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

4.5 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording reissued, December 14, 1993
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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
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 14, 1993)
  • Original Release Date: 1970
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B00000335K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,066 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Aretha Franklin Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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.
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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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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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I purchased this from Michael's Rare CD's and More, sold as a remastered album. Having received this great Aretha album today, I can tell you, this is NOT a remaster. It is a regular, turn your volume way up to hear disc from Rhino Atlantic masters. If it is in any way a remaster, it is from a decade before quality remasters were a possibility, back in the early nineties; though, I doubt even that. I am disappointed. If you don't mind cranking up your volume when you listen, great, but if you are like me and make playlists, then you will not want to focus turning up and down your volume every time a track from this album pops up.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is yet another one of those must-have Aretha albums from her historic late-'60s/early-'70s run on the Atlantic label that no serious music collector should be without. This one though arguably features her at her most personal and vulnerable as she was coming off a rather trying marriage breakup at the time and most of the songs within thoroughly reflect that state of mind. Some of her most inspired piano playing can also be found here as well. 'Spirit in the Dark' is probably best suited for late-night/after-hours listening for maximum effect, preferably alone with a stiff drink in hand and the lights dimmed low. Yeah, it's THAT kind of party. Don't say I didn't warn ya!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The CD title says it all, this is a great blend of songs and Aretha knocks a few of these tunes out of the park. She is a great performer and her range is incredible, this CD is a good example of why so many love Aretha, a little blues, some gospel and some hip shakers. Knock yourself out.
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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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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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