Sunday, February 23, 2014

Aretha Franklin - "Spirit In The Dark" (information, lyrics, videos)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post showcases a live 1971 performance by Aretha Franklin of her R&B song "Spirit In The Dark". The lyrics to that song are also included in this post along with a bonus video of Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles jamming that song at a San Francisco nightclub in 1971.

The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and all the other vocalists and musicians who are featured in these videos. Thanks also to the publishers of these videos on YouTube and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

Spirit in the Dark was one of Aretha Franklin's more overlooked albums from her Atlantic prime, despite the inclusion of a couple hit singles (the title track and "Don't Play That Song"). The disc includes five of her own compositions (the most she ever recorded for a single album) and her usual eclectic choice of cover material. On this record, the covers ranged from B.B. King and Dr. John to Jimmy Reed and Goffin/King's "Oh Not My Baby." The album also benefits from great backup players: Both the Muscle Shoals rhythm section and the Dixie Flyers contributed to the sessions, and Duane Allman lends his guitar to a couple of tracks. Though it doesn't rank with her very best Atlantic LPs, it's an exuberant and remarkably consistent effort. The 1993 CD reissue has detailed liner notes on the songs and sessions by David Nathan."

"Spirit in the Dark is an album by Aretha Franklin, released in 1970.
It received mostly positive reviews, but was met with middling sales, despite having two hit singles, "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)", which peaked at #1 R&B, #11 on the Hot 100, and "Spirit in the Dark", peaking at #3 R&B and #23 Hot 100, in Billboard magazine.
It was Aretha's first Atlantic album to fall short of Billboard's Top 20, but it is now considered to be one of Aretha's classic Atlantic LPs. In the 1990s, Rhino Records re-issued this recording on compact disc.
Kanye West has sampled the album title song in his "School Spirit", found on the album The College Dropout.
The album’s title song is the sixth track on that album.

The song "Spirit In The Dark" is included in some Gospel albums. "Getting the spirit in the dark" can be considered a reference to the Holy Spirit. The riffs* in the "Spirit In The Dark" song sound like Pentecostal praise breaks. Also note the way that Aretha Franklin does the signature "cutting a step" (shouting) movements during some of those riffs. Click for information about "praise breaks".

*riffs - music : a short and usually repeated pattern of notes in a song, short set of comments on a particular subject, a rapid energetic often improvised verbal outpouring; especially : one that is part of a comic performance
Also note that Kanye West's "School Spirit" is a Hip-Hop song that includes profanity.

(written by Aretha Franklin)

I'm gettin the spirit in the dark
I'm gettin the spirit in the dark
People movin, aw, ain't we groovin?
Just gettin the spirit in the dark.
Tell me sister, how do you feel?
Tell me my brother, brother, brother, how do you feel?
Do you feel like dancin? Then get up and let's start dancin
Start gettin the spirit, spirit in the dark
It's like Sally Walker sittin in a saucer
That's how ya do it, it ain't nothin to it
Rise, Sally, rise, put your hand on your hips
and cover your eyes, and move on with the spirit,
move with the spirit, hey now move, move with the spirit
in the dark

(The remainder of the song is basically refrains of the chorus.)

FEATURED VIDEO: Aretha Franklin - Spirit In The Dark 1971

ARETHAVIDEOS, Uploaded on Nov 25, 2009


BONUS VIDEO" Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles...Spirit In The Dark(Live)

godlike51 Published on Apr 30, 2012

Fillmore West (San Francisco, CA) Mar 6, 1971
This is a 24 minutes jam session.

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