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I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You


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About the Author

Matt Dobkin is the author of Getting Opera. He is the former classical music editor at Time Out New York, and his work has appeared in New York magazine, Bazaar, Out, and a variety of other publications. He lives in New York City.


This study of the making of Franklin's acclaimed 1967 album, which included the eponymous song and the all-purpose empowerment anthem "Respect," is an obsessive, intermittently engaging example of the minute reconstruction of recording-session ephemera that has become central to pop music criticism. Dobkin (Getting Opera) spends a couple of pages on the very first, unrecorded, warm-up chords Franklin played on the piano, which apparently galvanized her back-up musicians and crew into making music history. He proceeds to chronicle the assembly of the rhythm track and the horn parts, and gives a Rashomon-like blow-by-blow of a fight that almost derailed the project. Although Dobkin acknowledges that "words tend to fail" to convey Franklin's transcendent genius, that never inhibits his own effusive writing-"Aretha... verily becomes the concept she's singing about. It's a kind of R&B quasi-syllogism: Aretha is respect is Aretha"-about her sublime musicianship and the impact of her songs on feminism and the Civil Rights movement. Fortunately, whenever the narrative hyperventilates less and focuses on the basics of how musicians perform their craft, it opens an enlightening window on the creative process. Photos. Agent, Scott Waxman. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Composer Dobkin offers the story behind soul legend Aretha Franklin's hit album, which is considered the greatest she ever made. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"An enlightening window on the creative process." --Publishers Weekly

"The book effectively explains why her [Aretha's] release on the great 60's R&B label was a definitive move for the singer." --American Songwriter Magazine

"A standout in the current crowd of classic-album histories." --Booklist

..".a fascinating illuminating narrative that includes short biographies of all the albums major participants." --Muze

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