Superb Double Plus (A++) sound brings Aretha’s underrated Soul Album from ’69 to life on this early Atlantic pressing – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
If you want to hear the Tubey Magic, size and energy of this wonderful record, a vintage pressing like this one is the only way to go
Tough to find this quiet – Aretha made a lot of amazingly good records in the ’60s and they got played good and hard
“One of her most overlooked ’60s albums, on which she presented some of her jazziest material. Her vocals are consistently passionate and first-rate, as is the musicianship; players include the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and respected jazzmen Kenny Burrell, Ron Carter, et al.”
An excellent sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from the first note to the last
Forget whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl record they’re making these days – if you want to hear the Tubey Magic, size and energy of this wonderful album, a vintage pressing like this one is the way to go
Aretha’s records for Columbia feature a more pop-oriented sound than her later works. This is a great record for those interested in checking out the early roots of one of the greatest singers of all time!
“She gives new songs like ‘I Wonder’ (for which Aretha wrote the words), ‘If Ever I Would Leave You’ and ‘I Wanna Be Around’ distinctive, unforgettable interpretations, the kind that set standards for time and singers to come.” – All Music
This Columbia 360 pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern pressings barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing any sign of coming back.(more…)
A superb pressing of this classic live Aretha album with nearly Triple Plus (A+ to A+++) sound throughout – just shy of our Shootout Winner – fairly quiet vinyl too
Aretha’s cover of Bridge Over Troubled Water is truly amazing, but really, there’s not a weak track here – her covers of current material take those songs to another level entirely
4 1/2 stars: “The music here sparkles and crackles with the energy of a top-flight rhythm section — Cornell Dupree on guitar, Bernard Purdie on drums, and Jerry Jemmott on bass, with Billy Preston on organ, Curtis on saxophone, and the Memphis Horns… the most dramatic and deeply satisfying of Aretha Franklin’s live recordings, and is a historical document that every soul fan should own…”
This superb copy of Aretha’s 1968 release boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout – reasonably quiet vinyl too
Surprisingly rich, full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with plenty of natural ambience – Aretha’s vocals are present, breathy, and explosively dynamic
You’d need either a lot of copies, a lot of luck, or both, to come up with a pressing that sounds this good and plays this quietly
5 stars: …an inspired blend of covers and originals from the best songwriters in soul and pop music…”
We’ve been playing a lot of Aretha Franklin records lately, working our way through her catalog, but it’s hard to find pressings that separate themselves from the pack to give you audiophile-friendly sound. Too many seem to be optimized more for the radio than for your hi-rez audio rig.
Every now and then, however, we luck into a copy that has the real soul magic in its grooves. On this album, that means Chain Of Fools and Aretha’s great version of Natural Woman will sound just the way you want them to.(more…)
You’ll find insanely good Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last on this original Atlantic pressing
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
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
“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.” – All Music
A++ sound and quiet vinyl on both sides of this 1968 soul classic, an album that received a top Five Star rating from the All Music Guide! We’ve been playing a ton of Aretha Franklin records around here in recent days, but it’s hard to find pressing that separate themselves from the pack to give you audiophile-friendly sound for her recordings, which (naturally) seem to be optimized more for the radio than for your hi-rez audio rig. Every now and then, however, we’ll luck into a copy that delivers some real soul magic in its grooves, and this was one of those copies. Chain Of Fools and Aretha’s great version of Natural Woman sound JUST RIGHT.
Most of the Aretha records we’ve played tend to be a bit too bright, which brings out a lot of grit, grain and edge. I don’t want to be presumptuous, but I can’t imagine that’s the sound the Queen Of Soul was going for. A copy like this gives you smoother, sweeter sound with a more natural tonal balance. It makes the music work so much better — the sound is easier on the ears and not nearly as fatiguing, plus it lets you turn up the volume good and loud without giving yourself a headache!(more…)
This is a handy record for VTA setup, a subject we discuss at length below.
On the better copies Aretha’s vocals are as dynamic as any you will ever hear, and unlike all the records she did with Tom Dowd, her voice never breaks up on this record. If you have big speakers that can play at loud levels, with the right volume level you can really get Aretha to belt it out like nothing you have ever heard.
Like most modern churches, the kind that have upholstered pews and lots of carpeting, the natural reverberation of the sound isn’t as pronounced as it would be were the recording taking place in a 16th century cathedral.(more…)
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!(more…)
This Atlantic pressing is a MONSTER, easily one of the best we’ve ever played, and unusually quiet to boot. You will have a very tough time finding a copy with even one side this good, let alone two. The music, of course, is top notch — and it’s even better when you don’t have bad sound or crappy vinyl getting in the way. I imagine the Queen Of Soul herself would be very impressed with the way she sounds on this White Hot Stamper pressing.
This WONDERFUL album of Aretha’s is very possibly her most consisent from the period, but it’s sure a tough nut to crack sonically. So many copies are smeary, recessed and lifeless you’d think you were playing a heavy vinyl reissue, not a real Atlantic original. And no matter how hard you try, there just do not seem to be any copies with quiet surfaces and clean inner grooves.(more…)