By Jim Johnson

A legendary live performance by Aretha Franklin is out this week on CD.  Pairing one of the rock era’s legendary voices with one of its iconic venues, Aretha Live at Fillmore West recaptures the magic of May 7th, 1971. Opening with “Respect,” and rolling through her version of Stephen Stills‘ “Love the One You’re With,” Ben E. King‘s “Don’t Play that Song” and closing with Diana Ross‘ “Reach Out and Touch,” Aretha is backed by an all-star band featuring Billy Preston on keyboards.

The surprises include her infusing soul on Bread‘s gentle ballad “Make it With You” and her piano putting a distinctive spin on The Beatles‘ “Eleanor Rigby.” There’s even a special guest — Ray Charles joins her for “Spirit in the Dark.”



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