Category: the 70s

“I’ll handle the revenge myself.” ~ Pam Grier …

“I’ll handle the revenge myself.” ~ Pam Grier in Foxy Brown (1974)

Paul & Linda McCartney, Scotland, 1971. I …

Paul & Linda McCartney, Scotland, 1971. I have no explanation for this. 

Led Zeppelin: Jimmy Page, Los Angeles 1972

Led Zeppelin: Jimmy Page, Los Angeles 1972

Debbie Harry wearing a Patti Smith Group t-shi…

Debbie Harry wearing a Patti Smith Group t-shirt, thigh-high boots, and not much else, 1977, by Brian Duffy

Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones, July 24, 1972…

Mick Jagger, The Rolling Stones, July 24, 1972, New York City, Madison Square Garden, by Bob Gruen

The original power-trio lineup of The Runaways…

The original power-trio lineup of The Runaways, 1975! Michael “Micki” Steele (who went on to The Bangles), Sandy West, and Joan Jett!

Aretha Franklin, “Rock Steady” on The Flip Wil…

Aretha Franklin, “Rock Steady” on The Flip Wilson Show, aired January 20, 1972. 

Released as a single in February 1971, peaking at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #2 on the Soul Singles chart, this Aretha-penned track gets a blazing new life just 4 days before the release of the astounding Young, Gifted and Black LP. Not only have you never heard this song like this before, you may never have heard Aretha like this before: pedal to the metal and soaring, even by her own elevated standards. 

It’s also inspiring to see the Queen of Soul, “Natural Woman” resplendent in natural hair and an African-inspired gown in this pivotal TV appearance, as detailed in Rickey Vincent’s Party Music: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers’ Band and How Black Power Transformed Soul Music. 

Aretha herself said, “I believe that the black revolution certainly forced me and the majority of black people to begin taking a second look at ourselves. It wasn’t that we were all ashamed of our ourselves, we merely started appreciating our natural selves…you know, falling in love with ourselves just as we are. We found that we had far more to be proud of.

“I must say that mine was a very personal evolution – an evolution of the me in myself. […] I know I’ve improved my overall look and sound, they’re much better. And I’ve gained a great deal of confidence in myself.” 

(More here, although note that Vincent is off on the date of this broadcast, which I verified here. A great read nonetheless.)

This is the sound of Aretha’s newfound confidence, my friends, with one of 1971′s greatest singles taken to new heights. “Rock steady, baby – that’s what I feel now. Let’s call this song exactly what it is!” 

TURN IT UP!

Neil Young, Massey Hall Toronto, 1971, by Greg…

Neil Young, Massey Hall Toronto, 1971, by Greg Stott

Mick Jagger, Paris 1971, by Jean-Marie Périer

Mick Jagger, Paris 1971, by Jean-Marie Périer

Led Zeppelin: Robert Plant, by Ron Pownall

Led Zeppelin: Robert Plant, by Ron Pownall