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Unforgettable: Tribute to Dinah Washington

Aretha FranklinAudio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, 1995 --  
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Complete On Columbia Sizzle Reel


“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.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 28, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000002AOB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #204,085 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Unforgettable
2. Cold, Cold Heart
3. What A Diff'rence A Day Made
4. Drinking Again
5. Nobody Knows The Way I Feel This Morning
6. Evil Gal Blues
7. Don't Say You're Sorry Again
8. This Bitter Earth
9. If I Should Lose You
10. Soulville
11. Lee Cross

Editorial Reviews

The myth that Columbia Records producers kept Aretha from finding her soul on disc has largely been discredited, and albums such as the 1964 Unforgettable are a big reason why. Working with a small, surprisingly tough rhythm section, Franklin delivers highly personalized renditions of 10 songs associated with the great Dinah Washington, who'd passed just months before. The material ranges from pop standards to Hank Williams and Bessie Smith numbers, paralleling Aretha's own eclecticism. This CD edition also includes "Lee Cross," a hip, joyous single cut at the sessions. --Rickey Wright

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Overlooked Gem June 9, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I stumbled upon this album in a used record store years before it was issued on compact disc. I have always been a huge Aretha fan but was not impressed by her Columbia work as a whole. This album was a huge surprise. In my opinion, it stands with her classic work at Atlantic Records. One can feel in her voice the raw emotion with which she sings these songs. Her sense of loss in the death of Dinah Washington is palpable. I have been a music collector for over forty years. If I were to compile a list of the ten best "forgotten" albums, this would be at or near the top of the list.
The sound on the compact disc is superb. I was delighted to see that Columbia issued the album in its entirety on CD, rather that chopping it up for another in the seemingly endless stream of Aretha compilation albums.
In short, buy the compact disc and give it a few spins. If you are an Aretha fan who has not heard this album, you will be pleased to have another master work in your collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This proves that she can be Standard Jazzy as well as Contemporary and the best was yet to come from Aretha Franklin.This is a wonderful tribute to Dinah Washington especially with Unforgettable,Cold Cold Heart,and What A Difference A Day Made just to name a few of the Albums Highlights.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Star Debuts January 20, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I'm not sure if this is Franklin's premier album: she was 21 & it seems to be. It seems to me she'd already had a hit with "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands", when she was 16: but that was a single.
The world Franklin knew (Detroit) was deep in mourning for Dinah Washington. Washington had been a friend of Franklin's father, the Rev. C.L. Franklin (whose sermons were the models for Rev. Dr. ML King, Jr, Jesse Jackson, & just about anyone who wanted to preach). Washington had encouraged Franklin & her loss must have been both personal & social.
The producer, Robert Mersey arranged the album in a way that lets one see Franklin growing. "Unforgettable" has a lot of Nat King Cole, as well as Dinah Washington. In the following cuts, Franklin follows Washington's line closely. But by "Drinking Again", I began to think I preferred Franklin's version. Finally, by "Nobody Knows the Way I Feel This Morning", we have the great Aretha Franklin: a full fledged star. And that's just the first side. What a fantastic introduction to one of the all time greats.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of her Best Columbia recordings September 1, 2005
Format:Audio CD
As a tribute to the recently departed Dinah Washington, called by many the Queen of the Blues, the future Queen of Soul recorded many of her best known songs in 1964. Needless to say the young Aretha puts her own vocal stamp on these songs, improvising lyrics here and there, and altering vocal melodies to suit her own style. That is but one of her many gifts. ( Her own songwriting and her piano playing are both quite noteworthy.) But it's the music on "Unforgetable" that some might find slightly pedestrian and "adult" in their arrangements. True, that is the one weak link in a lot of her Columbia material . But I think there are many moments of incredible musical intensity here. The organ and drum fueled "Nobody Knows the Way Feel This Morning" just smokes. The mournful trombone solo that begins "Don't Say You're Sorry Again" sets the tone for the lyric perfectly. The title track itself begins just as many of the songs on the album do; slowly the strings and the spare combo begins, building and blending with the first few somewhat undersung verses, until the vocals and instruments reach a fever pitch and almighty is let loose for the finale. "Drinking Again" , "This Bitter Earth " and "What A Diff'rence a Day Made" all follow this same pattern. Her take on "Cold Cold Heart" actually manages to rival the original Dinah Washington single ( itself a cover of the classic Hank Williams tune ) . While Dinah's versions ( she recorded this song a number of times ) featured bland backing vocals from a chorus of what sounds like a terribly uptight all white church choir, Aretha belts this number like her life depended on it. The music is spare, and the just-behind-the-beat rhythm puts her voice front and center. This cd re-issue closes with the bonus track "Lee Cross. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dinah Washington.....Aretha-ized. April 27, 2004
Format:Audio CD
The Queen of Soul before she was the Queen of soul. Aretha Recorded this tribute shortly after Dinah's death in 1964. I assume that recording a tribute album of covers to a legend who only had just died would be terrifying. Aretha did it, and did it well. Aretha, 'churchified' some select tracks from the Dinah Washington song book.Her version of "Drinking again" is an intense mature recording, and surprisingly empathetic from someone who was so young.The album shows off her range and style brilliantly. Vocal runs and prowess are great.Aretha maintained the origional dignity of the songs she was covering, and added her soul and personality into every recording, essentially "Aretha-izing" the already brilliant songs.Aretha would continue to cover songs through her long successful carrer. She always did them her way. The same way she did here. She Aretha-ized them.
Key tracks: Cold Cold Heart, What a differance a day made, Evil gal Blues, and drinking Again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh man, oh man
This is such a special album. I loved Aretha before but this completely sealed the deal. "Drinkin' Again" by itself is worth the purchase but they're all wonderful.
Published 3 months ago by Bill Mayfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Aretha's "unforgettable" tribute to one of her idols.
Let's face it: Aretha Franklin's Columbia recordings have been wrongly criticized and dismissed by many for far too long. Read more
Published on September 16, 2005 by Justo Roteta
5.0 out of 5 stars Dinah, Aretha-ized
The Queen of Soul before she was the Queen of soul. Aretha Recorded this tribute shortly after Dinah's death in 1964. Read more
Published on January 11, 2005 by B. M Peters
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I simply love it. You know why she's THE QUEEN.
Published on July 25, 2000 by Piotr
2.0 out of 5 stars Not HAPPENING
I LOVE ARETHA but this Disc is Flat.Much Like Marvin Gaye Trying to Do Frank Sinatra or Nat King Cole before His Voice Kicked In the same Goes For Aretha Here. Read more
Published on April 18, 2000 by mistermaxxx08
2.0 out of 5 stars Wrong choice of material
Just as "Queen" Dinah paid a tribute to "Empress" Bessie Smith, young Aretha paid her respect to Dinah on this 1964. Read more
Published on March 15, 2000 by Sasha
1.0 out of 5 stars An insult to Dinah Washington.
Dinah Washington is was and always will be a great legend, however she sold out in the 60's(meaning she stopped singing jazz and blues)by singing middle of the road muzak like... Read more
Published on October 13, 1999
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