Aretha Franklin: The 8 Best Remixes
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, tragically passed away at age 76 on Thursday (Aug. 16) in her Detroit home.
Before Beyonce and Tina Turner, before Whitney Houston or Adele, there was one fierce, fiery woman with a voice precious as gold and strong as steel. Franklin was born in Memphis, Tenn., in 1942, and raised in Detroit after moving there as a preschooler. The powerhouse vocalist learned to hone her skills in the church choir, and by the time she was 14, she was traveling the country as a performer, hitting church stages across the country with her father as manager.
Franklin signed with Columbia Records, and in 1960, she released her first single. "Today I Sing The Blues" hit the top 10 of the R&B charts, kicking off an unforgettable string of hits that made her one of the best selling musical acts of all time. During her illustrious career, she put 73 songs on the Hot 100 charts, including 17 in the top 10 and two number one singles.
Her strength brought women and people of color up during a time of great struggle. She is an icon of confidence and vulnerability, of equality and perseverance and her music gave life to all who came after. Today, we honor Franklin's legacy with a list of remixes that shine a light on the absolute funk in Aretha's soul. We hope you enjoy.
Aretha Franklin - "I'm Every Woman/Respect" (Eric Kupper Club Mix)
If you're looking for some classic disco sheen -- which Franklin definitely was known to serve on occasion -- this club edit of her "I'm Every Woman" cover from her 2014 album Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics is a bullseye. The original cover has its energetic highs and lows, but this version from Eric Kupper rocks the beat steady.
Aretha Franklin - "One Step Ahead" (Ayatollah Remix)
If you're a hip-hop head, you'll rather quickly recognize this beat as the backbone of Mos Def's classic "Ms. Fat Booty." Ayatollah produced this slick, jazzy beat for the rapper in 1999. It appeared on his LP Black on Both Sides, and it remains the best re-imagining of "One Step Ahead" to date. This version cuts out Def's vocals and gives us a little more Franklin. It's downright dreamy, is what it is.
Aretha Franklin - "Think" (Kraak & Smaak Remix)
What if Aretha Franklin were a club kid in the late aughts? She'd probably love to get down over a gnarly electro-house beat like this. It's a sweaty, grimy take on a raspy classic, and we are loving the new attitude. We can almost see Franklin jumping into it in some neon, ripping the heads off of mics with sheer force of will.
Tinush - "Struggle" (Feat. Aretha Franklin's "A Deeper Love")
Let's slow things down from a boil to a simmer with this sultry take on "A Deeper Love." This hip, house beat is bedroom ready with a soulful sample of Franklin's version of "A Deeper Love." The original was recorded and released by American record producers Clivillés and Cole, who also worked closely with Mariah Carey. Of course, it's hard to outshine the queen, and this remix is somehow both touching and danceable.
Aretha Franklin - "Chain of Fools" (Nasca Remix)
"Chain of Fools" is one of Franklin's coolest coos. She's got a mean swagger in her frustration, and her revenge is served in the form of a timeless hit. This remix from Nasca matches her liberated tone with a haunting bassline and driving rhythm. Cinematic strings and edgy synths give the song new life, while the classic beat comes back in to pick up the pace.
Aretha Franklin - "A Deeper Love" (Sam Halabi Remix)
That cover of "A Deeper Love" was really good. You deserve a second helping of great remixes. This one from Sam Halabi is a fat slice of disco heaven. You'll be dancing through the streets with your hands in the air, ready to hug strangers when this kick drum hits. It's a smasher from start to finish, a great way to find the energy to beast your day from morning to night.
Aretha Franklin - "Get It Right" (DJ "S" Remix)
True story, the original version of "Get It Right" was produced by Luther Vandross and is actually exactly this funky. DJ "S" comes through to pump up the energy with a boosted percussion line and some modern loopy edits. Listen to it until you get right, and then listen to it again to stay right forever.
Aretha Franklin - "Respect" (LateOn x Discotizer Remix)
You knew this one was coming, right? "Respect" is one of Franklin's most well-known tunes, and this rowdy house remix from LateOn and Discotizer turns the edge up on the famous melody and keeps Franklin's iconic vocals under the spotlight. Some heavy drums and a jumpin' bassline give it a bit og that swing-house edge. You remember swing house, don't you?