UMe will commemorate the late, legendary Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, with a new vinyl reissue of her earliest recordings next month.
Songs Of Faith: Aretha Gospel offers nine gospel standards recorded by a 14-year-old Aretha in 1956 at the New Bethel Church in her native Detroit, where her father, the legendary Rev. C.L. Franklin, would give his inimitable sermons. Predating her tenure on Columbia Records by six years and her breakthrough on Atlantic Records by more than a decade, these primitive piano-and-vocal recordings offer a fascinating early listen to one of the most original and captivating voices in recorded history.
The album’s first side, featuring a two-part version of “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” was first released by the local J-V-B label on the LP Spirituals; the tracks “You Grow Closer” and “Never Grow Old” were issued as a single in 1956, with “Precious Lord” following three years later, right before Aretha signed to Columbia. In 1965, those five tracks were featured with four additional tracks as Songs Of Faith on the Checker label; MCA bowed it on CD as Aretha Gospel in 1991.
This release gamely combines both titles, adding a rarely-seen portrait of Franklin for its new cover art and featuring new liner notes by David Ritz and a discographical history. Songs Of Faith: Aretha Gospel will be released on vinyl and digitally March 22, three days before what would have been the Queen’s 77th birthday; the uDiscover store will offer an exclusive white vinyl pressing.
Songs Of Faith: Aretha Gospel (Geffen/UMe, 2019)
- There Is a Fountain Filled With Blood
- Precious Lord (Part One)
- Precious Lord (Part Two)
- You Grow Closer
- Never Grow Old
- The Day Is Past and Gone
- He Will Wash You White As Snow
- While The Blood Runs Warm
- Yield Not To Temptation
Tracks 1-5 released on Spirituals, J-V-B Records 100, 1956
Tracks 6-9 released on Songs Of Faith, Checker LP 10009, 1965