NEW YORK (AP) — Aretha Franklin says her new album brings out an excitement she hasn’t felt since 1982 and the music feels as good as Marvin Gaye’s seminal What’s Going On? album.
Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics includes covers of songs like Midnight Train to Georgia and Rolling in the Deep. It was released Sept. 30 on vinyl but will be available digitally and in stores on Oct. 21.
Franklin said there’s “a lot of electricity” around her latest CD.
“I haven’t felt so up on a CD since Jump to It (was released in 1982) or the first time one of my records was played on the radio,” she said in an interview. “I don’t think I have ever been as excited as I am now.”
The Queen of Soul, who sat next to longtime collaborator and album producer Clive Davis, held a listening for the album at the 92nd Street Y, a nonprofit cultural and community center.
The album also includes Franklin’s interpretations of classics such as At Last, I Will Survive and Barbra Streisand’s People.
Davis came up with the concept and songs, which Franklin said she immediately took to. Franklin recently performed the Adele hit on Late Night with David Letterman. Franklin’s version, which infuses some of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, has more than 1.4 million views on its official YouTube post.
“It’s very exciting even for those (of us) who have been in the business just a few years,” Davis said.
Producers on the 10-track album include Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Harvey Mason Jr. and Andre 3000. Franklin covers Alicia Keys’ “No One,” which is meshed with a Caribbean vibe.
“I love that flavor!” Franklin exclaimed.
Davis said it was Keys who suggested that flavor from the beginning.
“Because I have lunch with Alicia every several months and I discussed the prospect of it, and she did say, ‘I just hear a Caribbean, reggae flavor,’ ” he said.