Aretha Franklin - Respect (1967)
R-E-S-P-E-C-T/find out what it means to me/R-E-S-P-E-C-T/take care of TCB
Quite possibly the best known example of 'the cover being more popular than the original', Aretha Franklin's version of Otis Redding's song was an enormous hit for the fast rising star. Redding's version was a big hit in the black community, and was a small crossover hit as well. A few years later Jerry Wexler decided that Franklin would be able to make it a bigger crossover hit. Wexler was one of the most important behind the scenes guys in the business; so Aretha recorded the song as her second single on her new label. Her sisters sing the well known backup.
Driven by bass and keyboards, this under 2:30 song never lets up, never gives us a chance to disagree. It's like having a fight with a woman you love. she may be right, she may be wrong, but you are damn sure not going to get a word in as long as she's got this head of steam built up. The track became a woman's anthem, a black anthem, a youth anthem, and popularized the term 'propers' short for proper respect that has since been shortened to props and is used across age lines in the English speaking world. Great song, great sax solo by King Curtis, phenomenal vocals by all three Franklin sisters.
Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me...