您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 文化 >> 正文

艾瑞莎:美国历史上最伟大的歌手

更新时间:2018-9-11 21:28:36 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Why Aretha was the greatest singer in US history
艾瑞莎:美国历史上最伟大的歌手

The news that Aretha Franklin has died, aged 76, brings sorrow, reflection and a renewed realisation that the Queen of Soul’s reign was an extraordinary one. Within a career that spans nearly six exceptional decades, she achieved tens of millions of international record sales (including countless electrifying classics – Respect, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, Chain Of Fools, Rock Steady and Spanish Harlem among them), and numerous accolades including 18 Grammy Awards.

艾瑞莎·富兰克林(Aretha Franklin)去世了,享年76岁。这一消息让人们感伤、思考,并反思这位灵魂歌后如此非凡的全盛时期。在长达六十载的职业生涯中,她国际唱片的销量数以千万计,无数经典单曲令人振奋——《尊重》(Respect)、《(你让我感觉像)一个天生的女人》((You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman)、《愚人链》(Chain Of Fools)、《摇滚依旧》(Rock Steady)、《西班牙的哈姆莱区》(Spanish Harlem),获得包括18项格莱美大奖在内的各种荣誉。

Aretha was legendary enough for the world to call for her on first-name terms; at the same time, she was formidably talented, and regal enough to appear coolly distanced from any ‘celebrity’ world. In an entertainment age given to hyperbole and histrionics, Aretha remained a genuine star, and she commanded unequivocal respect. She still does. Even now, it does not feel right to refer to Aretha’s voice in the past tense, because it always sounds so fantastically, vitally in the moment.

艾瑞莎如此传奇,全世界称呼她时都不冠姓氏。她的才华如此惊人,女王气势十足,一直与各种"名人"圈保持了相当的距离。在浮夸且装腔作势的娱乐年代,艾瑞莎始终是一个真正的天才,赢得了大家的尊重。直到今天,一直如此。即使是现在,感觉都不该用过去时谈及她的嗓音。因为那歌声直到此时此刻,都如此美妙而充满分量。

It is not merely that Aretha’s voice is unmistakable, from the first notes she strikes on any number; it’s more that it’s impossible to imagine music without the impact of that voice – its rich warmth and empathy, the glorious vivacity of her mezzo-soprano vocal range, and its no-messing power. Aretha’s catalogue is so fantastically multi-layered, that we could take any point of introduction, from her rawest funk, soul and blues cuts, to her full-bodied pop successes (she remains, historically, the most prominent female artist on the US Billboard charts), or her jazz excursions (reflected in compilation albums like 1992’s Jazz to Soul, or her 2016 Prince tribute set at the White House, alongside Herbie Hancock and Robert Glasper) – and it will still deliver beyond what we expect.

这不仅因为艾瑞莎的音准从不出错,不论高低都能踏准。更在于她歌声中充满了热情和共鸣;她那绝妙的女高音音域,活力十足;她音色透亮,辨识度十足。很难想象如果没有她的声音,音乐将是怎样一幅光景。艾瑞莎的曲目层次之丰富,从她早期的疯克乐、灵乐和蓝调,到其圆润浑厚的流行乐大获成功(要知道她一直是美国公告牌音乐排行榜最著名女歌手),再到她对爵士乐的探索:比如1992年的合集《爵士到灵乐》(Jazz to Soul),2016年在美国白宫和汉考克(Herbie Hancock)、格拉斯帕(Robert Glasper)一同演唱的《王子悼念》(Prince tribute)。总有意想不到的精彩。

Take the 1998 Grammy Awards, when Aretha stepped in to cover for a sickly Luciano Pavarotti, and performed the Turandot aria Nessun Dorma; she sang in Pavarotti’s own tenor range, but gave it her inimitable soulful flair. Apparently, she took 20 minutes’ notice to perform this show-stopper, and it remains a wondrous rendition to hear and watch: her earthy then soaring tone, her poise and flashing eyes.

就说说1998年的格莱美奖吧,艾瑞莎代替生病的帕瓦罗蒂(Luciano Pavarotti)上场,表演了《图兰朵》(Turandot)中的一段咏叹调《今夜无人入眠》(Nessun Dorma)。她延续了帕瓦罗蒂的男高音调子,但又赋予其一种独特的深情。这20分钟的表演引来观众们极其热烈的回应和掌声,直到今天,这仍然是一场值得反复欣赏的精彩表演:尤其是艾瑞莎质朴的嗓音唱出高昂的声调,而沉静的双目也迸发了光芒。

Soul’s wellspring

灵魂之泉

All of Aretha’s music, even her operatic performance, feels deeply infused with her gospel roots. She was born in Memphis in 1942: the daughter of a preacher man with a wayward rep. She was raised in Detroit, where her father preached at the New Bethel Baptist Church, and her musical schooling began; she proved a prodigal talent as a pianist (her piano skills would endure as oneof her career trademarks) and a vocalist. It was a turbulent upbringing; her parents split, and her mother died when Aretha was nine. By the time Aretha was recording her debut album, Songs of Faith, aged 14, she was also pregnant with her second child. The first track on that 1956 gospel collection is her take on the 18th Century hymn, There is a Fountain Filled with Blood, and it still sounds hauntingly beautiful: just her dreamy voice and piano, with echoes of handclaps and exultations.

