Aretha Franklin’s Greatest Hits – Top 10 Songs All Time

Aretha Franklin, the undisputed Queen of Soul, left an indelible mark on the world of music with her mesmerizing voice and powerful performances. Her astonishing career spanned over five decades, earning her the admiration and respect of fans and fellow musicians alike. With an extensive discography, it can be challenging to narrow down her greatest hits to just ten, but we have embarked on this delightful journey to celebrate the timeless brilliance of Aretha Franklin’s music.

In this blog post, we will dive into the heart of Aretha Franklin’s musical legacy, exploring her top 10 all-time greatest hits. Each song on this list not only showcases her extraordinary vocal range but also highlights her innate ability to capture the essence of every lyric she sang. Join us as we embark on this musical journey, revisiting the unforgettable moments that define Aretha Franklin’s extraordinary career.

10. I Say A Little Prayer

I Say a Little Prayer” is a heartfelt and soulful ballad that captures the essence of hope and devotion. With her powerful yet tender vocals, Franklin beautifully conveys the sincerity and vulnerability of the lyrics. The song’s timeless appeal lies in Franklin’s ability to evoke genuine emotions, making it a stirring testament to the power of love and prayer

9. Oh Happy Day 

“Oh Happy Day” was released in 1988. It was singed by Aretha Franklin and Mavis Staples. Aretha Franklin’s rendition of “Oh Happy Day” is a soul-stirring gospel classic that uplifts the spirit and brings a sense of joy to all who hear it. With her powerful and impassioned vocals, Franklin delivers a heartfelt performance that captures the essence of faith and gratitude. The song’s infectious energy and the choir’s harmonies create an atmosphere of celebration, making “Oh Happy Day” a timeless anthem of hope and spiritual inspiration.

8. Willing To Forgive

“Willing to Forgive” is a soulful ballad by Aretha Franklin, featured on her compilation album Greatest Hits: 1980–1994. Released in 1994 as the album’s second single, the song showcases Franklin’s incredible vocal prowess and emotional depth. Penned and produced by Babyface and Daryl Simmons, it struck a chord with audiences, reaching number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number five on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Its impact extended beyond the United States, charting in the UK at number 17 and peaking at number 49 on the Eurochart Hot 100. “Willing to Forgive” stands as a testament to Franklin’s enduring talent and ability to convey heartfelt emotions through her music.

7. Bridge Over Troubled Water

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” is a timeless classic performed by various artists, including Aretha Franklin. Originally written and recorded by Simon & Garfunkel in 1970, the song has since become an iconic symbol of comfort and support. Aretha Franklin’s rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” showcases her incredible vocal range and emotive power. Her soulful interpretation adds a unique depth and richness to the song, capturing the essence of its message of solace and compassion. Franklin’s rendition serves as a reminder that during difficult times, there can be strength and reassurance found in the support of others. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” remains a poignant and uplifting anthem that continues to resonate with audiences, reminding us of the power of empathy and the importance of being there for one another.

6. I Dreamed A Dream

“I Dreamed a Dream” is a powerful and emotional ballad that gained popularity through its inclusion in the musical “Les Misérables.” Aretha Franklin, known for her soulful renditions, has performed this iconic song with her own unique flair. With her remarkable vocal range and ability to convey raw emotions, Franklin brings a new dimension to “I Dreamed a Dream,” capturing the heart-wrenching essence of the lyrics. Her rendition showcases the struggles, hopes, and dreams of the character, evoking a sense of empathy and resonance with listeners. Franklin’s interpretation of “I Dreamed a Dream” is a testament to her talent as an artist and her ability to breathe new life into beloved musical compositions, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of those who hear it.

5. Think (feat. The Blues Brothers) 

“Think” is a high-energy and iconic song by Aretha Franklin, known for its empowering lyrics and infectious rhythm. “Think” is a compelling composition jointly written by Aretha Franklin, the renowned American singer, and Ted White. Initially recorded by Franklin, the song made its debut as a single in 1968, featured on her album “Aretha Now.” Captivating listeners with its soulful charm, “Think” ascended to No. 7 on the esteemed Billboard Hot 100 chart, marking Franklin’s seventh top 10 hit in the United States. Furthermore, it claimed the coveted No. 1 spot on the Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles chart, solidifying its status as her sixth single to conquer that chart.

4. Until You Come Back To Me

“Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” is a timeless composition penned by Morris Broadnax, Clarence Paul, and Stevie Wonder. Initially recorded by Stevie Wonder in 1967, it didn’t see the light of day as a single or feature on an album until 1977’s anthology, titled “Looking Back.” However, the rendition that truly gained widespread recognition came in 1973 when Aretha Franklin released her version, which soared to the top of the charts and became a million-selling top 10 hit on the Billboard charts. Aretha Franklin’s rendition claimed the coveted No. 1 spot on the R&B chart and secured the No. 3 position on the Hot 100 chart in 1974. Notably, it achieved RIAA Gold record status, further cementing its enduring popularity.

3. Ain’t No Way 

“Ain’t No Way” is a poignant song penned by singer-songwriter Carolyn Franklin, specifically for her elder sister, the legendary Aretha Franklin. Initially released as the B-side to Aretha Franklin’s 1968 hit “(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone,” this heartfelt composition stands as a testament to the profound talent within the Franklin family.

It is worth noting that this song should not be confused with another track of the same title, which was recorded by Aretha Franklin for her 2003 album “So Damn Happy.” That rendition, titled “Ain’t No Way,” was written by Barry J. Eastmond and Gordon Chambers, showcasing a different musical expression.

2. A Change Is Gonna Come

“A Change Is Gonna Come” is a significant composition by the esteemed American singer-songwriter Sam Cooke. Originally featured on Cooke’s album “Ain’t That Good News,” released in mid-February 1964 under RCA Victor, this powerful song also saw a slightly edited version released as a single on December 22, 1964. Produced by Hugo & Luigi, with arrangements and conducting by René Hall, it served as the B-side to the single “Shake.”

Cooke drew inspiration for this song from various events in his life, most notably an incident where he and his entourage were denied accommodation at a whites-only motel in Louisiana. This experience profoundly impacted him, leading him to compose a song that would reflect his personal struggles and resonate with others, particularly in the context of the Civil Rights Movement and the African American community.

1. Respect [1967]

Respect” originated as a composition penned and initially performed by the talented American soul vocalist, Otis Redding. This melodious piece was unveiled in 1965, serving as a single from his third album titled “Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul.” The song achieved significant success, transcending genres and resonating with a broad audience.

Two years later, another prominent soul singer, Aretha Franklin, took on the task of covering and rearranging “Respect,” resulting in an even more remarkable triumph and cementing its place as her iconic anthem. The musical arrangement in Franklin’s rendition underwent substantial modifications, showcasing her unique style and leaving an indelible impact on listeners. Furthermore, subtle alterations to the lyrics gave rise to diverse interpretations surrounding the theme of human dignity, which some have interpreted as insightful commentaries on traditional gender roles.

Bonus – Ever Changing Times

During the year 1992, a modified version of the song emerged under the title “Ever Changing Times.” This rendition was reimagined and recorded by the renowned American recording artist, Aretha Franklin, for her thirty-sixth studio album, “What You See Is What You Sweat,” which had been released the previous year in 1991. In this rendition, Franklin was accompanied by Michael McDonald, who contributed featured vocals. “Ever Changing Times” was chosen as the fourth single to be released from the album, showcasing the dynamic collaboration between these two talented artists.

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