Friday, July 12, 2013

"United Together" by Aretha Franklin

Song#:  0452
Date:  12/27/1980
Debut:  80
Peak:  56
Weeks:  8
Genre:  R&B, Soul

Pop Bits:  By 1980, the Queen of Soul was seeing her popularity on record slip away. Her past three albums for her home label Atlantic pretty much bombed and her last pop chart entry (and last R&B Top 10) was 1977's "Break It to Me Gently" (#85). She also had not hit the pop Top 10 since 1973. Feeling that a change was needed, Franklin moved over to Arista and in 1980 released her "Aretha" LP. Although the album didn't set the charts on fire, it performed far better than her previous platters and this first single got her back on the pop chart and up to #3 on the R&B chart. It gave her career a boost and it would only grow as the 80s continued.

ReduxReview:  This big ballad kind of reminds me of a more soulful "It's My Turn" from Diana Ross. Not sure why, but when I heard this song, the other just came to mind. Actually, "It's My Turn" would have been wonderful to hear from Franklin rather than thin-voiced Ross. Regardless, the Queen's return to the pop chart is good, but not stellar. It may have sounded just a tidge old-fashioned at the time so that may have played into chart position. But Miss Thang would certainly adapt to the times very soon.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Although not released as a single, Franklin's cover of Otis Redding's "I Can't Turn You Loose," included on the "Aretha" album, got her a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female. Oddly enough, Franklin had recently appeared in the film "The Blues Brothers" where an instrumental version of the song was used as the Brothers' intro. However, the song did not make it onto the soundtrack.


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