The Legend Slot: Aretha Franklin

The queen of soul is here for my third playlist in The Legend Slot. That’s right Lady Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, is the third legend in this years series. In the words of the great Jack Black (in what is one of my favourite films EVER) “Everyone wants to party with Aretha!’. So, despite the current circumstances, I’m hoping that this playlist will get you in the party mood.

Aretha Franklin

Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Aretha Franklin was a singer, songwriter and pianist who started her career as a child when she sang at her local church in Detroit, Michigan. Signing to Columbia Records at 18, and then to Atlantic Records in her mid-20s, Aretha gained massive success with iconic hits such as Respect, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and I Say a Little Prayer. In 1987, she became the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and throughout her 50+ year career, she received honours including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and was even listed as the greatest singer of all time by Rolling Stone.

Now Aretha Franklin might have had 38 albums (even more than my first legend Elton John), but I’ll let her off since she was the queen of soul after all. A true legend. There were actually a few albums that I couldn’t find on Spotify so this playlist only covers around 30 of her albums. I did, however, manage to source a few of the missing albums on YouTube and gave them a listen as well (even if they aren’t in my final playlist).

The Legend Slot: Aretha Franklin

What that I loved about listening to Aretha this month was how easy it was to do it. Aretha just had one of those voices that you could listen to for hours. It’s so smooth. So listening to her entire back catalogue was actually a fairly easy challenge. I always seemed to be in the mood for her music.

I have to admit though that I definitely preferred her earlier music. Which is reflected in the tracks that I’ve featured in the playlist. I don’t actually think I put any of her tracks past the 1980s in the playlist. That’s not so say that I didn’t enjoy her post-80s tunes. It was more of a case of her having SO MANY albums. And the earlier songs are a bit more my thing.

A Few of My Favourites…

If you’ve checked out last years series Music Monthly, then you might’ve spotted a few of Aretha’s tracks creep into my motown and funk playlists. I think she even made it into the top 100 tracks that I listened to last year as well! So I guess it won’t be a surprise to know that some of my favourites are Chain of Fools, Think and Respect.  But another favourite that I always seem to forget about is You Send Me. If you’re a fan of the festive film The Holiday then you might already recognise it from the final scene in the film.

‘Lady Soul’ (1968) – Aretha Franklin

Something that I wasn’t aware of was that Aretha actually didn’t write a lot of her songs. Quite a few of them were covers of other artists. She even recorded an entire tribute album to Dinah Washington. I already knew that her iconic track (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman was written by Carole King but I didn’t know that Respect, for example, was written by Otis Redding. I think little discoveries like that was what made this playlist that bit more exciting to put together. Not only was I discovering new songs of Aretha’s but I was also discovering who wrote some of my favourites.

New Discoveries

Well let’s start by saying there were bloody loads of them. She just has so many tracks that I was bound to discover hundreds of new songs. Kicking off my new favourites is actually the first song on her first album. Won’t Be Long from her album Aretha in Person. It just sums up a young Aretha for me in one track, and really sets the tone for her early music career.

‘Yeah!!!’ (1965) – Aretha Franklin

You might know already, if you’ve been following my music posts in the past, that I love a sample. For anyone who isn’t familiar with the term “sample or sampling” when it comes to music, it’s pretty much just taking a section of a song and using it in another track. It could be anything from a few lyrics to a drum combo to a whole verse of a song.

I’m sure you will’ve found yourself listening to a track and suddenly thought, ‘I recognise this!’. And usually this’ll be because the song has been sampled from another track.

So, anyway, when I was listening to Aretha’s Spirit in The Dark (1970) album and I came across the albums title track, I instantly recognised the opening section of the song. It was used in Kanye West’s track School Spirit from The College Dropout (2007). I had absolutely no idea that Kanye had sampled Aretha, so discovering the connection on that track was amazing.

I could go on for absolutely ages working my way through all the new discoveries I made throughout this month, but I’ll leave it there. Instead, I want you to tell me which tracks are completely new to you. Maybe even Aretha Franklin is completely new to you. Either way I want to know!

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Female Original

Read next: The Legend Slot: Elton John.

*Photography taken from Wikipedia and Getty.

42 Comments

  1. Rosalyn Clarke
    March 29, 2020

    Such good Sunday afternoon listening! Rosie xx

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 3, 2020

      She’s perfect to listen to on a chilled Sunday! x

      Reply
  2. Becky
    March 29, 2020

    This is such a nice idea for a post! I didn’t know that Kanye has sampled Aretha or that most of her songs weren’t written by her/covers either! I guess I’d never thought about it much before!

    Becky | Uptown Oracle

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 3, 2020

      I had no idea that so many of her songs were written by others – it was definitely an interesting discovery! x

      Reply
  3. Aimsy
    March 29, 2020

    Oh, this is a fab post! I know quite a few of Aretha’s songs, but I have learnt so much about her from reading your post. I didn’t realise that some of her songs were written by others. One of my fav songs is her duet with George Michael (one of my music legends 😂) – I knew you were waiting.
    Thanks for sharing this, really enjoyed the post…will be checking out your other legends posts now!

