Aretha Franklin was an American singer-songwriter who could boast of having won no less than 18 Grammy Awards, having had 112 singles ranked in the American Charts and having sold to date more than 75 million records across the world, just that !
An artistic career that began at the age of 14 when his father, Baptist pastor and preacher, took her on the roads with him on a tour of churches called "The Ghospel Caravan". A tour of the churches that will allow young Aretha to perform in front of a new audience every day. We are then in 1956.
A father who will also help her to land his first contract in the same year with a label worthy of the name, namely J.V.B. Records. A label which allows her to release a first album "Songs of faith", album which will unfortunately go somewhat unnoticed.
At 16, she went on tour again, but this time with a certain Martin Luther King. And at 18 she manages to convince her father to stop ghospel music in order to turn to more modern music. This is how she got to sign with Columbia Records in 1960.
A change of course that will quickly pay off since she finally obtained her first success with the title "Today I sing the blues" the same year. Shortly followed by "Won’t be long" which was released a year later in 1961. The singer's career was well and truly launched.
Also in 1961, she even got her first global top hit with a luxury cover of Al Jolson's 1918 title "Rock-a-bye your baby with a dixie melody". A decade of the 60s which saw her achieve a significant number of successes with titles such as "I surrender, dear" in 1962, "Runnin 'out of fools" in 1964, "One step ahead" in 1965, "Take a look" in 1967 among others.
A year 1967 which saw her change label and which marked a major turning point in her career. Indeed, she also released that year a revisited version of the title of Otis Redding "Respect" (title dating from 1965), a version that will make a huge planetary success, propel her to a level of truly mind-blowing success and literally do at the same time explode its notoriety. Version which will become a true feminist anthem and deeply mark the decade.
An exceptional year 1967 for the singer since she will release 3 other titles which will also become mega planetary hits with titles like "Baby I love you", "(You make me feel) Like a natural woman" and " Chain of fools ”.
But that's without counting on the year 1968, an even more exceptional year with the release of two huge albums "Lady soul" and "Aretha now". Albums that will add no less than 4 mega planetary hits to the singer's charts with "(Sweet sweet baby) Since you've been gone", "See saw" but also, and above all, "Think" and "I say a little prayer ”. The singer then becomes one of the biggest phenomena of the moment.
Paradoxically, it will be very difficult to match these 2 rather incredible years and the end of the decade will turn out to be somewhat disappointing, despite a still very high level of success.
Just like the 1970s which, apart from 3 major titles which are "Spanish harlem" in 1971, "Angel" and "Until you come back to me (That's what I'm gonna do) in 1973, will not allow the singer to maintain her place as the undisputed queen of Soul.
Paradoxically, it will therefore be necessary to wait for the 1980s to see her finally return to very large-scale success. Despite an age difference approaching 20 years with the competition, that did not prevent her from achieving one of the greatest successes of his career with the release in 1985 of his album "Who’s Zoomin’ who ".
Album with record sales and which will produce no less than 4 mega planetary hits with the titles "Another night", "Sisters are doin 'it for themselves", but also, and above all, the enormous "Freeway of love" and "Who's Zoomin' who”.
The album "Aretha", which was released a year later in 1986, confirmed the singer's comeback. Album from which 3 new mega hits will be extracted : "Jumpin 'Jack Flash", "Jimmy Lee" and the magical duo with George Michael "I knew you were waiting (For me)" which was released in 1987.
Duets which bring her luck since she ended the decade in apotheosis with in 1989 the title which she interpreted with Elton John "Trough the storm" then the title which she interpreted with Withney Houston "It isn't, it wasn't , it ain't never gonna be”. Two titles which once again show that she must be counted on again and again.
She will have gone through the 1950s, then the 1960s, then the 1970s, then the 1980s, and here she is, unashamedly entering the 1990s. A decade which sees the release of new successes, the two main ones of which will be "A deeper love" and "Willing to forgive" in 1995, as well as "A rose is still a rose" in 1998.
But it will indeed be the last decade during which the singer will be able to compete with the competition with dignity. The decades 2000 and 2010 will see her continue to sing, but without achieving major success.
A decade of 2010 which will be the last from all points of view since the diva will disappear on August 16, 2018 following a long illness at the age of 76, a diva who will have deeply marked her time and who will leave behind a legacy some of the most incredible music of all time.
