This month, members of Vinyl Me, Please Classics will receive an exclusive 180-gram edition of Aretha Franklin's breakout LP, Aretha Now. This new edition was remastered AAA by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound, and pressed at QRP on 180g black vinyl. Head here to read our new liner notes, and read below for why we picked this album.
Andrew Winistorfer, Classics A&R: Last summer, the original idea was to do an Aretha Month in December: Aretha Now as Classics, and I’ve Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You that we did for Essentials, but the timing just didn’t quite work out in terms of getting things remastered, and getting master tapes accessible to us. That’s why we’re doing these records two months apart, but I thought this was a really good accompaniment to I’ve Never Loved a Man because that record is where Aretha became a superstar, and Aretha Now is the record where she became the Aretha Franklin of popular imagination. They really hit upon what she should sound like, and what she could do with her voice. Aretha Now is a really great title for this, because… she’s Aretha now, as in the Aretha Franklin.
This album’s in the VMP 100 Albums You Need to Own on Vinyl book, so it’s obviously been on our radar forever. It was awesome to be able to pull the master tapes outta the vault, have Ryan Smith remaster them all analog, so it’s Triple A vinyl like all the Classics albums back to Al Green have been. It's also the first time this has been a mono release in the U.S.; it only came out on mono here via promo presses.
Susannah Young wrote the liner notes for these, and they might be my favorite liner notes we’ve run in the 32 Classics albums that I’ve overseen liners for… they’re just really, really good, and I can’t wait for people to read them. It’s on 180-gram black vinyl, like always. This is the second Aretha Franklin in three months, but unless she has a rap album... (laughs) this will be the last Aretha Franklin Record Of The Month for us.