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Aretha Franklin's 'ARETHA' Career-Spanning Boxed Set Covers Nearly 60 Years

  • November 30, 2020
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    4-CD And Digital Collection Dedicated To The Queen Of Soul Features 81 Tracks, Including 19 Previously Unreleased Alternate Versions, Demos, Rarities, And Special Live Performances

    2-LP And Single CD Versions Feature Highlights From The Boxed Set; All Formats Will Be Available On July 30, 2021 From Rhino

    Previously Unreleased 1966 Home Demo Of “My Kind Of Town (Detroit Is)” Available Today

    LISTEN NOW

    To say that Aretha Franklin was one of the greatest American artists of all time is an understatement. Her multi-octave voice moved millions around the world during an unrivaled career that spanned six decades and garnered the singer-songwriter every achievement and honor imaginable. Her reign as the Queen of Soul will play out across four discs on a new boxed set from Rhino that is the first to span her entire career, including songs from every label she recorded with.

    ARETHA arrives on July 30, 2021 on CD ($59.98) and digitally. Among the collection’s 81 newly remastered tracks, 19 are making their CD and digital debuts, including alternate versions of classic hits, demos, rarities, and live tracks, like her stunning performance of “(You Make Me Feel) Like A Natural Woman” at The 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in 2015. To put Franklin’s life and career into perspective, the collection is accompanied by liner notes written by Rochelle Riley, author and director of arts and culture for the City of Detroit, and David Nathan, a music journalist and soul historian who interviewed Franklin more times than any other living writer. The collection also features stunning artwork by celebrated artist Makeba KEEBS Rainey, who provides her signature style to a photo of the Queen Of Soul taken by the legendary photographer, Neal Preston. Rhino’s new boxed set will arrive shortly before the premiere of Respect, the highly anticipated biopic about Franklin’s life starring Jennifer Hudson. Both single CD ($15.98) and 2-LP ($31.98) versions featuring 20 highlight tracks from the box will also be available on the same day.

    Pre-order Now: 4CD | 2LP | 1CD

    Arranged in mostly chronological order, ARETHA opens with “Never Grow Old” and “You Grow Closer,” which were released as her first single in 1956 by J.V.B Records. Notably, she recorded these gospel songs at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was the longtime pastor.

    The next 10 songs focus on the period between 1960 and 1966 when Franklin was signed to Columbia Records. The music includes her first single with the label (“Today I Sing The Blues”), her first single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 (“Won’t Be Long”), plus the Top 40 R&B hits “Runnin’ Out Of Fools,” “One Step Ahead” and “Cry Like A Baby.”

    The majority of ARETHA is dedicated to her record-shattering tenure with Atlantic Records between 1967 and 1979, which included five consecutive #1 R&B albums. In fact, the first two unreleased songs on the collection – “My Kind Of Town (Detroit Is)” and “Try A Little Tenderness” – are home demos that she recorded in 1966 to give Atlantic executive and producer Jerry Wexler an idea of possible material for her debut LP for label. “My Kind Of Town (Detroit Is)” finds Franklin replacing the classic “Chicago” lyric from the Sinatra version of the song with a callout to her hometown of Detroit. The track is available today digitally. Click HERE to listen now.

    Franklin’s biggest hits are here too, like “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You),” “(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone” and her signature smash, “Respect.” But instead of using familiar takes for other hits, the collection selects different versions, like alternate takes of “Chain Of Fools,” “Rock Steady,” and “Spanish Harlem”; live recordings of “Baby I Love You” and “Don’t Play That Song”; and “Think” recorded for The Blues Brothers soundtrack.

    Her early 70s collaboration with producer Quincy Jones is revisited with a trio of unreleased recordings including the Franklin original “The Boy From Bombay” and a stunning alternate version of her take on the Sondheim and Bernstein classic “Somewhere.”

    ARETHA also shines a spotlight on her best work with Arista Records between 1980 and 2007. Standouts from this era include hits like “Jump To It” and “Freeway Of Love.” This period also featured a number of memorable collaborations including “Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves” with Eurythmics and the #1 hit “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” with George Michael.

    Even for longtime fans, ARETHA delivers plenty of surprises. Prime examples are the numerous unreleased work tapes and demos for hits like “Angel,” “Until You Come Back To Me” and “Brand New Me.” The set also features the CD and digital debuts of several television appearances, including duets with Tom Jones (“It’s Not Unusual/See Saw”), Smokey Robinson (“Ooo Baby Baby”) and Dionne Warwick (“I Say A Little Prayer.”) Finally, the collection rounds up rarities like her cover of Donny Hathaway’s “Someday We’ll All Be Free” from the Malcom X soundtrack and her jaw-dropping live performance of “Nessun Dorma.”

