Rock Steady – Aretha Franklin | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#9) & R&B (#2); 1971

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

From her dramatic explosion onto the national scene in March of 1967 through her first four years of her stunning career as Lady Soul, Aretha Franklin placed an astounding 29 sides on the rhythm list, 23 of which reached the Top 10. Among them were 9 #1’s. Ten of her singles became double-sided smashes, notably The House That Jack Built b/w I Say A Little Prayer which peaked at #2 and #3 respectively. It seemed that Aretha could sing the proverbial phone book and it would sell a zillion copies. She began year five of her streak by banging out yet another two-sider and chart topper, Bridge Over Troubled Water b/w Brand New Me. Like many of her recent releases, these were Aretha’s take on older hits as was her next one, the #1 Spanish Harlem, originally done by Ben E. King in 1961. Aretha returned to her own songbook for Rock Steady , and placed a cover of Lulu’s Oh Me Oh My (I’m A Fool For You Baby) on the flip side for another pair of R&B Top 10’s.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2023 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Tom Dowd
  • Arif Mardin
  • Jerry Wexler

Lyrics Written by:

  • Aretha Franklin