Album of the Day
The consistent quality of SOUL '69 offers further evidence that Aretha Franklin could do no wrong in a recording studio as the 1960s drew to a close. Produced by Tom Dowd and Jerry Wexler, the Atlantic collection may be all covers, but Franklin's impassioned vocal and piano work gets inside these 12 songs and makes each of them her own. The eclectic mix of material - from “Gentle on My Mind” and “Elusive Butterfly” to “Tracks of My Tears” and “Today I Sing the Blues” - ranges far beyond standard issue soul, and so do the arrangements, which lean toward jazz thanks to the presence of such top players as Joe Zawinul, David Newman and Kenny Burrell. Released 50 years ago today, SOUL '69 showcases a genius beyond category.