ARETHA FRANKLIN : ‘Oh Me Oh My: Live In Philly, 1972’ (Label: Rhino Handmade)

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ARETHA FRANKLIN : 'Oh Me Oh My: Live In Philly, 1972'

Recently discovered gathering a veritable carpet of dust in the Atlantic vaults is this lost concert by the still undisputed ‘Queen Of Soul.’ It was recorded at the National Association Of Television & Radio Announcers Convention in Philadelphia in the spring of 1972 and features 14 of the soul monarch’s most famous tracks. Kicking off with a dramatic overture comprising the first few bars of Richard Strauss’s classical music piece, ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ – made famous by its employment in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi epic, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ – the music segues into a rendition of Aretha’s funky 1971 smash, ‘Rock Steady.’ It’s followed by high-octane medleys of ‘I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Loved You)’/’I Say A Little Prayer,’ ‘Day Dreaming’/’Think,’ ‘Chain Of Fools’/’See Saw’ and a beautiful gospel-infused reading of Simon and Garfunkel’s hit ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water,’ which is combined with the Roger Nichols/Paul Williams-penned Carpenters’ ballad, ‘We’ve Only Just Begun.’ Her vibrant reading of ‘Spanish Harlem’ has a pronounced Latin feel that’s truly infectious while a full-throttle version of ‘Respect’ generates enough heat to cause a major conflagration. Fans of Aretha’s piano playing will lap up the instrumental version of ‘Young, Gifted & Black.’ The show climaxes with a magnificent take on the rousing, sanctified ‘Spirit In The Dark,’ which simply affirms Aretha’s regal status in soul music history. Housed in an attractive cardboard gatefold sleeve and augmented by liner notes by David Nathan, this limited edition CD is exclusively available from
(CW) 4/5