On Thursday, August 16th, 2018, we said good-bye to Lady Soul, Aretha. yes, she was one of those folks who got by on one name very nicely. she was 76. pancreatic cancer. she was almost larger than life…..with a wondrous voice to match.
so sure, i’ll get crankin’ on a tribute show to her and her tremendous legacy of joyous, rockin’, quality music. but those always take a few days to get together, and maybe you don’t want to wait. i don’t blame ya. i had a very nice evening on the patio last night, drinking wine and listening to her great Lady Soul record from 1968. soooooo……. if you wanna have a nice aretha party on this friday night the 17th…..or saturday morning or whenever……let’s acknowledge some contemporary realities in terms of music access. meaning i’m guessing you very likely have Spotify or Pandora or both, or you have some Aretha cd’s/albums. if that’s the case, there is absolutely no need to wait around for me and my pithy comments. you can put together a real nice and comprehensive Aretha party that will definitely get the job done and remind you why the woman was a stone cold cultural treasure and legend.
First, if you have the albums or c.d.s, well, play one of ’em. or two. duh. have a great time. a couple of standouts are the aforementioned Lady Soul (where she actually covers an old Redbone song called Niki Hoeky!) and 1967’s “I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You,” the album with Respect and Dr. Feelgood, among a bunch of others (and those are just two of MANY albums that Ree recorded over the years).
Second, if you have spotify or pandora or some other music streaming service, there are 3 great Best Of albums you can party with and get big time satisfaction. my fave is “30 Greatest Hits” by Aretha Franklin, which has loads of great stuff from her golden age with Atlantic Records. if you track that one, you’ve got yourself an instant Aretha Party. also good is “Respect–the Very Best of A.F.” and this one includes her 80’s hits on Arista records, like Freeway of Love and Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves. that collection has 43 Ree tunes on it, so it’s pretty comprehensive. Another killer compilation disc is “Queen of Soul,” with 24 tracks and not a stiff in the bunch.
so yes….no need to wait for my Aretha tribute. you can have your own right now! therefore…..”rock steady, baby, what i mean now….and let’s call this song exactly what it is. it’s a funky and lowdown feeling, move your hips from left to right. what it is that i might be doin’, this stuff and dance all night……”