Friday, 12 February 2016

What we're listening to. Aretha 'Amazing Grace'.

Now we've known about this classic, wonderful Album for a long time but we never knew the story behind it....

'Amazing Grace' is a gospel album released as live in 1972. In fact, it is Aretha's biggest selling Album of all time and the biggest selling gospel Album of all time - no surprise, it's really just that good. Wonderfully. 

But back to the story...

Recorded at a Baptist Church in LA, it was filmed as a documentary by Sydney Pollack (Out of Africa, The Way We Were, Tootsie and many more) for Warner Brothers

However, he had failed to use a clapperboard before every take and therefore, not syncing the sound to the pictures. Something we know at Streamabout can happen - but it's pretty careless (every wonder why handclaps or clapperboards are used on shoots? That's why).

So the film was out of sync and it was shelved and ended up on the studio floor for 38 years until Pollack's death in 2008.

It was then handed over to Alan Elliot, a Producer, who took another two years to get it back and right which he did. 

He planned to release it in 2011 but....Aretha sued (for using her likeness without her permission). In fact, he noticed that a young Mick Jagger was actually in the Church audience at the time and is on the film.

However, Warner Brothers found the original Contract and felt they were able to show the film in 2015 at various festivals. But Franklin sued again and was granted an emergency injunction to stop it being shown. The film was therefore withdrawn and that's where it sits right now. As yet, unseen and we'd say it's a gem with Aretha's voice and Pollack's eye.

Amazing. Grace. 

This is just one of the most beautiful recordings ever and certainly it's Aretha at her magical best. 

It's a double Album so there's lots of it, supported by a choir and interspersed with a Preacher, almost like you're there. She was 30 when it was recorded and her father actually was a Preacher from Mississippi who founded a Baptist Church. He was known as the "million dollar voice" so it was in the genes and bringing Aretha singing in Church from age 14, this record must've felt like home to her.

Despite general belief, she was not Whitney Houston's Aunt although considered an 'honorary Aunt' and Aretha was very much the voice of Black Civil Rights.

This is one great record. Get it. 

Here's 'Mary don't you weep no more' which some hardnose fans will know from Bad Company 'Straight Shooter'. Unreal.

Previous "listen to's" you'll also find on this blog.......Eric Clapton 461; Massive Attack Blue Lines; The Clash London Calling; Chris Isaak At The Filmore; Bob Dylan Street Legal;Bad Company Straight Shooter; Jackson Browne Love is Strange; Lou Reed Transformer; Steely Dan AJA; Stones Black+Blue; Stephen Bishop Careless; Nils Lofgren Night after Night; Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells; Neil Young Harvest; Led Zep 4; David Bowie David Live; Van It's too late to stop now; Wings Band on the run; Rod Stewart Atlantic Crossing; Ryan Adams Heartbreaker; Santana Essential; Bob Dylan Desire; Roxy Music For your pleasure; Bob Marley Legend; Stephen Fretwell Magpie; James Taylor Sweet Baby James; Deep Purple Machine Head; Springsteen Darkness on the edge of town; Leon Bridges Coming Home; Eagles Hotel California; Jungle; Aretha Soul Queen; Neil Young After the Goldrush + Harvest; Zappa Overnite Sensation; Fleetwood Mac Rumours; Keith Jarrett Koln Concert; Doobies Southbound; Stevie Earle I feel alright; Tom Waits Closing Time; Pink Floyd Dark Side; Van Moondance; Eric Church Caught in the Act; Randy Newman Little Criminals; Elton John Madman across the water; Patti Smith Horses; Doobies Captain and Me; Steely Dan Can't Buy a Thrill.