As Pitchfork and other sources report, a new box set collecting the early 1970s work of Aretha Franklin has been announced.
The set is titled A Portrait of the Queen – 1970-1974 and will be out December 1, 2023, via BMG. The 6xLP and 5xCD collection includes five albums: This Girl’s in Love With You (1970), Spirit in the Dark (1970), Young, Gifted, and Black (1972), Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky) (1973), and Let Me in Your Life (1974). The collection also includes an additional 11 bonus songs and rarities.
These were all produced by Tom Dowd, Arif Mardin and Jerry Wexler, except for Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky) which saw Aretha work with Quincy Jones. This Girl’s in Love With You saw the first commercial release of The Beatles’ “Let It Be”, which is remarkable (Paul McCartney apparently sent her a demo and Franklin’s album was issued on 15 January 1970, almost two months before The Beatles’ version).
The vinyl version will also come with a bonus disc of “session alternates, outtakes & demos.”