'Spirit in the Dark' was released on this day (August 24th) in 1970.
It's something of a coincidence that an Aretha Franklin record is our Album of the Week. It so happens that her legendary 'Spirit in the Dark' was released exactly 48 years ago today via Atlantic Records - her second album to be released in one year.
Aretha Franklin - Spirit in the Dark
It was the Queen of Soul's seventeenth studio album and, while it wasn't as much of a commercial success as it was a critical one, it remains one of her classic records - and a must-listen for all who loved her.
This was obviously post 'Lady Soul' and 'I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You' era, but 'Spirit in the Dark' did produce some hit singles including the titular track and the Ben E. King song 'Don't Play That Song (You Lied)' with bluegrass band The Dixie Flyers, the latter of which peaked at number one on the US R&B chart.
It was released just seven months after 'This Girl's in Love with You'; a collection of mostly covers like 'Son of a Preacher Man' and 'Let It Be', as well as original song 'Call Me'. Likewise, as with much of Aretha's work, 'Spirit in the Dark' featured a combination of original work and covers such as Maxine Brown's 'Oh No Not My Baby'.
The legacy of this record includes Kanye West having sampled the title track for his debut album song 'School Spirit', and the song 'Try Matty's' being used as the jingle got Matt Siegel's Kiss 108 show.
It's difficult to think that we'll never hear Aretha Franklin belt out some of these fine tunes live again, but her voice is recorded for eternity. It's been over a week since she passed away, and the world continues to remember a strong woman with a vocal range that could move mountains.