Aretha Franklin - Take A Look
Take a Look demonstrates how Aretha was born the "Queen of Soul," paying loving care and attention to every facet of her years at Columbia. The package includes CDs of Aretha's seven full-length albums for Columbia; two CDs reflecting her collaborations with producers Bobby Scott (in 1963) and Clyde Otis (in 1964); and a bonus CD of singles produced by Bob Johnston and rarities that were "sweetened" and released after Aretha left the label. The set will also includes a DVD featuring Aretha, at the piano, performing several songs on The Steve Allen Show in 1964. Among the highlights of Take a Look is a previously unreleased version of Yeah!!! In Person With Her Quartet which strips away the artificial club ambience that was added to the album's studio performances, revealing Aretha at the peak of her powers. Another high point is an unreleased album called A Bit of Soul. Though it contains previously released material, the original album is presented here for the first time in its master form. Other revelations include riveting studio conversation between Aretha, John Hammond and pianist Ray Bryant during the making of Aretha's debut album in the summer of 1960. The lavish set will include a 48-page booklet, designed by Michael Boland, with never-before-seen photos by Columbia staff photographer Don Hunstein; an excerpt from John Hammond's 1977 autobiography, On Record, in which he reflects on the joy of discovering a singular talent and the heartbreak of losing her to Atlantic; and a newly commissioned essay by Daphne Brooks, a Professor of English & African American Studies at Princeton University and the author of Grace, about the making of the classic Jeff Buckley album, for the acclaimed 33 1/3 series (published by Continuum). The booklet will also include a complete discography of albums and singles, and tribute quotes from Aretha's soul sisters (including Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Dionne Warwick, Mavis Staples) and soul children (Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keyes. The set's producer, Leo Sacks, says: "The stunning performances on Take a Look demonstrate how Aretha Franklin paved the path to her own greatness. Here is the young Aretha planting the seedlings that would blossom a short time later at Atlantic Records. From standards to show tunes to bebop to blues, Take a Look captures a gritty soul about to take flight."