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YouTube Gold: Aretha Franklin Lays Down The Law

A great scene from a classic comedy

On the set of The Blues Brothers
 American singer, songwriter, and pianist Aretha Franklin surrounded by actor John Belushi and Canadian actor and screenwriter Dan Aykroyd on the set of The Blues Brothers directed by John Landis.
Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

For the most part, the 1980 movie the Blues Brothers was a big goof: Jake and Elwood Blues have to raise money to save the Catholic orphanage where they grew up. Along the way, they cause immense mayhem, run Nazis off a bridge and racked up astronomical expenses while wrecking cars all over Chicago.

But the music was sublime. Ray Charles just killed Shake Your Tail Feather and proved that he still had all his powers. Cab Calloway did Minnie the Moocher, and even in his later years still had the magic. John Lee Hooker had a cameo in a street scene.

And then there was Aretha.

Aretha Franklin was still the Queen of Soul but she had gotten on a bit and she wasn’t charting like she used to. However, like Ray Charles, she was still immensely powerful.

In this scene, she is telling Matt “Guitar” Murphy to consider what he’s doing and then just rolls right into her classic “Think.”

Stone cold genius all around.