Aretha: Lady Soul – Aretha Franklin (1968)

Album no. 117/1001

It’s Aretha’s second spot on this list – but her 14th album overall – and it’s pretty clear she just keeps getting better and better.

Lady Soul was just one of the albums she released in 1968, alongside Aretha Now. That same year she also appeared on the cover of TIME magazine – so she was kicking goals all over the place.

Have you listened to this album before?

CL: I think I maybe know one song from this? I’m hoping this album rates a bit higher with me than the last one we heard from Ms Franklin.

NK: I have not, but I know a couple of tracks.

Standout track

CL: ‘Niki Hoeky’! HOT DAMN! I’m already enjoying this album more that Aretha’s first one we heard here. I’ve definitely heard ‘People Get Ready’ before – but not this version. It was SUUUUUPER good. Very spiritual. I know everyone says John Coltrane had ‘spiritual’ music, but no. Not compared to this.  

NK: I’ll tell you what I like about ‘Niki Hoeky’, the electric guitar fills. What a great sound. The best song though? ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’, hands down no contest. Stone cold classic, right there. If this album was that song and nothing else it would still be amazing. HOW GOOD IS IT? Real good. ‘Chain of Fools’ is also great, and ‘Since You’ve Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby)’. Lots of good brackets on this album. The weakest song here is probably ‘Groovin’, which we caught once before when The Young Rascals did it. Aretha’s version is better, but I still don’t get into it.

CL: I didn’t even notice ‘Groovin’ was a cover because it sounded so different. I definitely liked this version more, I mean that goes without saying.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

CL: I’m definitely putting this on while cooking dinner for a large party of people. 

NK: Whenever the hell you want, it’s great.

Why has this album been included on the list?

CL: Gosh her voice is versatile, isn’t it? That by itself is enough to merit its inclusion on the list.

NK: It’s got a couple of all-timers on it, it was a massive success, it still sounds great 49(!) years later, I think it’s presence here is justified.

Will you be listening again?  

CL: I might pop it on while doing a few other things. Also, it COULD surprise me and I might find myself playing it all the time. It’s hard to know. I’ll keep everyone updated.

NK: Yeah mate, I enjoyed this a lot.

Rating

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to Aretha: Lady Soul on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

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