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6 times Aretha Franklin covered a song and blew the originals out of the water

Yes, it IS possible to make a good song even better

6 times Aretha Franklin covered a song and blew the originals out of the water
17 August 2018

This week we lost a legend - Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul. And although she will be remembered for her fantastic songwriting skills and that outrageous voice, she was also known to belt out the odd cover version, and unlike many an EDM producer since, she had a knack for actually improving on the original by giving them a new lease of life in her own very personal style.

So to celebrate her particular talent for doing this, here are five of her best covers, that - dare we say it - are even better than the original. Sacrilege!

1. I Say a Little Prayer

Original by Dionne Warwick:

Yeah, it’s one of her most famous songs, but it’s still a cover. Often an artist’s biggest hits are (naughty naughty), but the musicality displayed in this version can’t be denied. Franklin, ever true to form, absolutely belts it out and leaves the original in her version’s shadow. A true classic.

2. Respect

Original by Otis Redding:

While we’re on the subject of big hits - we might as well take a look at the song that is synonymous with Aretha Franklin’s name: ‘Respect’. Think of Aretha, and you think of this song - it’s unavoidable. And it’s a cover. The original: a bit boring, the cover: absolutely not. Franklin injects her trademark power into the song and switches the genders out to claim it as her own and in the process, births a powerful feminist rally cry.

3. Walk On By

Original by Dionne Warwick:

Nicking another Dionne Warwick number here and absolutely owning it, as only Aretha can. There’s not too much difference between the two songs, but the power in Franklin’s cover is hard to ignore. Another classic chalked up on the leaderboard for old AF, there.

4. My Way

Original by Frank Sinatra:

Maybe we’re committing blasphemy here, but Frank Sinatra’s most famous song is a bit, well, boring? No? Also, it’s been played to the ends of the earth and back - it’s nice just to hear a new spin on it. And that’s exactly what Aretha gifts us with her far more interesting take on the song. Top stuff.

5. Oh Happy Day

Original by The Edwin Hawkins Singers:

Another classic here, brought up to speed by the Queen. It’s a feel-good track made even feel-gooder, and once you’ve heard her version, it’s hard to go back to the original. She had a knack for doing that, did Aretha.

6. Ever Changing Times

Original by Siedah Garrett:

Just. An. Absolute. Banger.

And if that’s not enough: Michael McDonald! What more could you want?

(Image: Getty)