Review #13: I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You, Aretha Franklin

Karla Clifton
2 min readJan 16, 2021

#13: I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You, Aretha Franklin

Aretha is the fifth woman to make the list, and I Never Loved… was the second album that felt like a revelation to me (the first being Songs in the Key of Life). I’d never really listened to Aretha, other than (of course) “Respect.” But wow. Every time I hear this album I think back to Blood on the Tracks, #9 of the 500, and reevaluate Bob Dylan being ranked above her. Bob Dylan writes pretty lyrics, but Aretha Franklin could blow him away with one high note.

Something else notable about Aretha Franklin: She did not leave an official will, but left three handwritten ones, one of which was found underneath a couch cushion and all of which had “indecipherable” handwriting. Pro tip: Have a lawyer do your will.

FAVORITE SONGS:

“Respect” — How bittersweet must it be to be Otis Redding, and get your song stolen by Aretha Franklin? Also, the background singers are doing the absolute most in this song. I used to think the spelling lesson in the middle of this song was the best part, but now I think it’s the background singers.

“Drown In My Own Tears” — Hmm, I don’t mind slow songs when they’re the blues, I guess.

“I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Loved You)” — Okay this song rules.

“Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream” — It took me a few listens but I came around on this song, specifically because of that cool thing she does with her voice in the middle.

“Baby, Baby, Baby” — The background singers!

“Dr. Feelgood (Love Is A Serious Business)”

“Good Times” — Ooh, a party song!

“Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” — The power of the blues can make me like even the sappiest of Aretha Franklin songs.

“Save Me” — A perfect road trip song. (Not that I needed anyone to save me quite yet…)

“A Change Is Gonna Come” — When I set out on this road trip, I was afraid I was going to cry to something. This was the song I ended up crying to first. (Shout-out to Sam Cooke for writing it.)

LEAST FAVORITE SONGS:

“Soul Serenade” — If I must choose, this is my choice.

IS RS FULL OF IT?

Yes — it should be top 10. I loved this album and I think everyone should listen to it immediately. Apologies to Bob Dylan.

Review #12: Thriller, Michael Jackson

Review #14: Exile On Main Street, The Rolling Stones

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