Aretha Franklin – Spirit In The Dark

Two incredible sides — an A+++ side one backed with an A++ to A+++ side two — for one of the best sounding albums Aretha recorded!

We’ve done a ton of Aretha shootouts over the years and I’d put this one up with Amazing Grace as her top titles for sound. Everything we wanted from this music, this copy was DOIN’ IT, plain and simple. It’s lively, open, present and natural. The soundfield is big and spacious and the bottom end is killer. Aretha fans, you won’t want to miss out on this one!

Unfortunately the vinyl is a bit noisy, Mint Minus Minus. That’s just about always the case for this album — we can’t seem to find a copy that plays much quieter. Most of them sure don’t sound like this, so if you can live with a little surface noise behind the music I think you’ll still be very pleased with this copy. There is a mark on the third track of the second side that makes about fifteen ticks, so skip this one if that will drive you crazy, but you’ll be missing out on some primo early ’70s soul sound. We’ve kept the price far below what we would have asked for these grades on a quieter copy. 


Side One

Don’t Play That Song 
The Thrill Is Gone 
You and Me 
Honest I Do 
Spirit in the Dark

Side Two

When the Battle is Over 
One Way Ticket 
Try Matty’s 
That’s All I Want from You 
Oh No Not My Baby 
Why I Sing the Blues

AMG Review

Spirit in the Dark was one of Aretha Franklin’s more overlooked albums from her Atlantic prime, despite the inclusion of a couple hit singles (the title track and “Don’t Play That Song”)… it’s an exuberant and remarkably consistent effort.