Flashback Friday – Aretha Franklin – Aretha Sings The Blues

Aretha Sings The Blues

Drinking music is in a class all of its own. We know it as the music that has helped us just to make it through a situation. It has soothed the pain of a broken heart or a failed romance. You put that record of your choice on and slide on down to bluesville with a side order of dark and dreary skies. I personally love this kind of music not for its mood altering affects but for its power. Never does a lyric have so much meaning as in the blues. There are no mixed messages in these songs. You know it is over, they have left you, and your heart will be broken for awhile. You are lying on the couch with a fifth of whatever (kool-aid, of course) and co-signing with the music when you hear phrases like “I’d rather drink muddy water and sleep out in a hollow log” or “Lawd, if I only had my way, the graveyard would be the place where my man would lay.”

On Aretha Sings The Blues, Aretha sets the tone for whatever ails you. These classics were recorded between 1961 and 1965, during her seven years at Columbia Records. She is also featured on piano on some of the tracks. Aretha opens the album with my personal favorite, “Drinking Again“, which paints the tale of a romance that has gone south and the song ends with the prophetic line, “I ain’t got nothin’ but a bottle of Seagram’s and just a memory.” The lights are low and the embers have lost their glow. Each title tells a life story such as “Maybe I’m A Fool“, “Evil Gal Blues“, “Trouble In Mind“, “Nobody Know The Way I Feel This Morning“, “This Bitter Earth“, “Muddy Water“, “Only The Lonely” and “Take A Look.” She embraces this music with such soulfulness, conviction, and compassion and to imagine that she was only in her late teens and early 20’s when she recorded these gems. That is an amazing talent wise beyond her years. If you are an early Aretha fan, this is definitely a must have. Enjoy your music.

Other Related Albums
The Great Aretha Franklin/Sweet Bitter Love/Aretha Sings The Blues [Box Set]
The Delta Meets Detroit: Aretha’s Blues
Unforgettable: A Tribute to Dinah Washington

8 Responses to “Flashback Friday – Aretha Franklin – Aretha Sings The Blues”

  1. Donald says:

    Wasn’t this her tribute to Dinah Washington? Those tracks sound like a lot of Dinah’s songs …

  2. Antonio G says:

    Lawd, if I only had my way, the graveyard would be the place where my man would lay.”
    I have nothing to say about this Friday Flashback — I’ll just pick up the album and store it away for a cloudy day in paradise.

  3. Tai says:

    Lord, I love when Aretha sings…I am drinking again. It makes me wanna grab a bottle of some liquid libations and get busy…
    Donald, some of these same songs can be found on Aretha’s tribute to Dinah Washington

  4. kevinrscott says:

    i guess i need to apologize in advance. but i for one missed the whole aretha train. i just don’t see it, get it or anything like that. and yes i know she pioneered many of the aspects of music that i enjoy today….
    but i just don’t feel her. i know it’s sad because i am probably missing out. but, i feel the same way about people who don’t get the genious of mariah. i can hear the chuckles now. but like aretha if you can get past the visual and actually listen and observe the musicianship, you can acknowledge the genious.

  5. -J. says:

    I’ll pick up your slack, kevin. Not that I can remember the last time I wanted to lay a man down in the cold, cold earth, but I could use a little reassurance from Mama ReRe that later drinking in my life after a bad man is not only okay, but classic.
    Good FF, James!

  6. e j says:

    I can remember ‘retha from way back. Songs like ‘Until You Come Back To Me’ and ‘Chain of Fools’ are the ones I can listen to repeatedly. This review alone is enough reason for me to just pick up this CD. Thanks again for keeping me in the loop.

  7. MKW says:

    James,
    you mean i been drinking for all these years and im the only one without a theme song. the erk and jerk just got lovelier.
    im having jack and coke tonight, chasing tail, desperately trying to hold on to my youth: any music you can think of to push all this through will would be appreciated.
    you knows i love you.
    mkw

  8. gwen says:

    This must be for when you’re cryin in your lemonade, huh 😉

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