Spirit In The Dark Aretha Franklin

Album info

Album-Release:
1970

HRA-Release:
17.01.2014

Label: Warner Music Group

Genre: R&B

Subgenre: Classic Soul

Album including Album cover

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  • 1Don't Play That Song03:01
  • 2The Thrill Is Gone [From Yesterday's Kiss]04:42
  • 3Pullin'03:38
  • 4You and Me03:34
  • 5Honest I Do03:19
  • 6Spirit in the Dark04:03
  • 7When the Battle is Over02:45
  • 8One Way Ticket02:51
  • 9Try Matty's02:31
  • 10That's All I Want From You02:42
  • 11Oh No Not My Baby02:55
  • 12Why I Sing the Blues03:04
  • Total Runtime39:05

Info for Spirit In The Dark

„Spirit In The Dark“ represents Aretha Franklin at the height of her majestic vocal power. This is Southern, gospel-based R&B/soul circa 1969/70, featuring the cream of the genre's players: the Dixie Flyers, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, the under-rated Cornell Dupree, and the late guitar wizard Duane Allman (of the Allman Brothers.).

The then-unbeatable production team of Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd, and Arif Mardin (guys who were clearly concerned with the music, not just the way the balance sheet looked) manned the controls to achieve a clean, undeniably powerful sound. The material is a nice mix of pop ('Oh No Not My Baby'), blues ('The Thrill is Gone'), and mid-tempo soul tunes that balance strut with hurt ('Don't Play That Song'). At the center of each of these tracks, of course, are the Queen of Soul's powerhouse pipes. Here Franklin sings with passion tinged with vulnerability, and an authority that few contemporary singers--even decades after Franklin's heyday--can match.

Though not as widely touted as I NEVER LOVED A MAN THE WAY I LOVE YOU or ARETHA NOW, „Spirit In The Dark“ is among the most consistent and dynamic records of the singer's Atlantic tenure. From 1970 one of her most overlooked but one of her best!

'...The Queen has made a strong return to her gospel roots....Cut after cut is underlined by her rolling, gospel piano on solid fills and funky solos...sweet soul music...' (Rolling Stone)

Aretha Franklin, vocals, piano
Jimmy Johnson, guitar
Jay O'Rourke, guitar
Jimmy Johnson, guitar
Howard 'Buzz' Feiten, guitar
Cornell Dupree, guitar
Duane Allman, guitar
Eddie Hinton, guitar
Jimmy O'Rourke, guitar
Charlie Freeman, guitar
Dave Crawford, organ, keyboards
Barry Beckett, electric piano, organ
Jim Dickinson, keyboards
Mike Utley, keyboards
David Hood, bass
Harold Cowart, bass
Tommy McClure, bass
Ronald 'Tubby' Ziegler, drums
Tubby Zeigler, drums
Ray Lucas, drums
Roger Hawkins, drums
Sammy Creason, drums
Pat Lewis, background vocals
The Sweet Inspirations, background vocals
Almeda Lattimore, background vocals
Brenda Bryant, background vocals
Margaret Branch, background vocals
Evelyn Greene, background vocals
Wyline Ivy, background vocals

Recorded at Atlantic South-Criteria Studios, Miami, Florida. Recording Date May 26, 1969 March 1970.
Engineered by Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin.

Digitally remastered.


Aretha Franklin
She is known the world over by her first name and as the undisputed, reigning 'Queen Of Soul,' Aretha Franklin is peerless. This 2005 recipient of a Presidential Medal Of Freedom honor (the U.S.A.'s highest honor), 17 Grammy Awards (and counting), a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a Grammy Living Legend Award. She has received countless international and national awards and accolades. Aretha has achieved global recognition on an unprecedented scale. She has influenced generations of singers from Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole and Mary J. Blige to 'American Idol' winner Fantasia Burrino and Oscar- winning Jennifer Hudson. Her ever-distinctive soulful, to-the-bone vocal style has graced the music charts for over four decades and while her 'live' performances have touched the hearts of literally millions since she began her musical journey as a gospel-singing child prodigy, it is her rich legacy of recordings that are a testament to the power, majesty and genius of this one-of-a-kind artist of the first order.

Beyond the timeless classic hits such as 'Respect,' 'A Natural Woman,' 'Chain Of Fools,' 'Think,' 'Daydreaming' and 'Freeway Of Love' among the dozens of chart-topping records that have established her as a cultural icon, Aretha Franklin's catalog of over forty albums informs listeners of her unmatched, unparalleled artistry as an interpreter of song, bar none. Her elevation to 'royal' status is indeed not just a function of her hitmaking ability but of her unique inventiveness as a musician who fuses art and soul seamlessly. Indeed, it's often been said that Aretha could take 'happy birthday' and turn it into a veritable opus and while those who know her will testify to her culinary skills in the kitchen, it is her mastery as a musical chef that is evident on each and every one of those forty-plus albums, many of which have achieved gold and platinum status.

As is widely known, Aretha, born in Memphis, (reared in Buffalo but a longtime resident of Detroit,) began her personal musical journey singing at her much-revered father Reverend C.L. Franklin's New Bethel Baptist Church at a very young age. While she was unquestionably influenced by the presence of such gospel luminaries as Clara Ward (a strong influence), Mahalia Jackson and the Reverend James Cleveland in the Franklin household, it was secular performers such as Dinah Washington and Sam Cooke (also visitors to the Franklin residence) who helped shape Aretha's wide-ranging interest in popular music. Young Aretha also heard the doo-wop sounds of Nolan Strong and The Diablos, The Moonglows, The 5 Royales and The Satins as well as popular '50s hitmakers such as Johnny Ace, Little Willie John, Jackie Wilson, Big Maybelle and Little Esther on the radio.

Aretha's interest in a wide range of popular music became evident when she began her own recording career at Columbia Records, although it should be noted that her powerful, emotive style was first heard on a gospel recording made in 1956 with her father and released by Chess Records in the mid-'60s. With the support of her father, Aretha traveled to New York City in 1960 and after a demo which contained her version of a Helen Humes tune titled 'Today I Sing The Blues' made its way to the ears of executive John Hammond (responsible for signing such artists as Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith and Bob Dylan), Aretha was signed to Columbia in 1960. For more information please visit the Aretha Franklin homepage.

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