The recording was made at the Fillmore West hall (the famous concert venue in San Francisco) over three nights, March 5, 6 and 7 in 1971. The album features Aretha's take on various "hippie" anthems as Aretha and Atlantic Records executive/album producer Jerry Wexler wanted to reach out to the expected hippie audience in San Francisco.
Franklin used King Curtis' band, the Kingpins, for these dates rather than her regular road band. The music here sparkles and crackles with the energy of a top-flight rhythm section, Cornell Dupree on guitar, Bernard Purdie on drums, and Jerry Jemmott on bass, with Billy Preston on organ, Curtis on saxophone, and the Memphis Horns. The backing vocals were provided by ’Franklin's own crew, the Sweethearts of Soul (Brenda Bryant, Pat Smith and Margaret Branch). Franklin also plays a Fender Rhodes on four cuts, including "Eleanor Rigby," "Spirit in the Dark," "Don't Play That Song," and "Dr. Feelgood." In addition, there is a guest duet vocal by Ray Charles on "Spirit in the Dark".
Beginning with "Respect" (a house-burning tear-up read), Franklin then digs deep into her pop song bag of tricks for "Bridge Over Troubled Water” and Stephen Stills' "Love the One You're With," and also redeems Bread's saccharine "Make It with You”. The album-ending "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)," written by Ashford & Simpson, is a scorched-earth soul ballad that unites the entire crowd.
- Respect 3:53
- Love The One You're With 4:15
- Bridge Over Troubled Water 5:55
- Eleanor Rigby 2:33
- Make It With You 4:33
- Don't Play That Song 3:16
- Dr. Feelgood 7:06
- Spirit In The Dark 5:33
- Spirit In The Dark (Reprise With Ray Charles) 8:53
- Reach Out And Touch (Somebody's Hand) 2:35
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