Angel (Aretha Franklin song)

"Angel" is a soul ballad recorded by American singer Aretha Franklin. The song was co-written by Aretha's sister, Carolyn, and Sonny Sanders. Aretha co-produced the song with Quincy Jones and it originally appeared on Aretha's 1973 album Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky). It was released as a single in June 1973 and went on to top the US R&B Singles chart for two weeks while reaching number twenty on the Pop chart.[1] The single sold over 900,000 copies.

Single by Aretha Franklin
from the album Hey Now Hey (The Other Side of the Sky)
B-side"Sister from Texas"
ReleasedJune 1973
Length3:34 (single version)
4:30 (album version)
Songwriter(s)Carolyn Franklin
Sonny Sanders
Producer(s)Quincy Jones
Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin singles chronology
"Master of Eyes (The Deepness of Your Eyes)"
"Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)"


  • Lead and background vocals by Aretha Franklin
  • Additional background vocals by Carolyn Franklin and Erma Franklin
  • Produced and arranged by Quincy Jones and Aretha Franklin

Simply Red versionEdit

Single by Simply Red
from the album Greatest Hits
Released28 October 1996
GenreHip hop
LabelEastwest Records
Songwriter(s)Carolyn Franklin
Sonny Sanders
Producer(s)Simply Red
Wyclef Jean
Jerry Duplessis
Simply Red singles chronology
"We're in This Together"
"Night Nurse"
Music video
"Angel" on YouTube

"Angel" was covered by British soul and pop band Simply Red in 1996 for their first compilation album, Greatest Hits featuring an uncredited appearance by the Fugees. It was released in October 1996 as the only single from the album and reached number 4 in the United Kingdom. The song appeared on the Set It Off soundtrack.

Critical receptionEdit

AllMusic editor Jon O'Brien wrote that the song "is a surprisingly passable attempt at hip-hop lite."[2] Larry Flick from Billboard described it as a "rugged jeep-funk cover" and commented further that "this is far more street-oriented than Simply Red's previous efforts, and front man Mick Hucknall is pushed to deliver one his roughest and most forceful performances to date." He also noted that the singer "sounds convincingly hard alongside Fugee Wyclef Jean's muscular guest rap".[3] Ken Tucker from Entertainment Weekly noted Hucknall's "keening croon to the Fugees' smoky harmonies" and added "this low-key pleaser exerts a romantic pull".[4] Music & Media wrote that Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel "bring out the best in Mick Hucknall on this hair-raising version" and "his voice can handle any soul ballad on its own, but the unmistakeble Fugees beats and soulful snippets make this a great addition to the Simply Red Greatest Hits album."[5]

Track listingEdit

12" single, UK (1996)
1."Angel" (Mousse T. Soul Mix)4:06
2."Angel" (Mousse T. Soul Instrumental)4:18
3."Angel" (Rubbadubb Mix)4:06
4."Angel" (Mousse T. Club Mix)6:04
CD single (CD1), UK & Europe (1996)
1."Angel" (Simply Red Mix)4:00
2."Angel" (Mousse T Soul Mix)4:06
3."Angel" (Soundtrack Version)3:39
4."Angel" (Wondrous Angel Dub)3:59
5."Angel" (Rubbadubb Mix)4:06
CD single (CD2), Europe (1996)
1."Angel" (Mousse T Smooth Soul Mix)3:53
2."Angel" (Simply Red Mix)4:00
3."Angel" (Recorded Live At Montreux With Quincy Jones And His Big Band)4:42
4."Money's Too Tight To Mention" (Edited Disco Vocal)4:56


Chart (1996–1997) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[6] 12
Canada Adult Contemporary (RPM)[7] 57
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[8] 33
Germany (Official German Charts)[9] 71
Ireland (IRMA)[10] 23
Italy (Musica e dischi)[11] 13
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[12] 11
Scotland (OCC)[13] 7
UK Singles (OCC)[14] 4
UK R&B (OCC)[15] 1

Other versionsEdit


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 215.
  2. ^ "Simply Red - 25: The Greatest Hits". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard. 26 October 1996. p. 80. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  4. ^ "Music Single Review: 'Angel'". Entertainment Weekly. 8 November 1996. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Music & Media: New Releases" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  6. ^ " – Simply Red – Angel" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  7. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 9724." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  8. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 13 no. 46. November 16, 1996. p. 19. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  9. ^ " – Simply Red – Angel" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved February 18, 2019.
  10. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Simply Red". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
  11. ^ "Hits of the World – Italy" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 109 no. 6. February 8, 1997. p. 40. Retrieved June 4, 2020.
  12. ^ " – Simply Red – Angel". Top 40 Singles.
  13. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  14. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  15. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.

External linksEdit