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The Sound: Aretha Franklin “Rock Steady”

October 20, 2011

Every so often I get asked “what kind of music do you like?” I always find that hard to answer, as I favor individual artists over just listening to an entire genre. The two genres that I don’t particularly like are hip-hop and country, but I do really like a few rappers and country artists, so I’m not sure what to make of it. I think for the blog, I’ve tended to favor classic (and classic-inspired) R&B, which brings us to today’s pick–Rock Steady.

This Soul Train video was just too good to pass up. Aretha’s vocals are live, which I believe was pretty rare for Soul Train, American Bandstand, and other similar shows of the time. The backing track is not live and not sure if the backup singers are lip-syncing either. Those dancers just start at full-speed, even as the song is just warming up. The performance is slightly different than the album version, but this is still one of my favorite Aretha songs:

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