艾瑞莎所有的音乐,甚至她的歌剧表演,都有一个深深的根源——福音。1942年,她出生于田纳西的孟菲斯,父亲是一名特立独行的牧师。艾瑞莎在美国底特律长大,因为父亲在新圣施洗者教堂(New Bethel Baptist Church)传教,也正是这里,她的音乐教育开始了。人们发现她很有唱歌和弹钢琴的天赋,后来这项钢琴才艺一直是她事业的一个标志。她的成长经历也很坎坷,父母离婚了,母亲在她九岁时逝去。当艾瑞莎录制自己的首张专辑《信仰之歌》(Songs of Faith)时,14岁的她正怀着自己的第二个孩子。1956年那张福音合集中的第一首歌,她演唱了18世纪的圣歌,里面有一段《鲜血之泉》(Fountain Filled with Blood),钢琴伴随着她梦幻的嗓音,还有听者久久的掌声和无尽的狂喜,到今天听起来还是美得令人难以忘怀。

Managed by her father, she toured with acclaimed gospel collectives such as The Soul Stirrers, featuring a 20-something Sam Cooke. She also decided that she wanted to reach broader audiences, by performing secular material. Years into that mainstream success, her father would still remark: “Truth is, Aretha hasn’t ever left the church!” This spiritual quality resonates throughout her varied works, and she would also celebrate her gospel heritage in her 1972 live album, Amazing Grace, which remains her biggest-selling disc to date (certified double platinum in the US).

艾瑞莎的父亲作为其经纪人,让她和一些知名福音乐队一起巡回演出,比如当时由20岁左右的山姆·库克(Sam Cooke)领衔的The Soul Stirrers乐队。后来她开始表演世俗题材,想拥有更为广泛的观众。在她在主流世界获得成功后多年,他父亲还是说:"其实,艾瑞莎从来没有离开过教会。"这种精神品质贯穿了她的各种作品。她还通过自己1972年的现场演唱专辑《奇异恩典》(Amazing Grace)赞颂了这份信仰。至今,这张专辑依然是她最畅销的唱片,并被认证为美国双白金唱片。

After an initial major label stint at Columbia Records, Aretha would sign to Atlantic Records in 1967, and seal her royal status. At Atlantic, she recorded with celebrated producer Jerry Wexler and the Muscle Shoals rhythm section – scoring her debut smash hit with the irresistibly bittersweet I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Loved You), and sparking her commercial fame. Aretha is sometimes, confusingly, declared as a ‘Motown legend’; she does embody a universal sense of soul, but she never actually signed to that Detroit label. Her undisputed ‘Queen of Soul’ status may also have been sealed at a 1967 concert at Chicago’s Regal Theatre, where DJ Pervis Spann presented her with a crown during an onstage “coronation” – but this was a fun gimmick, and Aretha remains the real deal.

在哥伦比亚唱片公司工作一段时间后,艾瑞莎于1967年与大西洋唱片公司签约,并奠定了自己的音乐女王身份。在那里,她与著名制片人威克斯勒(Jerry Wexler)、Muscle Shoals节奏乐工作室合作,推出了首张唱片《我从未爱过一个男人(我爱你的方式)》(I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Loved You))。这张扣人心弦、苦乐参半的专辑红极一时,为她赢得商业声誉。颇为奇怪的是,艾瑞莎有时被称为"汽车城传奇",众人皆知她唱灵乐一流,但她其实从没真正给自己加盖过底特律的标签。她无可争议的"灵魂歌后"地位可能来自于1967年芝加哥皇家剧院的一场音乐会,DJ 斯潘(Pervis Spann)在舞台上用一顶皇冠为她"加冕"。这无非是一个有趣的噱头,不过这个称号,艾瑞莎是实至名归。

Woke before woke

唤醒前已然醒来

A contemporary generation of empowered and ‘woke’ pop artists owe much to Aretha. She may not have deliberately positioned herself as a political voice, but she made crucial statements when being outspoken carried genuine risks. She sang black gospel composer Thomas Dorsey’s Precious Lord (Take My Hand) at Martin Luther King’s funeral following his assassination in 1968. When civil rights activist Angela Davis was jailed in 1970, Aretha publicly offered to post a quarter of a million dollars in bail (“I have the money,” said Aretha. “I got it from black people and I want to use it in ways that will help our people”). She carried Afrocentric imagery and expressions throughout her work, including the 1972 album Young Gifted and Black, titled for Nina Simone’s poetic anthem.