Discography (among others ...) :
Never grew old 1956
Today I sing the blues 1960
Won't be long 1961
Rock-a-bye your baby with a dixie melody 1961
I surrender dear 1962
Try a little tenderness 1962
Say it isn’t so 1963
Runnin’ out of fools 1964
One step ahead 1965
(No, no) I’m losing you 1965
Cry like a baby 1966
Take a look 1967
I never loved a man (The way I love you) 1967
Baby I love you 1967
(You make me feel like) A natural woman 1967
Chains of fool 1967
(Sweet sweet baby) Since you’ve been gone 1968
The house that Jack built 1968
I say a little prayer 1968
See saw 1968
The weight 1969
I can’t see myself leaving you 1969
Share your love with me 1969
Eleanor Rigby 1969
Call me 1970
Don’t play that song 1970
Spirit in the dark 1970
You’re all I need to get by 1971
Bridge over trouble water 1971
Spanish Harlem 1971
Rock steady 1971
Day dreaming 1972
All the king’s horses 1972
Master of eyes (The deepness of your eyes) 1973
Until you come back to me (That's what I'm gonna do) 1973
I’m in love 1974
Ain’t nothing like the real thing 1974
Without love 1974
Mr D.J. (5 for the D.J.) 1975
Something he can feel 1976
Look into your heart 1977
Almighty fire (Woman of the future) 1978
Ladies only 1979
United together 1980
What a fool believes 1981
Come to me 1981
Love all the hurt away 1981
It's my turn 1981
Jump to it 1982
Get it right 1983
Freeway of love 1985
Who’s zoomin’ who 1985
Sisters are doin’ it for themselves 1985
Another night 1986
Ain’t nobody ever loved you 1986
Jumpin’ Jack Flash 1986
Jimmy Lee 1986
I knew you were waiting (For me) 1987
If ever a love there was 1988
Trough the storm 1989
It isn’t, it wasn’t, it ain’t never gonna be 1989
Everyday people 1991
Ever changing times 1992
A deeper love 1994
Willing to forgive 1994
It hurts like hell 1996
A rose is still a rose 1998
Here we go again 1998
The only thing missin’ 2003
Put you up on game 2007
How long I’ve been waiting 2011
Rolling in the deep 2014
1956 ... who could imagine then that the young girl who sings this song will become one of the greatest singers of all time ? Almost no one and yet ...
1960 ... after a fairly confidential start, the time for recognition has come. A first classified title of low magnitude but which launches her career for good
1961 ... a career that grows with this title. The level of success rises crescendo, as does its notoriety
1961 ... it is a luxury cover of this Al Jolson title dating from 1918 which will allow her to obtain her first global hit. A first top hit that will appeal to many others !
1962 .. in the series of luxury covers, here comes now this revisited version of a title of Bing Crosby dating from 1931. Covers which succeed her rather well, to say the least we can say
1962 ... this time, it's a title of Val Rosing dating from 1932 that she covers in a masterly way. An absolutely sumptuous Intimist track which shows a new facet of her talent ...
1963 ... covers which follow one another at top speed. Here she delivers a magnificent version of George Olsen's title dating from 1932, all in finesse and lightness. What more !
1964 ... back in force in the punchy with this title to the frenzied rhythm as they knew so well to do in the 60s. The rise of the young singer is regular and linear. A decade to hatch and a next decade to explode !
1964 ... her hit of the year. This is the title that will meet the most success this year. A 'small' year in the production of titles ...
1965 ... another beautiful foray into the Intimist. She demonstrates an obvious know-how in this field and each new title is a real success
1965 ... and what to say about it ! In a style so typical of this era, she once again transcends a particularly inspired melody and tailor-made for her
1966 ... already 6 years passed and an already impressive collection of top hits. It is clear that this singer has something more than the others ...
1967 ... a pivotal year in 1967 with a change of label along the way. This title and the next will be credited to Columbia Records ...
1967 ... together is even better. New luxury cover this time of the title of Inez and Charlie Foxx dating from 1963. A copy which is worth squarely the original !
1967 ... year of the label change, a change that will - change everything -. The singer will suddenly pass a level which will allow her to touch the stars repeatedly. Start of the fireworks !
1967 ... then THIS title comes ! The kind of title that allows a talented young singer to suddenly reach a level of global notoriety that she would never have imagined, even in her wildest dreams. Even if this title is a new cover this time of an Otis Redding title dating from 1965, its version is so successful that it is this version that will go around the world. MO-NU-MEN-TAL !
1967 ... an absolutely exceptional year in 1967 where the mega hits succeeded the mega hits. The singer has moved into a dimension where only the greatest singers on the planet are present. It promises for the future !
1967 ... she now unrolls in an impressive way and nothing, and no one, will be able to stop her from now on. The legend is on the move !
1967 ... 4 mega planetary hits in a single year, who could say better ? At this point, no one. The exceptional songs follow the exceptional songs and the competition is now light years behind ...
