So Soon / It Was You

Whenever the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, covered another artist’s song, she had an uncanny knack of making it her own. The two tracks presented here are no exceptions.

Released for the first time on CD in 2007, the brisk Motown-esque “So Soon” penned by Van McCoy (and officially recorded by Donnie Elbert), and James Brown’s down-tempo “It Was You” were recorded in 1967 as part of the Atlantic New York sessions which spawned Aretha’s second album for the label ‘Aretha Arrives’. For some inexplicable reason, they were left in the can.

Featured musicians include such Muscle Shoals luminaries as Jimmy Johnson (guitar), Spooner Oldham (organ) and Roger Hawkins (drums). Aretha’s sisters Carolyn and Erma provide sterling backup vocals, especially prevalent on the driving “So Soon” whilst horns punctuate the stark, declarative “It Was You”, as does Aretha’s strident piano chords.

Two outstanding and contrasting outtakes that rightly belong on a single 7″ format.

(Ray Ellis)


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