April 1968: Aretha Franklin Records "Think"

Aretha Franklin (center) with John Belushi (left) and Dan Aykroyd (right) in 'The Blues Brothers'
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The list of legendary Aretha Franklin recordings is long and hardly definitive - but one that's close to our hearts is "Think," which The Queen of Soul recorded on April 15, 1968.

"Think" marks a unique statement in Franklin's career. It's one of a few big hit songs that she wrote herself, alongside then-husband and manager Ted White. The verses detail an attempted love affair between two parties - one of which knew the other from a young age - and cautioning against bad behavior like "playin' games and takin' scores." There may be a deeper meaning in the song's repeated refrain of "Freedom": civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated weeks before the recording, and Aretha made the studio session shortly after attending his funeral.

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As the lead single from Aretha Now, "Think" kept Aretha burning up the charts. It was her seventh Top 10 hit released in just over a year, reaching No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topping the magazine's soul charts. It remained a staple of Franklin's cherished catalog, revisited twice in the '80s: once in a scintillating performance in the 1980 musical comedy The Blues Brothers, and again as a pumped-up dance track on 1989's Through the Storm.

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