1968 ... the year 1968 started again on almost the same bases of hallucinating success as the year 1967. An incredible dynamic of success is now in place
1968 ... first there will have been 'Respect' and now here is 'Think'. In two years, she will have literally crushed the competition and now reigns indisputably and unchallenged on the planet Soul. MAS-TER-FUL !
1968 ... title after title, year after year, she drives the point home a little more. A domination almost without sharing acquired in a few years and which is left to last !
1968 ... originally this title is not written for her but for Dionne Warwick, who will interpret it a year earlier in 1967. But it is the version of Aretha which will remain as the most famous and which will especially experience incredible global success and which will add a new star to its prize list. PHE-NO-ME-NAL !
1968 ... what is crazy is that she has this incredible gift of cover and above all bringing to the firmament of fame titles written and performed first by others. Once again the proof with this title of Don Covay dating from 1965 !
1969 ... why change a recipe that works perfectly ? This time, it is a title of The Band and dating from 1968 that she covers. And as for the previous times, its version will be more successful than the original !
1969 ... paradoxically, the end of the decade will see its incredible level of success weaken somewhat. It must be said that we suspected that she could not continue at such a crazy pace !
1969 ... on this track, it is Bobby 'Blue' Bland who is in the spotlight with this piece he interpreted in 1964 and which Aretha, of course, raises to a level of popularity much higher than this that he was with the original
1969 ... at this stage of intergalactic notoriety, she even allows herself to take again one of the flagship titles of the Beatles dating from 1966 and makes an astonishing version of it, in any case much more rhythmic than the original. What talent !
1970 ... after having literally exploded during the 1960s, the 1970s will prove to be less auspicious and above all less glorious. The singer will consolidate her dominant position but not increase it. After crushing the competition for 10 years, we suspected that her hegemony would not last forever ...
1970 ... anyway, her frenzy of luxury cover does not weaken. A recipe that has already worked and which it would be a shame to do without given its level of success each time. This time, it will be on a Ben E. King track dating from 1962. And once again, it works !
1970 ... success in the Charts is in free fall and puts the singer back into the ordinary. She will have to recover and quickly !
1971 ... a downturn that will not last, fortunately. The year 1971 will see her come back in force, starting with this title. Phew !
1971 ... not necessarily her best luxury cover, this time Simon and Garfunkel's flagship title from 1970, but a good job once again. Each time, she doesn't just copy. She literally reinvents the song !
1971 .... she once again puts Ben E. King in the spotlight with this luxury cover of her flagship title dating from 1960. And like almost every cover, it's a hit. Result of the races : new global mega hit, one more !
1971 ... this title will not know the same level of success as its predecessor but will know, all the same, a nice course in the Charts. A dynamic of success which fluctuates but which is maintained in any event at a level largely sufficient to remain in the leading pack
1972 ... a year 1972 slightly below. This title will do rather well but it is the continuation that will leave something to be desired. Years like this ...
1972 ... a title full of finesse and lightness but which will not find its audience, which is very surprising. Hence the most limited success ...
1973 ... slight rebound in this year 1973. There are now years 'with' and years 'without', something that had not really happened to her for ten years. It will take some getting used to ...
1973 ... for the year 1973, it will be this title that will win all the votes. A new Intimist title of any beauty which allows her to show once again that she still holds the helm with a more than firm hand. MA-GIC !
1973 ... a beautiful and BIG 1973 with a plethora of very high caliber titles and therefore a clearly increasing level of success. Hope it lasts ...
1974 ... the sound evolves in an obvious way. The mid-decade musical upheavals in no way frighten the singer and she adapts to them with obvious ease
1974 ... nice revisited version of the title of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell dating from 1968. Nothing exceptional but a good job as they say
1974 ... a year 1974 which will not be remembered as its best vintage, but with very good quality all the same. She cannot be exceptional every year ...
1975 ... small year 1975 with few titles on the clock and only one major success with this title. A drop in speed which will unfortunately increase at the end of the 1970s ...
1976 ... a few more titles in this year 1976 but at average quality. Only this pretty Intimist title will do well
1977 ... a decade of the 1970s in which it blatantly lacks this stroke of genius that allowed her to write several exceptional musical pages during the previous decade. Hopefully it will come back one day ...
1978 ... here she arrived in the Disco planet, the end of the decade obliges. She signs here a nice title but which will struggle to compete with some incredible titles offered by the competition ...
1979 ... a hybrid track that starts slowly...and ends at subsonic speed ! It is more and more difficult to understand where the singer intends to come ...
1980 ... change of decade and big question mark : decade of renewal or decade of pure and simple disappearance ? For now, we would rather go for the first option ...
