Aint no way.
muffchain | Australia | 06/19/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Aretha Franklin is an erratic genius, and this is not one of her better moments. Even on her great live albums - "Live at Filmore West" and "Amazing Grace" you don't get the same voice you get in the studio. She's just not as good sounding live because essentially, she's a studio artist. Something happened to her voice in the early 80's. It lost its focus, it became hoarse and dry sounding. One minute she sounded fine (The Blues Brothes) and the next minute she was working with Luther Vandross. Please! After this time, much of her incredible range deserted her from time to time, and this is one of them. She really struggles through many of these numbers, avoiding high notes, singing things down an octave, rushing through passages. Mostly, she seems to not even want to be on stage. The band is too loud and unsypathetic, and she doesn't even touch the piano. Of course, no body can take away from her the incredible rhythmic genius and the phrasing. There is still enourmous pleasure to be had from seeing these in action, but the voice, her amazing instrument is not in evidence here. It's too easy to say everything she does is 'amazing'. Aretha fans are terrified to admit that her really creative period, the window of genius when all her gifts came together in an incredible marriage, lasted only 3 years or so. So what, I say. She is untouchable as a singer. Also as an arranger, a producer and a hugely underrated piano player. Why pretend this is good? Don't settle for less, just buy the good stuff."
Aretha Had Problems During This Period
Oliver Penn | New York City | 03/27/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"During the mid to late 80's, Aretha Franklin had many setbacks. Her family was dwindling with the deaths of her father, grandmother, brother and sister. She was "full of grief" while making personal appearances during this time. As the saying goes, "the show must go on."
Unfortunately for her audience, they didn't get the real deal. I saw a couple of her concerts during this period and they were lackluster, especially having seen The Queen during her heyday. The voice was there in 1989, but Aretha didn't have the will to try. You can see her fighting back the tears during this taping.
To prove that her voice was still there, all one has to do is listen to her early 90's recordings ("A Deeper Love," "Willing to Forget.") Franklin stopped smoking and gained extra poundage which probably took away much of her energy. She developed a new style of singing: falsetto. I think that it's easier to sing in her "head voice" than it is to deliver in her natural one. Her fans are upset and I can't blame them. Just read the scathing reviews for her last CD, "So Damn Happy."
I have this concert on VHS and was very disappointed in Aretha's performance. She only came to life a few times here, but the rest of the concert is weak."
Musical Milty | Los Angeles, CA USA | 02/18/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am a HUGE fan of the Queen of Soul!!! I was excited to get this tape as I did miss the time when Soundstage presented the concert on the air. This presentation shows Aretha looking good, although I agree with one poster that she looks at some points like she does not want to sing, but then again, 1985 was a hard time for her personally as her Father had passed away the year prior. I was slightly disappointed at the medley of her biggest hits and the way she railroaded through them. Something He Can Feel - major high point of the show. LOVED the version of Ain't No Way and Love All the Hurt Away, the ad-lib on Love All was priceless when she said she was going to put on a pot of greens and hot water cornbread etc...Classic Aretha right there. All in all, a nice show, some parts could have been better, but the Queen shined"