ARETHA: OH NO? OH YES!

(As 2011 winds down, I’ve been feeling guilty for the relative sparseness of my record posts (as opposed to other kinds of posts). I’m beginning to realize that while writing is a passion, blogging is a hobby and one that has to compete with other interests (the podcasting for example). But at the end of the day, I feel like I’m missing out on the simple pleasures about writing about a song or an artist (without it having to be a RIP post, of which there’ve been too many of late). So with some holiday breathing time, I’ll probably be raining posts for a little bit; we’ll see if I can sustain that momentum into 2012. –O.W.)

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Aretha Franklin: Oh No, Not My Baby
From Spirit In the Dark (Atlantic, 1970)

One of the highlights of the year was participating in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame Music Masters tribute to Aretha Franklin and as I teased the other month, I’ve put together a revisit to my Aretha mix, to be titled Aretha Redux.

“Oh No, Not My Baby” is a new song I added to the revisit, a slept-on track off of Aretha’s Spirit in the Dark album that’s also a cover of a song originally co-written by Carole King and first recorded by Maxine Brown. It’s interesting to me that, listening to both King and Brown’s renditions, it definitely sounds more like a “Carole King song” but in the hands of Aretha and the Atlantic production team, the song transforms into something just sounds like it was meant for Aretha with its mix of a funky rhythm section, the string arrangement and the great use of back-up singers1 All that plus a small breakdown on the bridge…awesome.

  1. Have Aretha’s gotten enough of the proper praise they deserve? Probably not.

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