1981 ... a particularly successful Dance version of the flagship title of the Doobie Brothers dating from 1979. Aretha is finally getting back on its feet ...
1981 ... a beautiful and BIG year 1981 which saw the singer come back in force on the front of the scene. We suspected that with such a talent, she could not sink body and soul without reacting !
1981 ... a duo of shock but above all of charm with the sure values of the male gente. A nice Intimist track which works my faith very well and which is good to hear, quite simply
1981 ... a year 1981 which ended smoothly with this sumptuous Ultimate Slow and which nevertheless met with only limited success. Go figure ...
1982 ... his first big Dance hit of the decade. His ability to adapt will allow her to return to the race in a spectacular fashion at the start of the decade. Aretha is back !
1983 ... the recovery is obvious and produces top hits after top hits. Wrestling with young girls who are on average 20 years younger is no problem for her. The proof !
1985 ... then comes the year 1985 ! An incredible year that will see the singer return to her best form and shatter everything in her path. Starting with this title which will set fire to all Dancefloor on the planet. HU-GE !
1985 ... in the same vein. Two dance mega hits in quick succession which vividly prove that she has regained an energy from hell. The competition had better watch out !
1985 ... the totally improbable duo. When 2 radically opposed universes merge and add the best of themselves, we see the result !
1986 ... a year 1986 which starts again almost on the same bases as the year 1985. The new dynamic which carries the singer does not weaken an Iota and maintains her at a level of excellence truly incredible !
1986 ... the 'little' hit of the year. And again, a 'little' hit for her is a top hit among others. But there is HER and the rest of the world ...
1986 ... after the Beatles, here she covers the Rolling Stones, the circle is now complete. A modernized version of the title dating from 1968 which swings serious as they say !
1986 ... Dance side, everything is in balance. Each song that comes out for 2 years immediately turns into a huge success on the Dancefloor side. Who could have imagined that a young girl from the 1960s would be one of the undisputed stars of the 1980s ? Not many people, that's for sure ...
1987 ... her biggest hit of the decade. New duo of shock and charm with this time the enfant terrible of English pop. And as with Annie Lenox, the association works perfectly. Normal, when 2 extraordinary talents push the song, we suspect that the result will not be trivial !
1987 ... a magnificent adventure that has lasted for decades and which is not about to end. Whatever the era, the singer has this incredible ability to adapt perfectly to the new trends of the moment. And of course, it pays !
1988 ... after 3 totally euphoric years, the incredible dynamic subsides somewhat. And yet it is not for lack of demerit when we see the quality of the title offered here !
1989 ... another incredible duet with one of the most brilliant English singers of his generation. Once again, when we add 2 legendary talents, only the best of the best can come out !
1989 ... and it continues ! After Annie Lennox, George Michael and Elton John, here comes Withney Houston. It must be said that singing with Aretha Franklin is for these young artists blessed bread and a magnificent showcase !
1991 ... she will have gone through the 1950s, then the 1960s, then the 1970s, then the 1980s and here she is, without any complex, into the 1990s
1992 ... we find her once again in charming company with this time Michael McDonald. All on a beautiful Ultimate Slow, an area in which she has excelled for quite a few years now !
1994 ... after an empty 1993, here she comes back to us in House mode. So there, we had to dare this one ! And you know what, this title is going to be a hit. She will have done everything to us !
1994 ... we know that with her, any foray into the Intimist domain is a real success. Once again the proof with this title which literally floats in the air
1994 ... in the same vein. Who could have imagined that she would offer pieces of such quality at 52 years old, an extremely rare occurrence in the industry !
1996 ... new year 1995 empty. But who would blame her when we see what she offers in this new year 1996. Another pure moment of sweetness and finesse as we like them
1998 ... its main strength has been to adapt to all fashions and trends. Few artists at the end of the twentieth century will have been able to do the same, that's clear. But again, there is her and the rest of the world ...
1998 ... back to Dance mode, trendy Dance that fits perfectly with the times. So I have only one word to say : respect !
2003 ... here she is entering its 5th decade. And if she continues, it is surely not to make up the figure. With her, we can therefore expect all the feats for the rest of the events ...
2007 ... it is clear that this time, the incredible adventure may be coming to an end. After a new 4 years break, we find her again in duet mode this time with Fantasia. An effective duo but with very limited success. The beginning of the end...?
2011 ... very few titles during the previous decade and a transition to the 2010 decade which will not be very productive. In short, we suspect that the Diva is tired and running out of inspiration, something quite understandable ...
2014 ... Aretha who uses Adèle as a farewell gift. What better way to end this mind-blowing adventure in the best possible way. But what an amazing career, almost unique in its kind and which will have consecrated this little gospel singer as one of the greatest singers of all time !