Criteria: These "Aretha Franklin" songs were selected and ranked based on their influence and importance in rock 'n' roll, initial popularity, lasting popularity, and impact on the music world. Edited By: Sampson. List Begun: Don't Play That Song Something He Can Feel Ain't No Way
29. Holdin’ On (2003)
“I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” (1967)
She is the reason why women want to sing. On the Columbia sides of the early Sixties, she laid into standards like then-current stars Sinatra or Nat King Cole, rivaling her backing orchestras for sheer power. Her classic Sixties and Seventies sides soundtracked the Civil Rights Movement, an object lesson in how a singer can embody and define her time. From there, Franklin found homes across genres: not just a testament to the versatility of her music, but to how the world had been shaped by it. King, who made it a huge hit in In her hands and those of Dr. Aretha Franklin demonstrated her remarkable mutability on this Lauryn Hill-penned track. Thirty-eight years after Franklin released her first Columbia single, she put the ascendant wave of neo-soul singers on notice and scored a Top 30 hit. Mayfield wrote it in as homage to the Rev.
She made Barack Obama cry and was long ago anointed the Queen of Soul and although there have been a few pretenders to her throne over the years, she still reigns imperiously, regularly cited as the greatest female singer of modern times. All that changed in when she signed to Atlantic Records and immediately found her muse. Aretha picked up a Grammy for a typical gospel-flecked powerhouse vocal on her fifth hit single in alone, and one which reached number two in the Billboard charts.
Thu 21 Nov Her audience seemed to think Franklin was lowering herself by making the disco album La Diva, but the reality is far better than its wretched reputation suggests, as evidenced by her version of this Lalomie Washburn song, far too funky and robust to feel like belated bandwagon-jumping. Columbia Records knew Franklin was talented, but not what to do with her, peppering her career with false starts. Occasionally, however, her full power was unleashed, as here. A song based entirely around one chord, Chain of Fools is really audacious.