Album no. 106/1001
It’s our first Aretha album but her eleventh overall, and this is the one that broke her out. It’s got ‘Respect’ on it, for starters. What more do you need?
This is Aretha’s first album with Atlantic records, following six years with Columbia. The change was an immediate success, providing her first top ten single, her first number one single, and a top ten album. It’s pretty sweet.
Have you listened to this album before?
NK: I recognise a few tracks, but never the whole thing.
CL: Same. I don’t know very much by Aretha really.
NK: Hard to go past ‘Respect’. It’s barely recognisable as the same song that Otis did a while back, Aretha comes out all guns blazing. Also, ‘Change is Gonna Come’ is a hell of a track. Her voice is outstanding on this. Smashes it out of the park.
CL: Once again, the standout track is the most well-known by a landslide. ‘Respect’ is so, so bloody good. But aside from that… ‘Save Me’ is pretty good? So is ‘Soul Serenade’. But they’re the only ones I got excited about.
When would be the best time to listen to this?
NK: Ok so it was 37 degrees today, and I rode my bike home from work, sweating like a bastard. As I type I am sitting under the air conditioner, listening to Aretha, and eating a giant twin. LISTENING CONDITIONS DO NOT GET BETTER THAN THIS.
CL: I didn’t do that, obviously. Because that’s insane. But I think Aretha is good anytime.
Why has this album been included on the list?
NK: It’s dope, and Aretha’s voice is kick-ass. Also my mate King Curtis plays the sax on this! Little bit of bonus trivia for you there. Also it went to number 2 on the billboard albums chart (number 1 on their ‘black albums’ chart – a little 1960s reality check), and ‘Respect’ was her first number 1 single. Really put Aretha on the map.
CL: Her voice is pretty nuts. This album was obviously just the kicker that helped showcase that to a wider audience.
Will you be listening again?
NK: Yeah, I really liked this. I didn’t think every song was amazing, but there are a couple of stone-cold classics. Plus her voice and the production are so good, even standard songs get kicked up a notch or two.
CL: Hmm. I don’t think I will be. Like I said, aside from the couple that I liked, the rest sort of blurred into one.
Listen to I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.