According to the New York Times, Aretha Franklin is ready to pull a Radiohead. The Queen of Soul Takes Control. She’s been with Clive Davis on Arista since 1980, but her contract is up and she’s done with him:
Ms. Franklin has already completed an album for her own label, Aretha’s Records, called “Aretha: A Woman Falling Out of Love.” It features songs she wrote and produced herself, rather than those by the established hit makers behind most of the material she recorded for Mr. Davis. “I made all of the selections,” she said, “and I really, really was just thrilled with that, that I didn’t have to ask anyone anything.”
Like other newly independent stars, from Radiohead to Joni Mitchell to the Eagles, Ms. Franklin is contemplating options outside major-label recording contracts. “You’ve got artists who have become very autonomous and are doing their own thing,” she said. “It’s a completely different ballgame now.” She is still working out how to distribute “A Woman Falling Out of Love.” It could be through a Web site, by mail order via an 800 number, through a small or large label, or all of them; she’s negotiating.
Does she still have a good record in her? Heaven knows she hasn’t released anything good with Clive Davis. My first exposure to Aretha was “Freeway of Love,” which I rightfully hated. Thank goodness I eventually dug a little deeper.
She don’t remember the Queen of Soul. It’s hard times befallen the sole survivors. She thinks I’m crazy, but I’m just growing old…
MP3: Aretha Franklin on Her Career.