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I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You

June 20, 1995 | Format: MP3

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Song Title
Time
Popularity Prime  
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2:27
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4:07
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2:51
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2:39
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2:23
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2:54
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3:23
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2:10
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3:16
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4:20
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2:28
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2:46
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3:14
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By David W. Coleman on June 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Aretha Franklin always had the tools. She was the daughter of a minister and grew up singing in the church. She could also play a mean piano, whether slow and soulfully, or fast and rollicking. At the age of 18 she signed with Columbia Records. For the next 6 years, she recorded a huge body of work, ranging from jazz and blues, to standards and pop, to straight R&B and soul. The label didn't seem to know what to do with her, in terms of consistent direction. But all of that dues-paying singing Aretha did in those early years would soon pay off in a big way. When her CBS contract expired, Atlantic Records snapped her up faster than you can say "Gold Records." The rest, as they say, is history. This album changed things all at once for Aretha. Its release proved to be both a coming-out party and a coronation. And a singer who, to that point, was considered an also-ran amidst the landscape of soul-singing Sisters, took her rightful place as The Queen of Soul. It is a place she still holds today. No one could do it like Aretha! This landmark set contained two singles that changed the face of pop music. The title cut set the tone with its first biting line: "You're a no good heartbreaker!" But, of course, Aretha loves him. In that way, she was like a lot of other women, especially Black women. That's really the key to Aretha's success: she knows how to talk to women. Sisterhood has really always been where she was coming from. The next single, "Respect," is considered by most to be the greatest pop single of all time. Which is amazing, considering that its writer, Otis Redding, had a big R&B hit with the song only 2 years prior.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
A lot of people have called this the best soul album ever. That's selling it short. Certainly Aretha Franklin's voice and piano playing, along with those fat horns behind her, are the very definition of soul. But this album is so good that if you made a list of the best albums of all times in ANY genre this one would have to be on it.
Even if you own one of the greatest hits collections, or even the boxed set, you need this album (and probably "Lady Soul" as well). It just all hangs together so beautifully.
"Respect" starts it off with a great big blast of horns and Aretha's commanding voice. Then she slows down and breaks your heart with "Drown In My Own Tears." Most of the rest of the songs on the album are more emotionally complicated, combining the qualities of the first two songs. They mine the pain of deep love and at the same time demand respect and decent treatment (You have to understand that this album came out in 1967 - several years before the modern feminist movement began - to realize how remarkable that is. And to this day I don't think any singer other than Lauryn Hill has captured women's simultaneous need for love and dignity as well).
The album ends on a perfect note: Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come." Cooke originally wrote the song as a kind of response to Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changing." Cooke was more optimistic than Dylan, and the song suggests that despite the pain and turmoil of the sixties, better days were ahead, particularly in the area of civil rights. It's also a deeply religious song. When Aretha sings it, she holds out the same hope and optimism for the country that Sam Cooke did. But in the context of the album, it seems to take on a more personal meaning as well.
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Format: Audio CD
So much has been written about this album that it's really tough to add anything new. And the term "classic" is thrown around so much these days that it's hard to put it into any useful perspective. But the bottom line is this: any serious fan of music should have a copy of this; it trascends all labels, all boundaries. It is a must have. And there is a reason Rolling Stone Magazine gives this 5 stars and calls this "the Best Soul Album Ever Recorded" ( it says so right on the cd package.) From the instantly recognizable sass and strut of "Respect", to the blues belter "Dr Feelgood", through the Bossa Nova-flavoured "Don't Let Me Lose This Dream", every song is a winner. Miss Franklin even had a hand in writing several of the tracks on this album, showing she is much more than just "the world's greatest soul singer." There are more classic songs on this album than you can shake a stick at. Just read the tracklisting and see for yourself. Franklin is backed by the Muscle Shoals house band on this album, although only one song ( the incredible title track ) was recorded entirely in the famous Alabama studio, and they really deliver the goods. As good as some of her mostly overlooked Columbia Records material was ( and a lot of it was very good, although it was more "adult" in that it was more jazz oriented ) her Atlantic debut has a passion - grit and soul- that had never before been captured on tape. And Franklin has a gift of interpretation ( only hinted at during her 5 years with Columbia Records, where she mostly sang big band, jazz, blues, soul and pop covers, as well as a small handfull of self-penned originals ) that is unequaled in the world of popular music. Her covers of Otis Redding's "Respect, of "Drown In My Own Tears" ( previously recorded by both Dinah Washington and by Ray Charles ) and of Sam Cooke's beautiful ballad "A Change Is Gonna Come" make you forget the orginals. The Reign Begins Here.
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