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Released: January 22, 1968

Rating: 4.800 (average of 5 ratings)

Genre: R&B

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Chain of Fools
  2. Money Won’t Change You
  3. People Get Ready
  4. Niki Hoeky
  5. You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman
  6. Since You’ve Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby)
  7. Good to Me As I Am to You
  8. Come Back Baby
  9. Groovin’
  10. Ain’t No Way

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 0.5
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 0.5


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 2
peak on U.K. album chart 25

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman (9/30/67) #8 US, #2 RB
  • Chain of Fools (12/9/67) #2 US, #43 UK, #1 RB. Gold single.
  • Since You’ve Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby) (3/2/68) #5 US, #47 UK, #1 RB. Gold single.
  • Ain’t No Way (3/2/68) #16 US, #9 RB

Notes: A reissue of the album adds the singles remixes of “Chain of Fools,” “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman,” “Since You’ve Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby),” and “Ain’t No Way.”


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. One of Blender’s 100 Greatest American Albums One of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Albums of All Time Spin magazine – album of the year One of Time Magazine’s All-TIME 100 Albums. One of VH1’s 100 Greatest Rock & Roll Albums of All Time.

Lady Soul
Aretha Franklin
“Appearing after a blockbuster debut and a sophomore set that was rather disappointing (in comparison), 1968's Lady Soul proved Aretha Franklin, the pop sensation, was no fluke. Her performances were more impassioned than on her debut, and the material just as strong, an inspired blend of covers and originals from the best songwriters in soul and pop music.” JB

“The singing here isn’t technically perfect – the roots of what would become Franklin’s unwavering campaign of melody obliteration are evident – unless we're speaking emotionally, in which case there's not a wrong note.” TL This is a “master class in technique, power and pure feel. No filler – just 10 cuts of complete artistic control” BL and “ten steps to R&B perfection.” BL

“The opener, Chain of Fools, became the biggest hit, driven by a chorus of cascading echoes by Franklin and her bedrock backing vocalists, the Sweet Impressions, plus the unforgettable, earthy guitar work of guest Joe South.” JB The song was “inspired by the lines of cotton pickers songwriter Don Covay saw growing up in the south.” TL

“The album's showpiece, though, was You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman.” JB “the sexually liberating star turn.” BL It was “written expressly for her by Brill Building pop stalwarts Gerry Goffin and Carole King, based on a title coined by producer Jerry Wexler.” JB “One of the landmark performances in pop music” JB and “an enduring gender anthem,” TL the song floats serenely through the verses until, swept up by Ralph Burns' stirring string arrangement again and again, Franklin opens up on the choruses with one of the most transcendent vocals of her career.” JB

“It’s a testament to Franklin that these songs sound unwritten, as if they didn't exist until she opened her mouth and gave them life.” TL

“Just as she'd previously transformed a soul classic (Otis Redding’s ‘Respect’) into a signature piece of her own, Franklin courageously reimagined songs by heavyweights James Brown, Ray Charles, and the Impressions. Brown’s Money Won't Change You is smooth and kinetic, her testifying constantly reinforced by interjections from the Sweet Inspirations. Curtis Mayfield's People Get Ready, a 1965 civil-rights anthem and a hit for the Impressions, is taken at a slower pace than the original; after a quiet verse, Franklin lets loose amidst a magisterial brass arrangement by Arif Mardin.” JB “Even her cover of the Young Rascals’ throwaway Groovin’ is transcendent.” TL

“Powered by three hit singles (each nested in the upper reaches of the pop Top Ten), Lady Soul became Aretha Franklin's second gold LP and remained on the charts for over a year.” JB

Review Source(s):
  • BL Blender Magazine’s 100 Greatest American Albums (10/08)
  • JB John Bush, All Music Guide
  • TL Josh Tyrangiel and Alan Light, Time Magazine’s “All-TIME 100 Albums” (11/13/06)

Last updated March 16, 2010.