Think (Aretha Franklin song)

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Aretha fran. (2).jpg
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
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Teddy White
Producer(s) Jerry Wexler[1]
Aretha Franklin singles chronology
"Ain't No Way"
"The House That Jack Built" / "I Say a Little Prayer"
"Ain't No Way"
"The House That Jack Built" / "I Say a Little Prayer"

"Think" is a song performed by American singer Aretha Franklin. It was released as single in 1968, from her Aretha Now album. The song, a feminist anthem, reached No. 7 on Billboard Hot 100, becoming Franklin's seventh top 10 hit in the United States. The song also reached number 1 on the magazine's Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles,[2] becoming her sixth single to top the chart. The song was written by Aretha and then husband 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".[3]


The song is performed by a lead vocalist, backing vocalists, a brass section, organ, piano, two electric guitars, bass, and percussion.[4] The personnel on the original recording included Aretha Franklin on piano, Wayne Jackson on trumpet, Andrew Love and Charles Chalmers on tenor sax, Floyd Newman or Willie Bridges on baritone sax, Spooner Oldham on organ, Jerry Jemmott on bass, Tommy Cogbill and Jimmy Johnson on guitars and Roger Hawkins on drums.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1968) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[5] 6
France (IFOP)[6] 4
Germany (Official German Charts)[7] 32
Italy (FIMI)[8] 49
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[9] 12
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[10] 9
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[11] 26
US Billboard Hot 100[12] 7
US Billboard Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles[12] 1
US Cash Box[13] 7
US Record World[14] 7
Chart (2013) Peak
France (SNEP)[15] 135

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 not used to lip-syncing, this sequence required a number of takes and considerable editing.[16]
  • Franklin re-recorded the song for Mothers Against Drunk Driving as a public service announcement during the late 1980s.
  • On November 5, 1999, "Think" was performed live by Mel B, Jocelyn Brown, and Beverley Knight at the Music of the Millennium awards, which was broadcast on Channel 4.
  • Aretha Franklin's recording features in the movie 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]
  • The piano intro was sampled by hip-hop trio 3rd Bass on "The Gas Face" from The Cactus Album (1989).
  • 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.
  • In 2014, "Think" was lip synced to in the popular TV show "RuPaul's Drag Race". The lip sync was between Adore Delano and Joslyn Fox. Adore impressed RuPaul and the other judges and was told she can stay, causing Jolsyn to leave the competition.
  • In 2015, "Think" was heard in the theatrical trailer to Seth MacFarlane's Ted 2.
  • In 2017, Adam Lambert covered the song for the soundtrack to the film Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.

The song on Idol and The 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).

Katharine McPhee's version[edit]

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.

Chart Peak
US Billboard Pop 100[17] 90

Other versions[edit]

  • 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.


  1. ^ Jerry Wexler interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1970)
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 215. 
  3. ^ Tangari, Joe (August 18, 2006). "The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Think – Aretha Franklin – Custom Backing Track MP3". Karaoke Version. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 5741." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  6. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Titres par Artiste" (in French). InfoDisc. Select "Aretha Franklin" from the artist drop-down menu. Archived from the original on September 20, 2013. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ " – Aretha Franklin – Think". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  8. ^ "Indice per Interprete: F" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Aretha Franklin" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  10. ^ " – Aretha Franklin – Think" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
  11. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 15, 2013.
  12. ^ a b "Aretha Now – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 
  13. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending JUNE 15, 1968". Archived from the original on September 30, 2012. . Cash Box.
  14. ^ "100 Top Pops" (PDF). Record World. June 15, 1966. p. 29. Retrieved September 9, 2017. 
  15. ^ " – Aretha Franklin – Think" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
  16. ^ Stories Behind the Making of The Blues Brothers, documentary feature on 1998 DVD and 25th Anniversary DVD (2005).
  17. ^ "Katharine McPhee – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved June 18, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
US Billboard Hot Rhythm & Blues number one single (Aretha Franklin version)
June 15, 1968 – June 29, 1968 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)" by The Temptations