Young, Gifted and Black

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Birchmeier
It's nearly impossible to single out any of Aretha Franklin's early-'70s albums for Atlantic as being her best, particularly given the breadth of her output during this era. In terms of albums rather than singles, it's probably her strongest era, and if you count live albums like Amazing Grace, choosing a standout or a favorite record isn't any easier. Yet of this stunning era, Young, Gifted and Black certainly ranks highly among her studio efforts, with many arguing that it may be her greatest. And with songs like "Rock Steady," that may be a valid argument. But there's much more here than just a few highlights. If you really want to go song by song, you'd be ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Birchmeier
It's nearly impossible to single out any of Aretha Franklin's early-'70s albums for Atlantic as being her best, particularly given the breadth of her output during this era. In terms of albums rather than singles, it's probably her strongest era, and if you count live albums like Amazing Grace, choosing a standout or a favorite record isn't any easier. Yet of this stunning era, Young, Gifted and Black certainly ranks highly among her studio efforts, with many arguing that it may be her greatest. And with songs like "Rock Steady," that may be a valid argument. But there's much more here than just a few highlights. If you really want to go song by song, you'd be hard-pressed to find any throwaways here -- this is quite honestly an album that merits play from beginning to end. You have upbeat songs like the aforementioned "Rock Steady" that will get you up out of your seat moving and grooving, yet then you also have a number of more introspective songs that slow down the tempo and are more likely to relax than rouse. And if that wide spectrum of moods isn't enough reason to celebrate this album, you get some unlikely songs like a take on "The Long and Winding Road." Plus, you also have to keep in mind that Franklin was in her prime here, not only in terms of voice but also in terms of confidence -- you can just feel her exuding her status as the best of the best. Furthermore, her ensemble of musicians competes with any that she had worked with on previous albums. So even if this isn't the greatest Aretha Franklin album of the early '70s, it's certainly a contender, the sort of album that you can't go wrong with.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/21/2009
  • Label: Hi Horse Records
  • UPC: 725543234810
  • Catalog Number: 7213

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Aretha Franklin Primary Artist, Piano, Celeste, Electric Piano, Vocals
Dr. John Percussion, Percussion
Donny Hathaway Organ, Electric Piano
Billy Preston Organ
Sammy Turner Background Vocals
Hubert Laws Flute, Alto Flute
Chuck Rainey Bass
J.R. Bailey Background Vocals
Carolyn Franklin Background Vocals
Erma Franklin Background Vocals
The Memphis Horns Ensemble
The Sweet Inspirations Background Vocals
Don Arnone Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
Margaret Branch Background Vocals
Ann S. Clark Background Vocals
Cornell Dupree Guitar
Eric Gale Bass
Wayne Jackson Trumpet
Andrew Love Tenor Saxophone
Ray Lucas Percussion, Drums
Hugh McCracken Guitar
Gene Orloff Concert Master
Bernard "Pretty" Purdie Percussion, Drums
Neal Rosengarden Percussion, Trumpet, Vibes
Ronald Bright Background Vocals
Al Jackson Jr. Drums
Pat Smith Background Vocals
Robert "Pops" Popwell Bass, Percussion
Neal Rosengarden Percussion
Technical Credits
Nina Simone Composer
Jerry Butler Composer
Aretha Franklin Composer
Elton John Composer
John Lennon Composer
Paul McCartney Composer
Otis Redding Composer
Burt Bacharach Composer
Jack Adams Engineer
Howard Albert Engineer
Ron Albert Engineer
Thom Bell Composer
Don Casale Engineer
Hal David Composer
Jimmy Douglass Engineer
Tom Dowd Arranger, Producer, Audio Production
Chuck Kirkpatrick Engineer
Kenny Gamble Composer
Lewis Hahn Engineer
William "Poogie" Hart Composer
Bill Inglot Remastering
Arif Mardin Arranger, Producer, Remixing, Audio Production
Gene Paul Engineer
Bernie Taupin Composer
Jerry Wexler Producer, Audio Production
David Nathan Liner Notes
Howie Albert Engineer
Stanislaw Zagorski Cover Design
Theresa Bell Composer
Jim Doris Composer
Daniel Hersch Remastering
Weldon Irving Jr. Composer
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