Aretha Franklin was an iconic songstress whose career spanned several decades.
Whether you’re a long-time fan or just discovering Aretha’s legacy for the first time, this list will take you back through the decades to experience some of the greatest songs ever created.
From her gospel roots to her early pop successes and everything in between, these songs showcase why she was known as the Queen of Soul.
Get ready to explore and enjoy our list of the best Aretha Franklin songs!
1. “Chain of Fools”
“Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin is an iconic song in the music world, setting a standard for R&B soul that has been hard to match.
Her raw, gritty vocals manage to capture the emotion and energy of the lyrics perfectly, creating an unforgettable listening experience.
The song’s simple but effective instrumental arrangement allows her voice to soar, creating a sense of drama and power.
It’s a classic tune that never fails to draw people in and get them dancing.
“Chain of Fools” is undoubtedly one of Aretha’s best songs – a timeless classic that will linger in the hearts of music fans forever.
2. “I Say A Little Prayer”
Continuing the legacy of Aretha Franklin’s greatest hits, “I Say A Little Prayer” showcases her extraordinary vocal range and power.
The song begins with a gentle introduction but builds to a powerful chorus that demands attention.
Franklin’s lyrics are heartfelt and honest, expressing her deep faith and giving thanks for all she has in life.
Her captivating performance is highlighted by her unique phrasing and soulful vibrato.
3. “Rock Steady”
“Rock Steady” is a classic Aretha Franklin song and one of her most beloved hits.
Her vocals are powerful and soulful throughout the track, with a captivating combination of funk and gospel that brings unparalleled energy.
The song’s instrumentation is also top-notch, from the funky guitar riffs to the high-energy horns.
It’s an undeniable party jam that has been covered by countless other artists, proving its timelessness and durability.
“Rock Steady” is no doubt one of Aretha Franklin’s greatest songs, and it deserves its place among her best work.
4. “Bridge Over Troubled Water”
As one of the best-selling singles of all time, Aretha Franklin’s version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is an undeniable classic.
Her powerful vocals elevate the song to new heights and make it a timeless anthem.
The arrangement of the track is exquisite, with a combination of strings, piano, and organ that create a lush soundscape for Franklin’s voice to soar over.
There is something special about her vocal performance, which gives the listener a sense of hope and resilience in the face of adversity.
The lyrics are uplifting yet vulnerable, making it an essential part of any Aretha Franklin greatest hits collection.
It’s no wonder “Bridge Over Troubled Water” continues to be beloved by fans around the world.
It stands as a testament to Franklin’s artistry and her ability to turn any song into something truly magical.
5. “Freeway of Love”
The powerful and soulful vocals of Aretha Franklin make the classic 1985 hit single “Freeway of Love” one of her most beloved songs of all time.
With an infectious groove and a sense of joyous optimism, this song is a perfect representation of Aretha’s legendary talent.
The upbeat production, featuring a prominent saxophone solo, provides an irresistible backdrop for the Queen of Soul’s impassioned performance.
Aretha’s powerful voice and undeniable charm take center stage on this timeless track, making it an essential part of any collection of greatest hits by the incomparable Aretha Franklin.
6. “Baby I Love You”
“Baby I Love You” is an absolute classic, an anthem for those seeking solace in the power of love.
With its powerful lyrics and emotionally charged performance, this is a timeless track that has rightfully earned its place as one of Aretha Franklin’s greatest hits.
The song poignantly captures the magnitude of love and all its complexities with a heartfelt delivery that will move even the most stoic of listeners.
It stands out as a beacon of hope and assurance to anyone who needs a reminder that true love can conquer anything.
Undoubtedly one of Aretha Franklin’s best contributions to the world, “Baby I Love You” is sure to remain beloved by many generations to come.
7. “Share Your Love With Me”
Continuing the celebration of the legendary Aretha Franklin’s music, “Share Your Love With Me” is a soulful classic that speaks to the heart and soul.
A timeless plea for love and understanding, this song has been a favorite amongst lovers everywhere since.
With its powerful lyrics and stirring vocal performance, it’s no wonder why this song remains one of the greatest hits of all time.
The emotion that Aretha conveys in her singing is truly captivating and will stay with you long after the track ends.
Whether you’re looking for an upbeat tempo or a more soulful ballad, “Share Your Love with Me” is sure to bring joy to any listener.
Aretha Franklin’s classic soul anthem “Respect” is one of the most influential songs of all time, not just in the world of music, but also in terms of social and cultural impact.
With its powerful lyrics and iconic message, the song stands as an anthem for the civil rights movement and a symbol of female empowerment.
