Monday, October 20, 2008

Soul Tracks

During a career that has spanned 50 years, Aretha Franklin has only recorded a handful of duets with the likes of Rev. James Cleveland, George Benson, Mary J. Blige, and Luther Vandross--to name a few. Back in '82 Aretha teamed up with her childhood buddies, The Four Tops, in their hometown of Detroit and recorded 'I Wanna Make It Up To You' for Aretha's Luther Vandross produced '82 release Jump To It. The recording was a Detroit affair through and through. Aretha and The Four Tops were joined by Aretha's sister Erma Franklin and famed background singers Sandra Feva and Margaret Branch, all Detroit natives. Aretha and Levi Stubbs took lead vocals while everyone else played the role of background singer. The chemistry between Aretha and Levi was undeniable. Aretha's voice was rich and alluring while Levi's voice never sounded smoother or more seductive. The sultry song reaches its' climax when Aretha and Levi trade words in a smoldering call and response. Aretha & crew and The Four Tops added a much needed touch of soul to the sound of the early 80's.