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Young Gifted & Black

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Vinyl, January 15, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

Product Details

  • Vinyl (January 15, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: 2013
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: City Hall (Generic)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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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
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Customer Reviews

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See all 30 customer reviews
I remember when this album was first released.
Veronica Scott-Torres
Songs, Lyrics, Musicians, and Voice all come together in perfect form.
To me, it is by far one of the best she's done, period.
John L.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "chasmusic" on July 25, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I can remember where I was when I first heard certain Aretha Franklin songs: outside an ice cream parlour on a hot July day hearing Spanish Harlem from the shop girl's radio; driving down a dusty country road at night under a canopy of stars and groovin' to Rock Steady and lying on a beach in Tunisia, this beautiful country of ancient Carthage and mosques and hearing Don't Play That Song For Me. Young, Gifted and Black was a pivotal album for me. From the jazzy strain of the first song Oh Me Oh My, the sweet and sensual Day Dreaming, the sexy, funky groove of Rock Steady to the stirring Black consciousness raising song, Young, Gifted and Black. The covers of songs from artists Otis Redding, the Beatles, Burt Bacharach and Elton John are remarkable. In the song, I've Been Loving you too Long, hear the desperate/defiant pleading in her voice, "I've been loving and loving you too long, don't make me stop now." The raw emotion she projects gets to me every time. With the Beatle's, Long and Winding Road and Elton John's, Border Song, she takes these songs to Church, fills them with gospel fervour and testifies with them. Aretha is accompanied by the cream of session musicians, Richard Tee, Billy Preston, Grady Tate and Cornell Dupree, and vocal backing by the incomparable Sweet Inspirations. Every song on this album is a gem, a minor miracle. Aretha Franklin reached her zenith with this album. This is a timeless classic, and an essential Aretha Franklin recording.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Knecht on February 3, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I have to echo Tall Paul's comments above. I'm a dabbling soul fan, and a friend recently recommended "Rock Steady." When he asked me if I knew it I kept thinking of some other "Rock Steady." You know the mid 90's RNB-groove-one? It's by "The Whispers," Google just told me so. That's what came to mind when he said "Rock Steady." He gave me a funny look.

At the same time, it popped up in the great book Yes, Yes Y'all: Oral History of Hip Hop's First Decade. Aforementioned friend gave me a disc of mp3 music with "Rock Steady" on it. Now I understand that funny look. I fell immediately in love with it's funky soul, and it's quite possibly my favorite song at this moment.

So today I'm driving through town, and I see a funky red sign on the sidewalk reading "Estate Sale - Vintage Vinyl." Lucky for me, it was my day off, and I resolved to stop in.

Inside a failed coffee shop stands its owner with some random "estate sale" detritus and 10 boxes of vinyl. You never know what you'll see in those kinds of boxes. Of course, there are the regulars: the apparently much loved and apparently much left such as Sergio Mendez and Brazil '66 (and/or '77), Sing Along with Mitch, the "Hooked on Swing" comps, and plenty of faceless instrument records with exclamatory titles like "Conga Brass!" or "Powerful Percussion!" But in between those, there's always something else, and if you're lucky, you find something great.

Today I was lucky. I found it: "Young, Gifted and Black," in "A" condition. Based on first listen and what the estate guy said, this record may never have been played before tonight. Apart from "Rock Steady," I hadn't heard it yet. Now I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have just heard this record for the first time.

Aretha is abolutely perfect.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Peace Brotha on October 21, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Yep, YGB is one of the soul masterpieces of the early 70's. I can't possibly add anything more to all of the excellent reviews here, except this:

The 3 cuts that SHOULD have been released with this reissue from the beginning as bonus material are now finally available on the 'Rare and Unreleased Recordings From The Golden Reign Of The Queen Of Soul' set. (Smooth title, eh? Whew.)

Those cuts -- Heavenly Father, I Need A Strong Man, and My Cup Runneth Over -- were recorded during the YGB sessions, according to the excellent liner notes written by David Nathan. Each of them are easily the equal of anything that made it to the final album.

The 'Golden Reign' is essential for any Aretha fan on its own merits. But if you specifically like the sound Aretha had on YGB, you should check it out for those 3 tracks (or purchase them on iTunes or something). You will wonder how in the world they were left off the original YGB release!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By saint james on November 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
It was a extraordinary task. A monumental one, yet I have finally come up with a favorite Aretha album/cd. "Young, Gifted and Black" has won the honor. I love this album because of the beautiful choice of songs and the blend of gospel infused soul music mixed with some of her sophisticated pop songs chosen for this project.

Aretha is in fine vocal form. Here you don't experience the gritty hoarse notes that are evident on some of the earlier releases ala "Dr. Feelgood" and others. Those recordings have their own charm and soulful beauty. They rushed Aretha into the ears and hearts of many appreciative listeners and made them fans. "Young, Gifted and Black" cemented Aretha as the Queen of Soul. Here, Aretha is sharp, clever and versatile. Her writing is inspired; "Daydreaming" and "First Snow in Kokomo" (one of my all time favorite Aretha compositions). Her interpretations are equal, even better than the originals in most cases; "Brand New Me"; with Aretha's jazzy piano jam and her scat-like vamp; A KILLER! "Oh Me Oh My (A Fool For You) is a soulful and restrained version of original artist Lulu's rendering. Listen to Aretha sing ..."I really don't care" into the second line of the second bar. You'll believe she is tellin' the truth. When Aretha sings the chorus with that vampy harmonized female background it is the epitome of soul. Soul music is less about the subject matter and the style of singing than it is about the portrayal of real emotion projected into the interpretaion of the lyric. Aretha hits almost all the points on this projects with just one notable exception....

Aretha's failed version of the Delphonic's "Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time?" is really and truly a mess.
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