The song is driven by Aretha’s fierce vocal delivery, with her soulful singing backed up by her band’s tight instrumentation.
It’s no wonder why this song has become a timeless classic that continues to inspire people around the world to this day.
To put it simply, “Respect” is one of those songs that will never be forgotten.
9. “Spanish Harlem”
Moving on from “Respect”, one of Aretha Franklin’s most iconic songs, “Spanish Harlem” is another song to note.
It has a sultry and soulful feel that captivates the listener.
The combination of her beautiful voice, light instrumentals, and poetic lyrics create an atmosphere that cannot be forgotten.
This track perfectly encapsulates the true essence of Aretha Franklin’s music, it proves her ability to keep us mesmerized with her enchanting sound.
“Spanish Harlem” is a great example of her timeless talent and shows why she remains an icon of the music industry even today.
Arguably one of Aretha Franklin’s most iconic songs, “Angel” is a stunning track that showcases her vocal prowess and has become an anthem for many.
With its lively gospel groove and soulful lyrics, it is no wonder that this is one of the greatest hits from the Queen of Soul.
Paired with its uplifting message, it is truly a timeless classic that will continue to move people for years to come.
11. “I’m In Love”
The transition from “Angel” to “I’m In Love” is seamless, as both songs highlight the sheer power of Aretha Franklin’s voice.
“I’m In Love” is an undeniable classic, showcasing her signature soulful delivery and unrivaled range.
Her vocal performance is enthralling, filled with emotion and passion that will no doubt capture listeners’ hearts.
As she sings of love, it’s easy to feel the same joy and excitement she conveys in her delivery.
The instrumentation is perfectly suited to the mood of the song, supporting Franklin’s powerful vocals with a blend of bluesy guitar riffs, soulful piano chords, and jazzy horns – all combining to create a timeless classic.
There’s no denying that “I’m In Love” is one of Aretha Franklin’s greatest hits, it embodies her talent for creating memorable music that will stay with you long after you hear it.
12. “Willing To Forgive”
Aretha Franklin’s timeless track “Willing To Forgive” is an emotional powerhouse of a song that will no doubt send shivers down your spine.
From the delicate piano balladry to the soaring, soulful strings, it’s clear why this song has become a classic.
With its uplifting lyrics and Aretha’s incredible vocal performance, it’s easy to connect with this ballad on a very personal level.
This song speaks of hope and perseverance in the face of adversity and is one of those special tunes that can lift you up even when you feel like giving up.
“Think” is a timeless classic and one of the greatest Aretha Franklin songs of all time.
The song has been covered by countless artists, but none can quite match the soulful power of Franklin’s original version.
From the haunting piano to the powerful gospel-style chorus, this song has it all.
With her iconic vocal delivery and heartfelt lyrics, Franklin takes listeners on an emotional journey that captures the essence of what it means to think deeply about life.
Her performance manages to be both uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time, making “Think” one of Aretha Franklin’s most memorable hits.
14. “Call Me”
“Call Me” is an iconic track from Aretha Franklin’s expansive discography.
This soulful tune has been a classic for decades and its timeless message of love, longing, and desire is still resonant today.
Franklin’s powerful delivery, backed by a groovy beat, makes this song an absolute must-listen.
The production is complex and layered, with her passionate vocals taking center stage over the intricate instrumentals.
It’s easy to hear why this track has been so beloved for so long, it never fails to lift the spirits and make you want to get up and dance.
“Call Me” is a timeless classic that will remain in our hearts forever!
15. “Day Dreaming”
Everyone knows that Aretha Franklin is the queen of soul, and her greatest hits are a testament to her legacy.
“Day Dreaming” is one of her most beloved songs, and it’s easy to hear why.
With its smooth and dreamy melody, soulful lyrics, and captivating production, it’s no wonder this track has remained a fan favorite over the years.
Its infectious groove will have you swaying in your seat as soon as it starts playing, while the passionate vocal performance provides an emotional journey that will stay with you long after it ends.
There’s simply no other song quite like “Day Dreaming”, and its timelessness is a testament to Aretha Franklin’s incomparable talent.
Best Aretha Franklin Songs – Final Thoughts
I’ve had the privilege of listening to some of Aretha Franklin’s greatest hits, and I can confidently say that she was an unparalleled talent.
Her soulful voice, captivating lyrics, and powerful performances all come together to make her one of the most influential artists of our time.
From “Chain of Fools” to “Day Dreaming”, these 15 songs are a testament to why she is known as the Queen of Soul.
Everyone should have the chance to experience Aretha Franklin’s music at least once in their lifetime, it will be an unforgettable journey!
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