Superstar Rewind: “Respect” By Aretha Franklin, 1967
Otis Redding penned the famous song “Respect” in 1965. The song became a hit two years later in 1967 and was Aretha Franklin’s signature song. There are two different versions of the song that are a different style. Some of the lyrics have been changed to give the song a different story.
Redding’s version of the song is a plea from a desperate man who’s willing to give his woman anything that she wants. Franklin’s version is about a strong woman who’s outright demanding respect from a man. She knows exactly what she wants and Franklin perfectly portrays that with her powerful voice.
Franklin’s vocals also add the “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” chorus and the backup singers’ refrain of the verse, “Sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me…” Franklin’s version of “Respect” has become a signature song for the feminist movement. It’s regarded as one of the best songs in R&B and soul.