Think (Aretha Franklin song)

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Single by Aretha Franklin
from the album Aretha Now
A-side "Think"
B-side "You Send Me"
Released May 2, 1968
Format 7"
Genre Soul
Length 2:16
Label Atlantic 2518
Writer(s) Aretha Franklin, Teddy White
Producer(s) Jerry Wexler
Certification Gold
Aretha Franklin singles chronology
"Ain't No Way"
"The House That Jack Built"/"I Say a Little Prayer"

"Think" is a song performed by American R&B/soul musician Aretha Franklin. It was released as single in 1968, from her Aretha Now album. The song, a feminist anthem, reached No. 7 on Billboard Pop Singles Chart, becoming Franklin's seventh Top 10 hit in the United States. The song also reached No. 1 on the magazine's Black Singles Chart,[1] becoming her sixth single to top the chart. The song was written by Franklin and Ted White. Franklin re-recorded the song in 1989 for the album "Through the Storm". Pitchfork Media placed it at number 15 on its list of "The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s".[2]


The song is performed by a lead vocalist, backing vocalists, a brass section, organ, piano, two electric guitars, bass, and percussion.[3]. the personnel on the original recording included Wayne Johnson on Trumpet, Andrew Lowe and Charlie Chalmers on tenor sax, Floyd Newman or Willie Bridges on baritone sax, Spooner Oldham on keyboards Gerry Jemmont on bass, Tommy Cogbill and Jimmy Johnson on guitars, and Roger Hawkins on drums.

In popular culture[edit]

  • Franklin lip-synched to a new, longer version of the song in a musical sequence of the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. This version appears on the film soundtrack album, and in addition to Franklin's singing, features backup vocals from Franklin's sisters, Carolyn and Erma, and a recurring sax riff performed by Blues Brothers saxophonist Lou Marini. Because Franklin was unused to lip-syncing, this sequence required a number of takes and considerable editing.[4]
  • Franklin re-recorded the song for Mothers Against Drunk Driving as a public service announcement during the late 1980s.
  • Aretha Franklin's recording features in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004).
  • A sound-alike was featured in a 2010 TV commercial for Big Lots, rewriting the lyrics to emphasize the discount store's slogan of "Value."[citation needed]
  • On May 14, 2012, "Think" was performed by Cleo King on the TV series "Mike & Molly" (S2, E23 "The Wedding") during the wedding songs.
  • "Think" was covered by Canadian child voice actress Michelle Creber on her 2012 album Timeless: Songs of a Century.

The song on Idol and X Factor[edit]

The song was performed by five American Idol contestants: Diana DeGarmo in season 3 (2004), Katharine McPhee in season 5 (2006), LaKisha Jones in season 6 (2007), Siobhan Magnus in season 9 (2010), and Adam Brock in season 11 (2012).

McPhee's version of the song was released as a limited single from the American Idol 5: Encores album. The song became a minor Internet hit for McPhee—it was her first song to chart in the Pop 100, where it peaked at No. 90 due to download sales.

The song was also performed by season 3's Fantasia Barrino in her first week in Hollywood.

In Season 6, LaKisha Jones performed the song in her initial audition, as did Syesha Mercado in season 7.

Australian Idol season 6 Finalist Chrislyn Hamilton also performed the song during Top 12 and received a Touchdown.

Amelia Lily performed this track on Season 8, Episode 24 of The X Factor (UK version)

The finalist of Polish version of X Factor Joanna Kwaśnik performed the song on Season 2, Episode 10.

Chart performance[edit]

Aretha Franklin[edit]

Chart (1968) Peak
Canadian RPM Top Singles[5] 6
France [6] 4
German Singles Chart[7] 32
Italian Singles Chart[8] 49
Netherlands[9] 9
U.S. Billboard Black Singles Chart[10] 1
U.S. Billboard Pop Singles Chart[10] 7
UK Singles Chart[11] 26
Chart (2013) Peak
France (SNEP)[12] 135

Katharine McPhee[edit]

Chart Peak
U.S. Billboard Pop 100 90
U.S. Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles 21


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 215. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Think - Aretha Franklin" at Karaoke Version
  4. ^ Stories Behind the Making of The Blues Brothers, documentary feature on 1998 DVD and 25th Anniversary DVD (2005).
  5. ^ "Think in Canadian Top Singles Chart". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Hung Medien. "Think in French Chart". Retrieved 15 June 2013.  You have to use the index at the top of the page and search "Aretha Franklin"
  7. ^ "Think in German Chart". Media control. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  8. ^ "Indice per Interprete: F". HitParadeItalia (it). Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Think in Netherlands Chart". Hung Medien. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Aretha Franklin awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "Aretha Franklin". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  12. ^ Hung Medien. "Think in French Chart". Retrieved 15 June 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
Billboard's Hot Rhythm & Blues number one single (Aretha Franklin version)
June 15–29, 1968 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)" by The Temptations