Cover Songs – Respect

The AWESOME! page has random music stuff that I think is cool. You never know what you will find here!

I’ve written about several songs for my AWESOME! section that are famous cover songs (see my blogs on Hurt by Johnny Cash/Nine Inch Nails, Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen/Jeff Buckley, The Sounds of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel/Disturbed, Fast Car by Tracy Chapman/Jonas Blue, Mad World by Tears for Fears/Gary Jules, and the many covers of songs by The Beatles and Bob Dylan). Today, I continue the series, “covering” one of the most famous covers, Respect, originally by Otis Redding and made famous by Aretha Franklin.

Aretha Franklin’s Respect is perhaps the most iconic song from the one of the most iconic artists in music history (in my blog from September 30, 2018, on my rankings of The Greatest Artists of All Time, Franklin placed third on the my list). Her version became an anthem for the feminist movement; it won Franklin 2 Grammy awards and was inducted into Grammy Hall of Fame; it is included in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry; and it is #5 on Rolling Stones list of The Greatest Songs of All Time. Impressive! (See my blog post from November 15, 2017 for more on The Queen of Soul).

But Franklin’s version in 1967 was a cover of the song originally written and released as a single by Otis Redding in 1965. Redding is a music legend in his own right – his tragic death in a plane crash when he was 26 years old happened just 8 months after Franklin’s version was released (for more on Redding, see my blog post from August 22, 2018). Redding’s version is significantly different than Franklin’s. There is no spelling of R-E-S-P-E-C-T, and no “sock it to me, sock it to me” from Redding. Rather, his story is one of a desperate man who will give his woman anything she wants, and he expects his woman to give him respect when he brings money home. Compare that to Franklin’s version – with a few changes of the lyrics, it became a woman’s demand for respect, since she has everything her man could ever want.

Redding didn’t care much for Franklin’s version, but he allowed her to make the changes to the lyrics, and of course, the rest is history.

Check out both versions on these clips!



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