    Aimsy xoxo

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 3, 2020

      I had no idea so many of her songs were written by others either! So glad you enjoyed reading – hopefully you liked the others in the series too. George Michael is defo a music legend! x

      Reply
  4. Lucy
    March 29, 2020

    What a legend Aretha Franklin was, she had such a beautiful, soulful voice! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 1, 2020

      A true legend with a fabulous voice! x

      Reply
  5. Sophie Wentworth
    March 29, 2020

    ‘so this playlist only covers around 30 of her albums’ – ONLY 30?! That’s incredible. I obviously was aware of her legend status but I had no idea she had that many albums so I’m sure I’d have hundreds of new discoveries too. I had no idea that Kanye had sampled Aretha either, I love it when a sample can mix genres like that x

    Sophie

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 2, 2020

      Haha, thank you! Luckily she had so many great tunes otherwise it would’ve been a bit of a slog getting through them all. I always loved School Spirit so finding out that he sampled Aretha for it was such a cool discovery! x

      Reply
  6. stylefrontier
    March 30, 2020

    love Aretha franklin!
    xoxo
    style frontier

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 8, 2020

      She was incredible! x

      Reply
  7. Bexa
    March 30, 2020

    Wow, I never knew Aretha Franklin released 38 albums, that’s amazing! I’m not surprised though, the songs that I have heard are all brilliant, I especially love ‘Respect’, it is such an uplifting and motivating tune! Thanks for sharing Faye, really interesting post and I agree – she definitely deserves a legend slot! <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 8, 2020

      Ah thanks Bexa! Respect is such a great track – definitely one of my favourites as well. 🙂 x

      Reply
  8. Delilah
    March 30, 2020

    I can’t say I’ve ever shown a lot of interest in Aretha, I guess she hasn’t really come into my bubble very often, if at all. After reading your blog I think I’m definitely going to pay a little more attention to her body of work and do some digging myself! Who knows, I could have been foolishly missing out on gold this whole time.

    theresplendentlioness.com

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 1, 2020

      So glad that I could inspire you to give her a listen! I hope you enjoy exploring her music – let me know if you do discover any tracks that you like 🙂 x

      Reply
  9. Savannah
    March 30, 2020

    Great post! I love her and and am so impressed by everything she accomplished in her lifetime. Truly an icon. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 8, 2020

      Thank you! Glad you enjoyed reading 🙂 x

      Reply
  10. Jenna Boden
    March 31, 2020

    What an incredible woman! I have to be honest I only know her most famous tracks. Will definitely have a listen to your recommendations. Finding a new favourite is always a good thing xxx

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 8, 2020

      Her most famous tracks are amazing! I hope you enjoy discovering a few new ones 🙂 x

      Reply
  11. Tea Spangsberg
    March 31, 2020

    I absolutely love The Queen herself. She’s been a part of my playlist about forever.
    Thanks for sharing <3

    Love

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      March 31, 2020

      She was incredible and her music is still absolutely amazing now! Love that she’s a regular feature on your playlist 🙂 x

      Reply
  12. Fatimah
    March 31, 2020

    What an inspirational and beautiful woman!x

    FATIMAH | ROSEYGOLDBOX
    http://www.roseygoldbox.blogspot.co.uk

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 8, 2020

      She really was 🙂 Thanks for reading x

      Reply
  13. Bex
    March 31, 2020

    Aretha Franklin is a legend! My favourite song of hers is, “That’s the Way I Feel About Cha”

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 1, 2020

      She was incredible! Thanks for sharing your favourite song of hers 🙂 x

      Reply
  14. mia
    April 2, 2020

    okay, love love LOVE this post! I’m such a big Aretha Franklin fan 🙂 Definitely agree with you about sampling, I love being able to spot a tune I love in another song 🙂 xx

    mia // https://beautiful-inspiring-creative-life.com

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 10, 2020

      Ahh thank you so much! I love a good sample – spotting it in Spirit in The Dark was so cool 🙂 x

      Reply
  15. Jenny in Neverland
    April 2, 2020

    Great choice for your next slot! I’ll be honest that I don’t know too much about Aretha Franklin but I’ll definitely be listening to some of those tracks you suggested! x

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 8, 2020

      Thanks Jenny – glad you liked it! I hope you enjoy listening to the tracks I suggested 🙂 x

      Reply
  16. Amie
    April 2, 2020

    I adore Aretha Franklin, she was such an icon!

    Love, Amie ❤

    The Curvaceous Vegan

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 2, 2020

      Such an amazing talent! x

      Reply
  17. Fantastic review! Aretha Franklin was a beautiful woman inside & out. So interesting to read the history. I love her music, and also feel drawn to the earlier hits. One tragic thing is that as successful as she was, Aretha never made a will. Instead of distributing her wealth as she saw fit, it was left up to the courts. Probate is expensive, sucking up a huge chunk of a person’s estate. Get a lawyer, get a revocable trust and will in place if you haven’t done so!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 8, 2020

      Thank you so much! It was a lot of fun learning a bit more about her and her music x

      Reply
  18. Charity
    April 2, 2020

    She was definitely a legend and so talented! All of her songs were amazing and what a voice she had!!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 14, 2020

      Agreed! Thanks for reading 🙂 x

      Reply
  19. Lisa Marie Alioto
    April 3, 2020

    SHe’s so melodic (I think that’s a word!). A true legend!

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 14, 2020

      Definitely! Thanks for reading x

      Reply
  20. Nancy
    April 4, 2020

    Aretha has been a big hit over her long career! Love that she has been rewarded and recognized for all of her great work. Oh wow, 38 albums is super impressive!!! I feel you about liking the earlier music. Sometimes, it is the originals that sticks!! It is great that her music is still being recognized and played. Thanks for sharing about Aretha!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 8, 2020

      She was incredible! So glad you enjoyed reading and listening along 🙂 x

      Reply
  21. Macey @ Brine & Books
    April 5, 2020

    Aretha is a queen & a legend!! I’ve been listening to more of her lately since I’ve made it a goal to mindfully listen to older music. I’ve always loved anything from the 80s and back, but I decided that this year I wanted to be intentional and have a little music routine. It’s been great to hear her incredible voice more often xx

    Reply
    1. femaleoriginal
      April 8, 2020

      That sounds like such a great goal! There’s so many great musicians pre-80s so I’m sure you’ll have a great time listening 🙂 x

      Reply

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