Aretha Franklin / Aretha 4CD box set

Four CD box offers unreleased rarities • Remastered

Rhino will issue Aretha, a new Aretha Franklin four-CD box set that collects hits, alternate versions, demos, rarities and live tracks.

Arranged mostly in chronological order, Aretha features 81 newly remastered tracks, 19 of which are previously unreleased. This set starts way back in 1956 with ‘Never Grow Old’ and ‘You Grow Closer’ which were released as her first single, before moving into the 1960s, when Franklin was signed to Columbia.

However, the majority of Aretha focuses on her tenure with Atlantic Records between 1967 and 1979. ‘My Kind Of Town (Detroit Is)’ and ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ from CD 1  are home demos that she recorded in 1966 to give Atlantic executive and producer Jerry Wexler.

The box set includes the hits but often these are included as different versions, like alternate takes of ‘Chain Of Fools’, ‘Rock Steady’ and ‘Spanish Harlem’; live recordings of ‘Baby I Love You’ and ‘Don’t Play That Song’; and ‘Think’ recorded for The Blues Brothers soundtrack.

The Arista era isn’t forgotten and this set includes ‘Jump To It’, ‘Freeway Of Love’ and collaborations like ‘Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves’ with Eurythmics and ‘I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)’ with George Michael.

Aretha ends with her memorable performance of ‘(You Make Me Feel) Like A Natural Woman’ at The 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in 2015.

This set comes with a booklet with sleeve notes by Rochelle Riley (author and director of arts and culture for the City of Detroit) and David Nathan, a music journalist and soul historian who interviewed Franklin more times than any other living writer.

Aretha is released on 10 September 2021 (was 30 July 2021, and before that was 20 November 2020) via Rhino and 2LP and single CD ‘highlights’ versions are also available.


CD 1

“Never Grow Old”
“You Grow Closer”
“Today I Sing The Blues”
“Won’t Be Long”
“Are You Sure”
“Operation Heartbreak”
“Runnin’ Out Of Fools”
“One Step Ahead”
“(No, No) I’m Losing You”
“Cry Like A Baby”
“A Little Bit Of Soul”
“My Kind Of Town (Detroit Is)” – Demo *
“Try A Little Tenderness” – Demo *
“I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)”
“Do Right Woman – Do Right Man”
“A Change Is Gonna Come”
“Chain Of Fools” – Alternate Version
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” – UK Single Version
“(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone”
“Ain’t No Way”
“My Song”
“You Send Me”
“The House That Jack Built”
“Tracks Of My Tears”

CD 2

“Baby I Love You” – Live
“Son Of A Preacher Man”
“Call Me” – Alternate Version *
“Let It Be”
“Young, Gifted And Black” – Alternate Longer Take *
“Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Long Version
“It’s Not Unusual/See Saw” – with Tom Jones *
(Originally Broadcast On This Is Tom Jones, October, 9, 1970)
“You’re All I Need To Get By” – Work Tape *
“Brand New Me” – Work Tape *
“Spanish Harlem” – Alternate Mix *
“Rock Steady” – Alternate Mix/Take
“Day Dreaming”
“Share Your Love With Me” – Live
“Don’t Play That Song” – Live
“Dr. Feelgood” – Live
“Spirit In The Dark” (Reprise with Ray Charles) – Live
“How I Got Over” (Single Edit) – Live
“Master Of Eyes (The Deepness Of Your Eyes)”

CD 3

“Somewhere” – Alternate Version *
“Angel” – Work Tape *
“The Boy From Bombay” *
“Til It’s Over” – Demo *
“Oh Baby” (a.k.a. “There’s Something Magic About You”) – Demo *
“Until You Come Back To Me” – Work Tape *
“I’m In Love” – Alternate Vocal
“Without Love”
“Mr. D.J. (5 For The D.J.)”
“Something He Can Feel”
“Look Into Your Heart”
“Break It To Me Gently”
“When I Think About You”
“Almighty Fire (Woman Of The Future)”
“Ladies Only” – Short Version
“You Light Up My Life” *
“Ooo Baby Baby” – with Smokey Robinson *
(Originally Broadcast On Soul Train, December 1, 1979)
“Amazing Grace”
(Originally Broadcast On Royal Variety Performance, November 23, 1980)

CD 4

“I Say A Little Prayer” – with Dionne Warwick *
“United Together”
“Jump To It”
“The Wind”
“Freeway Of Love”
“Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves” – Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin
“I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) – Aretha Franklin and George Michael
“Oh Happy Day” – with Mavis Staples (Live at New Bethel Baptist Church, Detroit, MI –
July 1987)
“A Rose Is Still A Rose”
“Someday We’ll All Be Free”
“The Makings Of You”
“Nessun Dorma” – Live
“At Last” – with Lou Rawls *
(Originally Broadcast On American Soundtrack: Rhythm, Love And Soul, March 2003)
“You’ve Got A Friend” – Ronald Isley featuring Aretha Franklin
“Rolling In The Deep” – The Aretha Version
“My Country ’Tis Of Thee”
“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” – Live *
(Originally Broadcast On The 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, December 19. 2015)


2-LP vinyl (same track listing on a single CD)

Side One

“Never Grow Old”
“Today I Sing The Blues”
 “One Step Ahead”
 “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)”
“A Change Is Gonna Come”

Side Two

“Chain Of Fools” – Alternate Version
“Call Me” – Alternate Version *
“Rock Steady” – Alternate Mix/Take
“How I Got Over” (Single Edit) – Live

Side Three

“Master Of Eyes (The Deepness Of Your Eyes)”
“Until You Come Back To Me” – Work Tape *
“Something He Can Feel”
“You Light Up My Life” *

Side Four

“Freeway Of Love”
 “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) – Aretha Franklin and George Michael
“Someday We’ll All Be Free”
“A Rose Is Still A Rose”
“(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” – Live*
(Originally Broadcast On The 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors 12/19/15)

*Previously Unreleased Audio 

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