187 – Aretha Franklin – Respect (1967)
Written by Otis Redding
Produced by Jerry Wexler
Label – Atlantic
Given the year of release, “Respect” is an incredibly brave record. The safe bet would have been for Aretha to pursue the same route of her female peers in soul and R&B, and deliver music that rarely veered from its common purpose of loving and serving men. This empowering record not only touches on women’s rights, but also the embryonic civil rights movement that was beginning to have an effect on sociopolitical events in the U.S. at the tail end of the 60s. A dogged, unrelenting, and absolutely crucial song.