Rock Steady (Aretha Franklin song)
|Single by Aretha Franklin|
|from the album Young, Gifted and Black|
|A-side||"Oh Me Oh My (I'm a Fool for You Baby)"|
|Released||October 11, 1971 |
|Recorded||unedited, undubbed master (#21312) w/o horns at Criteria in Miami on February 15, 1971 |
|Producer(s)||Tom Dowd, Arif Mardin, Jerry Wexler|
|Aretha Franklin singles chronology|
"Rock Steady" is a song written and performed by Aretha Franklin and released in 1971, from the album Young, Gifted and Black. The single reached the #9 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts that same year. It also peaked at #2 on the Best Selling Soul Singles chart. The original A-side, a rendition of the song "Oh Me Oh My (I'm a Fool for You Baby)", peaked at #73 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #9 on the Best Selling Soul Singles chart.
- Aretha Franklin – lead vocals, piano
- Donny Hathaway – electric piano, organ
- Bernard Purdie – drums
- Cornell Dupree – guitar
- Richard Tee – organ
- Chuck Rainey – bass guitar
- The Sweethearts of Soul (Brenda Bryant, Margaret Branch, Pat Smith)  — backing vocals
- Robert Popwell, Dr. John – percussion
- The Memphis Horns
- Gene Paul – engineer
- Jerry Wexler – production
- Tom Dowd – horn arrangement, production
- Arif Mardin – production
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||9|
|U.S. Billboard Hot Soul Singles||2|
- The first known cover of the song was in 1972 by Sweet Salvation who recorded a whip-snapping cover for their sole eponymous album.
- The Jackson Sisters recorded a cover of the song in 1976 for their eponymous album.
- In 1987, a house version of the song was recorded by singer Dalis and released on Trax Records.
- Patti Austin covered the song on her 1994 album That Secret Place.
- Prince released a version on his 2007 live album, Indigo Nights. The song features Beverley Knight.
- In 2008 the song was sampled by Japanese R&B singer Namie Amuro in her own song, "Rock Steady".
- Richard Elliot also covered this song as an instrumental in 2010 off his album, which was also titled Rock Steady. Aretha's vocals were replaced by Rich's saxophone.
- Dawn Robinson of the group En Vogue did a solo cover of the song on 1998's Dr. Dolittle soundtrack.
- The song is used as a diegetic track in Driver: San Francisco.
- Rap group People Under the Stairs mention the song in their song "The Next Step II".
- Daryl Hall and John Oates covered the song on their 2004 album Our Kind of Soul.
- Regina Love covered the song in The Voice (U.S. season 9).
- In 2012, Christine Anu covered the song on her album, Rewind: The Aretha Franklin Songbook.
- Rap duo EPMD sampled the beat and Franklin's lyrics (more pronounced on the remix) for their 1989 single "I'm Housin" from their debut LP Strictly Business.
- Spanish rock rap band Def Con Dos sampled the horn section of the song's chorus on their song "Promiscuidad".
Usage in media
- The song was heard in the 2017 American comedy-drama film The Upside.
- The song was used as an introduction to Ellen DeGeneres' Netflix stand-up comedy special, Relatable.
- Jisi, Chris. "Aretha Franklin's "Rock Steady"". Bass Player. New Bay Media. Archived from the original on 2010-08-09. – session details
- Discogs - Rare & Unreleased Recordings from the Golden Reign of the Queen Of Soul - 2007-October reMastered 2CD, Rhino / Atlantic (8122799703) Australia
- Discogs - Young, Gifted and Black - 1972-January-24th LP, Atlantic (SD 7213) US
- Discogs - the Sweethearts Of Soul - (profile, aliases, discography)