Aretha Franklin's classic old records get Royal Philharmonic garnish

Sunday, 12 November 2017, 07:33:45 AM. A producer goes behind the scenes of 'A Brand New Me,' which pairs Aretha's classic vocals with new accompaniment by London's Royal Philharmonic
The truth is, when it comes to Aretha Franklin records, there’s no improving on the originals. But there are certainly ways to give them a new spin. That’s the motivation behind “A Brand New Me,” which accents 14 Franklin recordings with new instrumentation and the sounds of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s an album where brisk strings transform songs like “Think” and “Respect” into something akin to '70s Philly soul, where “I Say a Little Prayer” takes on the dramatic feel of a film score. Other reworked tracks by the iconic Detroit singer include "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "Angel," "Let It Be" and "Don't Play That Song (You Lied)." Released Friday by Rhino Records, the album was the brainchild of British producers Nick Patrick and Don Reedman, the team behind "If I Can Dream," a similar project weaving the Royal Philharmonic into Elvis Presley classics. That 2015 album became a blockbuster success in the U.K. — reportedly selling more than a million copies there — while topping the classical charts stateside and spurring a pair of sequels. Read more:      “It was a completely different sensitivity with Aretha Franklin compared to Elvis Presley,” says Patrick. “One is a bombastic artist. Aretha is all about how she makes you feel. There’s an undeniable truth in her music. It was incredibly important that we were sensitive to that and not just put an orchestra on an Aretha master. It was all about crafting it and tailoring it to her voice.” The team...Read more
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