Franklin: "I Never Loved A Man The Way I Loved
the inclusion of "Respect" -- one of the truly
seminal singles in pop history -- 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.
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, and she responds
with the strongest performances of her career."
Penn: "Do Right Man"
James Brown is Soul Brother Number One, you can make a
very credible case for Dan Penn being number two. The
Alabama native has had a hand in writing a fair number
of classic soul songs, and here he commits his versions
of them to tape for the first time, recording, of course,
in Muscle Shoals, with their fabulous
house band, and a horn section including former Memphis
Horn member Wayne Jackson. It's a tall
order Penn sets himself, offering himself up for comparison
with greats like James Carr, Aretha Franklin, and James
and Bobby Purify, who have sung his songs -- and that's
just the start of the list. However, he comes out very
well, beginning with a quiet take on"The Dark End
of the Street," coming across like a note to a secret
lover, rather than a cry of pain."