(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

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"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman"
You Make Me Feel like a Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin.jpg
A-side label of U.S. vinyl release
Single by Aretha Franklin
from the album Lady Soul
B-side "Baby, Baby, Baby"
Released September 1967
Format 7" single
Recorded 1967
Studio American Sound Studio, Memphis, Tennessee
Genre Soul
Length 2:45
Label Atlantic
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Jerry Wexler
Aretha Franklin singles chronology
"Baby I Love You"
(1967)
"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman"
(1967)
"Chain of Fools"
(1967)
Audio
"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" on YouTube

"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" is a 1967 single released by American soul singer Aretha Franklin on the Atlantic label. The song was co-written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, with input from Atlantic producer Jerry Wexler. Written for Franklin, the record was a big hit reaching number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and became one of her signature songs. It made history in the UK singles chart a week after her death, finally becoming a hit almost 51 years after it was first released entering at #79. Franklin also included a live recording on the album Aretha in Paris in 1968. Carole King has performed and recorded a version of the song along with Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion, and many others. At the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors, Aretha Franklin performed the song to honor award-recipient Carole King.

Original recording[edit]

Written by the celebrated partnership of Gerry Goffin and Carole King, the song was inspired by Atlantic Records co-owner and producer Jerry Wexler. As recounted in his autobiography, Wexler, a student of African-American musical culture, had been mulling over the concept of the "natural man", when he drove by King on the streets of New York. He shouted out to her that he wanted a "natural woman" song for Aretha Franklin's next album. They went home and wrote the song that night.[1] In thanks, Goffin and King granted Wexler a co-writing credit.

Personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1967) Peak
position
Australia 36
Canada RPM 11
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 8
U.S. Billboard R&B 2
U.S. Cash Box Top 100 12
U.K. [[1]] Top 100 79 (in 2018)

Later versions[edit]

Carole King performing "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" in 2010

"Natural Woman" was released by Peggy Lipton in 1968 on her self-titled album on Ode Records, and by Freddie Hughes in 1968 as "Natural Man" (Wand Records 1192), and by George Benson on his album Goodies in 1968 (Verve Records V6-8771).

Peggy Lee released a version on her 1969 album A Natural Woman.

It was recorded by Carole King on her landmark 1971 album Tapestry. Celine Dion recorded the song in 1995 for the Tapestry Revisited: A Tribute to Carole King album, and released it as a single. Mary J. Blige also recorded the song that year for New York Undercover.

Rod Stewart covered the song on his album Smiler in 1974.

Joyce Sims recorded a version of the song for her 1989 album All About Love.

Beccy Cole covered the song live on her 2007 album, Live @ Lizotte's.

Carole King and Gloria Estefan performed the song in May 2009 in the She's Got a Friend concerts at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. The audio from one of the performances was included on some editions of Estefan's 2013 album, The Standards.

In 2012, Christine Anu covered the song on her album, Rewind: The Aretha Franklin Songbook.

In 2014, Amber Riley covered the song on the fifth-season episode, "Bash," of Fox's musical comedy-drama television series Glee.

In December 2015, Aretha Franklin gave a universally acclaimed performance at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors during the section for honoree Carole King.[2][3][4][5]

Mary J. Blige version[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1995–96) Peak
position
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[6] 36
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[7] 46
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[8] 15
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 23
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 95
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[11] 39

Celine Dion version[edit]

"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" was released as a promotional single by Celine Dion in November 1995 in North America and the United Kingdom.[12] It was featured on a tribute album to Carole King, called Tapestry Revisited: A Tribute to Carole King issued on October 24, 1995. Later, Dion included this track on most editions of her 1996 album Falling into You. The track was produced by David Foster. Dion's version enjoyed a moderate success on the adult contemporary charts, reaching number 4 in Canada and number 31 in the United States. In 2008, the song was featured on the US version of My Love: Ultimate Essential Collection. When Falling Into You won the Grammy for Album of the year in 1998, the song became the first to appear on two Album of the Year winners - following Tapestry's success in 1971.

On April 14, 1998, Dion, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, Gloria Estefan and Carole King performed the song during a VH1 Divas concert at the Beacon Theatre, New York. The six vocalists were recruited by the cable music network VH1 to raise money for Save the Music, their education charity. Hyped extensively in the press, the event was a ratings winner for VH1 – so successful, in fact, that the network arranged to have the concert released on disc and tape on October 6, 1998. At that time "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (performed by all the divas) was released as a radio single in selected countries.

Personnel[edit]

Formats and track listings[edit]

1995 promotional CD single

  1. "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" – 3:40

1998 promotional CD single

  1. "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (live) – 5:15
  2. "You've Got a Friend" (live) – 5:28

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Remnick, David "Soul Survivor: The revival and hidden treasure of Aretha Franklin", The New Yorker, April 4, 2016.
  2. ^ Miller, Matt (December 30, 2015). "Aretha Franklin Just Brought the Leader of the Free World to Tears". Esquire. Retrieved December 31, 2015. 
  3. ^ Greer, Carlos (December 9, 2015). "Aretha Franklin stuns at Kennedy Center Honors". Page Six. Retrieved December 31, 2015. 
  4. ^ Hattenstone, Simon (December 30, 2015). "Obama cries as Aretha Franklin proves why she's the queen of soul". the Guardian. Retrieved December 31, 2015. 
  5. ^ Kreps, Daniel (December 30, 2015). "Watch Aretha Franklin Bring Obama to Tears at Kennedy Center Honors". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 31, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 8, 1996" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Mary J Blige – (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Charts.nz – Mary J Blige – (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Mary J Blige: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  10. ^ "Mary J. Blige Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Mary J. Blige Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  12. ^ Glatzer, Jenna (2005). Céline Dion: For Keeps. Andrews McMeel Publishing. ISBN 0-7407-5559-5. 
  13. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2913." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  14. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 2865." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  15. ^ "Celine Dion Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  16. ^ "RPM Year End Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks". RPM. 64 (18). December 16, 1996. Retrieved September 28, 2014.