Clive Cringes: Inclement Weather Ahead

on Aug 12 in Music by

Aretha Franklin, “Through the Storm”


  ”Clive’s Cringes,” by Hunter Pope, is an ongoing series examining Clive Davis’s more “interesting” signings  for Arista Records. Check out part one for a full explanation.

Disclaimer: Aretha Franklin is the definitive queen of soul. Her voice still shines with gospel glory to this day.

But, it’s hard to forgive Ms. Franklin (and Arista) for this 1989 album. She already prickled the ears of her early followers with 80’s forgetful tunes like “Who’s Zooming Who” and “Freeway of Love”.

Despite the success of both songs,Franklin’s trajectory was already shooting downwards when she released the LP, “Through the Storm”. The title track, with Sir Elton John, is listenable…once. Sadly, the rest of the album falls into a dismal swamp of schmaltz.

The critical and sales failure reached #55 and only sold 225,000 albums. The capper was the album closer, “If Ever a Love There Was”, which featured the Four Tops, and (you guessed it) Kenny G.

Out of respect, here’s some vintage Aretha.

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