Calling this 15-track set “The Very Best of Aretha Franklin
” is a bit deceptive, since it includes nothing from her peak commercial period with Atlantic Records in the 1970s, but is instead assembled from tracks Franklin
recorded in the early to mid-'60s (“Soulville,” “The Shoop Shoop Song”) when she was with Columbia Records and tracks like “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?,” which she recorded after leaving Atlantic at the end of the 1970s. That doesn’t make this a poor collection, but not having such classic gems as “Respect,” “Chain of Fools,” and “Think,” to name just three, from her Atlantic years means this isn’t “the very best" of Aretha Franklin
by anyone’s definition.