Friday, March 10, 2017

50 years ago: Aretha released I Never Loved a Man album

First posted 3/16/2008; updated 12/1/2020.

I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You

Aretha Franklin

Released: March 10, 1967

Peak: 2 US, 1 RB, 36 UK, 2 CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, 0.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: R&B


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Respect (Otis Redding) [2:29] (4/29/67, 1 US, 10 UK, 1 RB, sales: 1 million)
  2. Drown in My Own Tears (Henry Glover) [4:07]
  3. I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (Ronnie Shannon) [2:51] (3/4/67, 9 US, 1 RB, sales: 1 million)
  4. Soul Serenade (King Curtis, Luther Dixon) [2:39]
  5. Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream (Aretha Franklin, Ted White) [2:23]
  6. Baby, Baby, Baby (Aretha Franklin, Carolyn Franklin) [2:54]
  7. Dr. Feelgood (Love Is a Serious Business) (Aretha Franklin, Ted White) [3:23]
  8. Good Times (Sam Cooke) [2:10]
  9. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man (Dan Penn, Chips Moman) [3:16] (3/4/67, 37 RB)
  10. Save Me (Aretha Franklin, Carolyn Franklin, King Curtis) [2:21]
  11. A Change Is Gonna Come (Sam Cooke) [4:20]

Total Running Time: 32:51


4.691 out of 5.00 (average of 21 ratings)

Quotable: “A soul landmark.” – Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“The centerpiece of Franklin's first album for Atlantic Records was her cover of Otis Redding’s Respect, the song that, released in the midst of the racial and sexual tumult of 1967, meant so much to so many people. It remains her signature anthem” TL and “one of the truly seminal singles in pop history.” JA While its “inclusion…is in and of itself sufficient to earn I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You classic status, Aretha Franklin's Atlantic label debut is an indisputable masterpiece from start to finish.” JA

“Much of the credit is due to producer Jerry Wexler, who finally unleashed the soulful intensity so long kept under wraps during her Columbia tenure; assembling a crack Muscle Shoals backing band along with an abundance of impeccable material, Wexler creates the ideal setting to allow Aretha to ascend to the throne of Queen of Soul” JA as she “finds her voice” BL and “responds with the strongest performances of her career” JA on her way to becoming “the soul diva of her generation.” BL

While the brilliant title track remains the album’s other best-known song, each cut on I Never Loved a Man is touched by greatness.” JA The “overexposure [of ‘Respect’] means that [Aretha’s] powerful versions of Ray Charles’ Drown in My Own Tears and Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come, as well as her emotionally delicate performance of Do Right Woman, Do Right Man, are often underappreciated.” TL The latter “was a plea for love and dignity no listener couldn’t be moved by.” BL

The covers, which also include “Sam Cooke's Good Times…are on par with the original recordings, while Aretha's own contributions – Don't Let Me Lose This Dream, Baby, Baby, Baby, Save Me, and Dr. Feelgood (Love Is a Serious Business) – are perfectly at home in such lofty company. A soul landmark.” JA

Notes: A reissue of the album adds the singles remixes of “Respect,” “I Never Loved a Man,” and “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man.”

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