    ARETHA FRANKLIN
    ARETHA

    Track Listing

    Disc One

    1. “Never Grow Old”
    2. “You Grow Closer”
    3. “Today I Sing The Blues”
    4. “Won’t Be Long”
    5. “Are You Sure”
    6. “Operation Heartbreak”
    7. “Skylark”
    8. “Runnin’ Out Of Fools”
    9. “One Step Ahead”
    10. “(No, No) I’m Losing You”
    11. “Cry Like A Baby”
    12. “A Little Bit Of Soul”
    13. “My Kind Of Town (Detroit Is)” – Demo *
    14. “Try A Little Tenderness” – Demo *
    15. “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)”
    16. “Do Right Woman – Do Right Man”
    17. “Respect”
    18. “A Change Is Gonna Come”
    19. “Chain Of Fools” – Alternate Version
    20. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” – UK Single Version
    21. “(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone”
    22. “Ain’t No Way”
    23. “My Song”
    24. “You Send Me”
    25. “The House That Jack Built”
    26. “Tracks Of My Tears”

    Disc Two

    1. “Baby I Love You” – Live
    2. “Son Of A Preacher Man”
    3. “Call Me” – Alternate Version *
    4. “Let It Be”
    5. “Young, Gifted And Black” – Alternate Longer Take *
    6. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Long Version
    7. “It’s Not Unusual/See Saw” – with Tom Jones * (Originally Broadcast On This Is Tom Jones, October, 9, 1970)
    8. “You're All I Need To Get By” – Work Tape *
    9. “Brand New Me” – Work Tape *
    10. “Spanish Harlem” – Alternate Mix *
    11. “Rock Steady” – Alternate Mix/Take
    12. “Day Dreaming”
    13. “Share Your Love With Me” – Live
    14. “Don’t Play That Song” – Live
    15. “Dr. Feelgood” – Live
    16. “Spirit In The Dark” (Reprise with Ray Charles) – Live
    17. “How I Got Over” (Single Edit) – Live
    18. “Master Of Eyes (The Deepness Of Your Eyes)”

    Disc Three

    1. “Somewhere” – Alternate Version *
    2. “Angel” – Work Tape *
    3. “The Boy From Bombay” *
    4. “Til It's Over” – Demo *
    5. “Oh Baby” (a.k.a. “There’s Something Magic About You”) – Demo *
    6. “Until You Come Back To Me” – Work Tape *
    7. “I’m In Love” – Alternate Vocal
    8. “Without Love”
    9. “Mr. D.J. (5 For The D.J.)”
    10. “You”
    11. “Something He Can Feel”
    12. “Look Into Your Heart”
    13. “Break It To Me Gently”
    14. “When I Think About You”
    15. “Almighty Fire (Woman Of The Future)”
    16. “Ladies Only” – Short Version
    17. “You Light Up My Life” *
    18. “Ooo Baby Baby” – with Smokey Robinson * (Originally Broadcast On Soul Train, December 1, 1979)
    19. “Amazing Grace” (Originally Broadcast On Royal Variety Performance, November 23, 1980)

    Disc Four

    1. “Think”
    2. “I Say A Little Prayer” – with Dionne Warwick *
    3. “United Together”
    4. “Jump To It”
    5. “The Wind”
    6. “Freeway Of Love”
    7. “Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves” – Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin
    8. “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) – Aretha Franklin and George Michael
    9. “Oh Happy Day” – with Mavis Staples (Live at New Bethel Baptist Church, Detroit, MI - July 1987)
    10. “A Rose Is Still A Rose”
    11. “Someday We'll All Be Free”
    12. “The Makings Of You”
    13. “Nessun Dorma” – Live
    14. “At Last” – with Lou Rawls * (Originally Broadcast On American Soundtrack: Rhythm, Love And Soul, March 2003)
    15. “You’ve Got A Friend” – Ronald Isley featuring Aretha Franklin
    16. “Rolling In The Deep” – The Aretha Version
    17. “My Country ’Tis Of Thee”
    18. “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” – Live * (Originally Broadcast On The 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, December 19. 2015)

    ARETHA FRANKLIN
    ARETHA (HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BOXED SET)

    Aretha Franklin - ARETHA 2LP

    2-LP Track Listing (Also Available As Single CD)

    Side One

    1. “Never Grow Old”
    2.  “Today I Sing The Blues”
    3.  “One Step Ahead”
    4.  “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)”
    5. “A Change Is Gonna Come”

    Side Two

    •  “Respect”
    • “Chain Of Fools” – Alternate Version
    • “Call Me” – Alternate Version *
    • “Rock Steady” – Alternate Mix/Take
    • “How I Got Over” (Single Edit) – Live

    Side Three

    1. “Master Of Eyes (The Deepness Of Your Eyes)”
    2. “Until You Come Back To Me” – Work Tape *
    3. “Something He Can Feel”
    4. “You Light Up My Life” *
    5. “Think”

    Side Four

    1. “Freeway Of Love”
    2.  “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) – Aretha Franklin and George Michael
    3. “Someday We'll All Be Free”
    4. “A Rose Is Still A Rose”
    5. “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” – Live* (Originally Broadcast On The 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors 12/19/15)

    *Previously Unreleased Audio

    Aretha Franklin - ARETHA 1CD

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