Support Local Journalism. Donate to Detroit Metro Times.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Aretha Franklin's classic album 'Lady Soul' turns 50 today

Posted By on Mon, Jan 22, 2018 at 4:55 PM

On January 22, 1968, Aretha Franklin released "Lady Soul." - PHOTO COURTESY OF ALL MUSIC.
  • Photo courtesy of All Music.
  • On January 22, 1968, Aretha Franklin released "Lady Soul."

Aretha Franklin has long been considered the “Queen of Soul” and her Detroit upbringing has always kept her close to our hearts. Though she has become a polarizing figure in recent years — perhaps due to her controversial National Anthem performance at the Lions Thanksgiving game in 2016 — Detroiters still remember her lasting musical statement, released 50 years ago today.

On Jan. 22, 1968, Atlantic Records released Lady Soul, Franklin's 14th album. Just a year before, Franklin had topped the R&B charts with “Baby I Love You” from Aretha Arrives, her breakout album. Her growing popularity even earned her a spot on Time magazine’s cover in June 1968. Stepping back into Atlantic Studios in New York City, Franklin aimed to repeat the success of her recent hit and prove herself as a force within popular music.

click to enlarge Aretha Franklin on the cover of Time Magazine in June of 1968. - PHOTO FROM TIME MAGAZINE.
  • Photo from Time Magazine.
  • Aretha Franklin on the cover of Time Magazine in June of 1968.

What came out was an album that produced two hit singles — “Chain of Fools” and “You Make Me Feel Like (A Natural Woman),” co-written by Carole King — and climbed the Billboard Album Charts.

Beyond the numbers, Franklin’s sound was continuing to push the boundaries of gospel, R&B, rock, and soul. Elements of each genre are found here, proving Franklin’s flexibility as a singer and songwriter.

In recent years, Lady Soul has been recognized for its impact on contemporary music beyond just R&B and has been dubbed a classic album by the likes of Pitchfork and Rolling Stone.

Revisit this classic album from Detroit’s favorite diva, released on this day 50 years ago:

Anthony Spak is an editorial intern with Metro Times and a recent graduate of Oakland University’s journalism program. Spak spends most of his time in Detroit playing music or eating gyros at Golden Fleece.

Tags: , , , , , ,

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Metro Times has been keeping Detroit informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources. A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Metro Times. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

Read the Digital Print Issue

April 8, 2020


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation