2) do a great job of recapitulating Aretha's singles career at Atlantic. Some of the most compelling music ever recorded, these sides bring forth the best of one of the great singers. Whether all but rewriting "Respect" ("That girl stole my song," an admiring Otis Redding said) or barely masking the pain behind "Call Me," she tells some of the truest stories around. And what a piano player. --Rickey Wright