Aretha Franklin 'Complete' Box Set Issued for 50th Anniversary

Amid reports from Aretha Franklin that her health is now "superb" following surgery last month, Columbia/Legacy has announced it will honor the 50th anniversary of the Queen of Soul's earlier pop recording career with the deluxe box set "Take a Look: Aretha Franklin Complete on Columbia."

Encompassing the years 1960-1965, the 12-disc box set (suggested retail price: $169.98) bows March 22 at both physical and digitalvretail outlets. The set also became available for pre-order in January at

Signed to Columbia Records by legendary music executive John Hammond in 1960, Franklin released her first album, the Hammond-produced "Aretha (with the Ray Bryant Combo)," in 1961. In addition to this album, the box set -- marking the first compilation of Franklin's entire Columbia output -- features six more original Columbia albums (all with original art and liner notes), two CDs featuring the singer's collaborations with producers Bobby Scott and Clyde Otis and two new CDs, including the never-released album "A Bit of Soul."

Rounding out the collection: the bonus DVD "Aretha '64! Live on The Steve Allen Show" and a 60-page booklet that includes newly published photographs and a note from Leo Sacks, who compiled and produced "Take a Look." Also coming March 22 is "Aretha Franklin: The Great American Songbook," a single CD offering highlights from the box set.