Aretha (1986 album)

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Studio album by Aretha Franklin
Released October, 1986
Recorded 1986
Genre Pop, rock, R&B
Length 45:26
Label Arista
Producer Narada Michael Walden for Perfection Light Productions (Tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8), Keith Richards (Track 4), Aretha Franklin (Tracks 7, 9)
Aretha Franklin chronology
Who's Zoomin' Who?
One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism
Singles from Aretha
  1. "Jumpin' Jack Flash"
    Released: 1986
  2. "Jimmy Lee"
    Released: 1986
  3. "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)"
    Released: January 1987
  4. "Rock-A-Lott"
    Released: 1987
  5. "If You Need My Love Tonight"
    Released: 1987
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B- [2]

Aretha is the thirty-fourth studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin, originally released in 1986, on Arista Records. This is the third album with this title to be released by the artist. Other Franklin albums titled Aretha were also released in 1980 and 1961.

The album, again produced mainly by Narada Michael Walden, included Aretha's first #1 Pop single since "Respect" in 1967 with the vibrant "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)", a duet with George Michael. Aretha also yielded three other hit singles: "Jimmy Lee", "Rock-A-Lott" and a hard rock cover of The Rolling Stones' classic, "Jumpin' Jack Flash". All music videos were extremely popular on MTV, BET and other video outlets. [3]

Following Aretha's first-ever Platinum record, Who's Zoomin' Who?, Aretha was quickly certified Gold after only several weeks. Before going out of print, the album had sold approximately 900,000 copies in the United States alone.

Franklin's vocal from "Rock-A-Lott" was sampled extensively in the 49ers' 1990 hit "Touch Me", while her version of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" was the title song for the film comedy starring Whoopi Goldberg. All four of the singles were shot as music videos that received extensive play.

The album is noteworthy for the striking cover, which was Andy Warhol's final work before his death in early 1987.[4]

The album was remastered and re-released as an "Expanded Edition" in December 2014 by Funky Town Grooves, with bonus tracks and a second CD of material.[5]

Commercial Performance[edit]

On December 16 1986, "Aretha" was certified Gold by the RIAA with no other certification added and this mark her seventh gold album in her illustrious career.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Jimmy Lee" Narada Michael Walden, Jeffrey Cohen, Preston Glass, Anukampa Lisa Walden 5:48
2. "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (Duet with George Michael) Simon Climie, Dennis Morgan 4:03
3. "Do You Still Remember" Jeffrey Cohen, Preston Glass, Walter Afanasieff 5:08
4. "Jumpin' Jack Flash" Mick Jagger, Keith Richards 5:04
5. "Rock-A-Lott" Narada Michael Walden, Joe Johnson, Preston Glass 6:22
6. "An Angel Cries" Simon Climie, Dennis Morgan 5:04
7. "He'll Come Along" Aretha Franklin 4:13
8. "If You Need My Love Tonight" (Duet with Larry Graham) Narada Michael Walden, Preston Glass, Alan Glass 4:31
9. "Look to the Rainbow" Burton Lane, E.Y. Harburg 5:15


  • Produced By Narada Michael Walden, Keith Richards & Aretha Franklin
  • Recorded By David Frazier
  • Engineers: Steve Lillywhite, Russ Terrana, Mike Iacopelli, Jim Dougherty
  • Assistant & Additional Engineers: Dana Jon Chapelle, Maureen Droney, Mike Iacopelli, Mark Roule, Lenette Viegas, Jim "Watts" Vereecke
  • Mixing: Michael Frondelli, David Frazier
  • Recording Studios: Tarpan Recording Studios, The Plant Studios, The Automatt, Studio "D" (Sausalito, CA.), Hitsville, Sigma Sound Studios, Electric Lady Studios and United Sound Systems (Detroit, Michigan)


  1. ^ Ruhlmann, William (1986-11-15). "Allmusic review". Retrieved 2012-06-29. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Aretha review". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2015-04-28. 
  3. ^ "Artist Chart History: Aretha Franklin". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  4. ^ Bego, Mark (2001). Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul. Da Capo Press. p. 250. ISBN 0-306-80935-4. OCLC 46488152. Retrieved 2009-03-29. 
  5. ^ "Aretha (2 CD Deluxe Edition)". Archived from the original on January 30, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2015. 

External links[edit]