There's no denying that Aretha Franklin is a legend who influenced the musical landscape for the better. Her discography, from "Respect" to "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," is simply iconic. In case you want to revisit some of the late singer's very best tunes, there's one Aretha Franklin song you should listen to. And it's a seriously underrated gem.
Of course, it totally makes sense to listen to all of Franklin's more classic songs in order to honor her memory. But there's one song of hers in particular that you really can't miss. The Queen of Soul's "Spirit in the Dark," which was released back in 1970, may be one of her very best tracks, for multiple reasons.
According to The Guardian, "Spirit in the Dark" was especially notable because Franklin wrote the song herself. The publication explained that the late singer had made a name for herself performing covers of other singers' songs. So her writing prowess wasn't able to fully shine. However, with this track, not only was she able to put her writing skills to use, but the song also, of course, highlights her amazingly powerful voice. So, "Spirit in the Dark" is definitely one track you can't miss out on.
As Rolling Stone reported, in an article originally published when the album first released, "Spirit in the Dark," and the entire Spirit in the Dark album, was a true return to form for the superstar. The publication noted that the album saw Franklin return to her gospel roots, which is why it was such a critical success.
Of course, it's especially moving to listen to any of the "Respect" singer's songs now after her recent passing. As you're probably already aware, Franklin passed away at the age of 76 on Aug. 16, as the Associated Press reported. In response to her passing, and the outpouring of love that the singer has received, her family released a statement via her publicist to AP, as noted by CNBC, which read, in part:
"In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family. The love she had for her children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins knew no bounds.
We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love and support we have received from close friends, supporters and fans all around the world. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. We have felt your love for Aretha and it brings us comfort to know that her legacy will live on. As we grieve, we ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time."
Indeed, many vocalized their appreciation of the late singer after the news about her passing. From Ariana Grande to Barack Obama, there was such and outpouring of love for Franklin from famous faces and fans alike. Those fans have, in particular, touched upon the songstress' influence on the music industry. So, what better way to honor Franklin's memory than by listening to some of her game-changing, iconic songs?