That voice! The shimmering arrangement is magical enough but. That. Voice. The cheekiness in it. She knows she’s amazing. She’s got everyone in the palm of her hand hanging on her every word and what does she do? She’s starts cooing sweet nothings at us mere mortals who are listening to her every utterance.
Aretha Franklin is sublime. This song is a joy. It’s full of joy. It’s a pure and simple love song. Full of happiness, full of nice things to say. It’s got those memorable motown metaphors abound
‘Like and Eagle protects it’s nest, for you I will do my best’
and towards the end there’s a fair bit of showboating because… she can, and we want her to. It soars. The strings point the way and Aretha hits the notes. The guitars noodle and she riffs.
Marvin Gaye wrote and recorded the track first of all with Tammi Tyrell.
‘Stand by you like a tree, dare anybody to try and move me’
In our house it’s Aretha’s song. Love you Marvin, but there’s a bit Aretha adds in the last few seconds. A throw back to her biggest hit. She sings a little ‘R.E.S.P.E.C.T’ in the coda among all of the vocal acrobatics and it just fits in there so damned well.
You know any other vocalist would struggle to get all of this in there so tidily around that melody but not Ms Franklin. She’s quite simply The. Very. Best. There. Is.