Aretha Franklin – I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You (1967)

I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You is the eleventh studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin. The record was released on March 10, 1967, by Atlantic Records. The record went to number 2 on the Billboard album chart and number 1 on the magazine’s Top R&B Selling chart. It was certified Gold by the RIAA in 1967. It received a number 83 ranking on Rolling Stone magazine’s 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, 84 in a 2012 revised list and 13 in the 2020 edition. (2008). When Rolling Stone listed the “Women in Rock: 50 Essential Albums” in 2002 and again 2012, the album listed at number one. The album included two top-10 singles: “Respect” was a number-1 single on Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop singles chart, and “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” peaked at number 9. The album was rated the 10th best album of the 1960s by Pitchfork.

Track Listing:

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Respect” Otis Redding 2:29
2. “Drown in My Own Tears” Henry Glover 4:07
3. “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” Ronnie Shannon 2:51
4. “Soul Serenade” King Curtis, Luther Dixon 2:39
5. “Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream” Aretha Franklin, Ted White 2:23
6. “Baby, Baby, Baby” Aretha Franklin, Carolyn Franklin 2:54

Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
7. “Dr. Feelgood” Aretha Franklin, Ted White 3:23
8. “Good Times” Sam Cooke 2:10
9. “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” Dan Penn, Chips Moman 3:16
10. “Save Me” Aretha Franklin, Carolyn Franklin, King Curtis 2:21
11. “A Change Is Gonna Come” Sam Cooke 4:20

AllMusic Review: While the inclusion of “Respect” — one of the truly seminal singles in pop history — is in and of itself sufficient to earn I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You classic status, Aretha Franklin’s Atlantic label debut is an indisputable masterpiece from start to finish. Much of the credit is due to producer Jerry Wexler, who finally unleashed the soulful intensity so long kept under wraps during her Columbia tenure; assembling a crack Muscle Shoals backing band along with an abundance of impeccable material, Wexler creates the ideal setting to allow Aretha to ascend to the throne of Queen of Soul, and she responds with the strongest performances of her career. While the brilliant title track remains the album’s other best-known song, each cut on I Never Loved a Man is touched by greatness; covers of Ray Charles’ “Drown in My Own Tears” and Sam Cooke’s “Good Times” and “A Change Is Gonna Come” are on par with the original recordings, while Aretha’s own contributions — “Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream,” “Baby, Baby, Baby,” “Save Me,” and “Dr. Feelgood (Love Is a Serious Business)” — are perfectly at home in such lofty company. A soul landmark. — Jason Ankeny

Schill Score: 9/10

Listen to Album on Spotify

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