Atlantic records impresario Jerry Wexler had many strings to his bow, but undoubtedly his greatest stroke of genius was leading Aretha towards the Fame Studios in 1967 to conduct her first sessions for the label. A lady with many quite uneven Columbia albums to her name would turn the world of soul music upside down and reveal the Queen of Soul to the world. The music created was both harrowing and spine-chilling in equal measure, leaving everyone in its radius in a state of soulful euphoria.
“Can” was recorded during the ‘Hey Now Hey’ LA album sessions circa 1972, with Quincy Jones at the helm, and is a scintillating slow burner of exquisite beauty.
“I’m Trying” is a glorious 1969/70 outtake from her ‘Spirit in the Dark’ LP, cut at Criteria with Wexler and the MSS boys in tow.
A friend of mine recently alluded that you sometimes don’t realise the true greatness of a track until it is embossed in 7” vinyl. So true!