Music To My Ears: Aretha Franklin and Andre 3000 Working On Music
In December 2013, Aretha Franklin announced that she would be working with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmounds, Clive Davis, and super producer Don Was on a concept album which would be released around August of 2014. The interesting thing was that the “concept” would be a cover album of other popular songs that have been recorded from some top women in the music industry.
In an interview with Billboard, Ms. Franklin explained the project:
“It’s a concept CD,” says Franklin, noting that the 10 tracks she and Davis selected from an “ultimate list” include Barbra Streisand’s “People” and Donna Summer’s “Last Dance.”
“I’m even thinking of (Destiny’s Child’s) ‘Bootylicious’,” Franklin adds with a laugh.
“It’s just re-working some things that were very, very good and certainly chartworthy and sold a lot of records,” says Franklin, who hopes to have the album out during the second quarter of 2014 on RCA Records. “They’re records that, musically, I respected and that I liked a lot and that I would love to have one go-’round with…“
When the “Queen of Soul” announced that she would be completing an album, many people were excited and intrigued. But once scheduling conflicts made Don Was drop out of the anticipated project, leaving four tracks that needed some producing, someone else that Aretha admired musically stepped into the producing position.
On June 26th, Billboard announced that the album will now be co-produced by Andre-3000, of Outkast. He’s going to particularly focus on the last four tracks that Don Was wasn’t able to complete.
The album’s deadline is approaching in two months, but the “Queen of Soul” is having fun completing the album, especially now since Andre 3000 is working on it with her.
“I’m pretty sure it’s going to be fun working with (André 3000), just watching his videos and things,” Franklin told Billboard. “It should be fun. And, of course, they all come with great music, so I expect that.”
The progress of the album is coming a fine way as well, even though Clive Davis is a little worried about not being ready by the release date. But there’s a number of completed songs, as Billboard updates excited fans with a list of finished versions of many popular songs:
Franklin has so far cut renditions of Gladys Knight & the Pips’ “Midnight Train to Georgia,” Barbra Streisand’s “People,” Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” and Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” with Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” up next. “I love all of them, the original versions,” says Franklin. “(Davis) picked the songs and I approved or didn’t approve, so it’s just an easy CD to do because I liked all of them.” And, she adds, fans can expect plenty of Queen of Soul flavor on each of the songs.
Aretha has been a very busy diva these last few months. She’s been tackling her own biopic, and finishing this album. This should give anyone inspiration that hard work can lead to accomplishments, no matter when the deadline is.
Is one else else as excited to see the fun and exciting direction that these singles will take once The Queen not only puts her spin on them, but especially after Andre-3000 puts his magic on them as well?