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ARETHA FRANKLIN / Love All The Hurt Away (1981)

ARETHA FRANKLIN / Love All The Hurt Away (1981)

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The Queen! A diva who couldn't possibly need any more love but deserves every bit you could throw at her. A virtuoso vocalist with the ability to take the simplest melody or lyric and create a masterpiece. After her hit-making days at Atlantic Records were over, the third act of her career began in the 1980s when she signed with Arista records. Love All the Hurt Away was her second album for Arista. Produced by Arif Mardin, I think Love All the Hurt Away is her best post-Atlantic recording. Arif eased her away from the ghastly disco vibe of her late 70s output and into a far more flattering adult contemporary-R&B setting. There are some misfires here but for the most part Aretha gets solid songs and nice arrangements. The album opens with the gorgeous title track, a duet with George Benson. I think Benson is her most complementary vocal pairing even though many more would follow during her Arista years. The production on her version of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" is too conservative to let her do what the song really warrants, but it's still nice. Likewise, "Hold On I'm Comin'" doesn't benefit from the use of live instruments made to sound like synthesizers. However, "There's A Star For Everyone" is a standout. It features a wonderfully restrained lead vocal and allows the distinguished chorus (Cissy Houston, Darlene Love, Estelle Brown, David Lasley and others) to execute a beautiful background vocal arrangement. My favorite is "It's My Turn", Aretha burns right through the maudlin melody with some gospel-fire vocals that turn it into a rousing declaration of independence. With all due respect to the great Miss Ross, Aretha turns in the definitive version of this classic.

Love All The Hurt Away
Hold On I'm Comin'
Living In The Streets
There's A Star For Everyone
You Can't Always Get What You Want
It's My Trun
Truth and Honesty
Search On
Whole Lot Of Me
Kind Of Man

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The album code is : ODI105552

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