当代知名的流行歌手,其"醒悟"在很大程度上要归功于艾瑞莎。可能她没有刻意将自己塑造成一个政治人物,不过当敢言定会有风险时,她都勇于表态。1968年马丁路德金被刺杀后的葬礼上,她演唱了黑人福音作曲家多尔西(Thomas Dorsey)的《亲爱的主(牵我的手)》(Precious Lord (Take My Hand))。1970年民权艺术家戴维斯(Angela Davis)入狱,艾瑞莎公开表示为其支付25万美元保释金("这个钱我有,"她说,"取之于黑人朋友,我希望能还于他们")。她的作品中总有以非洲为中心的意象和表达,包括1972年那张以西蒙娜(Nina Simone)的赞美诗为题的专辑——《年轻的天才和黑人》(Young Gifted and Black)。

She meticulously guarded her private life; she was still lambasted for being driven and demanding – such unforgivable female qualities, particularly as she rose through a mainstream both thrilled and threatened by the combination of blackness, female sexuality and success. She was the first woman inaugurated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in just its second year of existence – and she was inducted by Keith Richards. There are definite clues to her competitive streak; apparently, she was furious when Beyoncé  referred to the undeniably excellent Tina Turner as “Queen” at the Grammys in 2008. Aretha later pertly remarked, “I dismissed it as a cheap shot for controversy”.

她小心翼翼地保护着自己的私生活。作为一个黑人、女性和成功人士的混合体,从主流文化圈脱颖而出。因为太要强、太苛求,她一直饱受诟病,似乎女性就不应该有这些品质。她是首位进入摇滚名人堂(Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)的女性。名人堂成立第二年,就由基思·理查兹(Keith Richards)宣布她的正式加入。还有很多事可以显示她的要强求胜。2008年格莱美典礼上,碧昂丝提及无疑很出色的缇娜·特纳(Tina Turner)为"女王"。事后艾瑞莎直言不讳:"我不想谈,这太卑劣了,就是想引起争论。"

There are also copious examples of her collaborative spirit, particularly as her material evolved through musical trends; commercial success wasn’t always a given, but her voice never felt compromised. The ‘80s brought big screen scenes (her greasy diner performance of Think in The Blues Brothers remains a delicious treat), and a restyled sound on duets with the likes of George Michael and Eurythmics, and solo hits like Who’s Zoomin’ Who? (1985). Her ‘90s releases felt less substantial, but they still yielded the sublime, Lauryn Hill-produced A Rose Is Still A Rose (1998); in the video, Aretha delivers a sermon-like intro from a throne of blooms.

她也尝试过多种多样的合作,尤其是随着音乐潮流的改变,不断拓宽自己的领域。商业上并非永远成功,但她的声音从未失去风采。上世纪80年代,她开始登上大荧幕(她在《福禄双霸天》(The Blues Brothers)中演唱了《想》(Think),那一场宴会表演如今看起来依然动人);她还改变风格,和乔治·迈克尔(George Michael)、Eurythmics乐队等人表演二重唱,还发布了自己的单曲系列,比如1985年的《谁在奔向谁》(Who's Zoomin' Who? )。90年代,她推出的内容不那么丰富,不过却一直有所升华。1998年,劳伦·希尔(Lauryn Hill)帮她制作推出了《玫瑰仍然是玫瑰》(A Rose Is Still A Rose)。视频中,艾瑞莎坐在鲜花王座上,像布道一般,开始了这场歌唱。

Aretha had been battling ill health for some time, though she’d previously denied rumours of pancreatic cancer, even when she was forced to cancel live dates a few years ago. She was resolutely splendid in the 21st Century – still appearing to choose her moments and create a sensation; dressed to the nines and assuredly immaculate, even when her lyrics shattered hearts. She performed My Country ‘Tis Of Thee at President Obama’s inaugural ceremony in 2009 – and famously moved him to tears in 2015, when she sang (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman at a tribute to its songwriter, Carole King. “American history wells up when Aretha sings,” Obama would explain to The New Yorker’s David Remnick.

艾瑞莎与与疾病做斗争已有许多时日,虽然此前她否认自己患有胰腺癌的传言。即便如此,几年前她曾被迫取消了巡演。进入2000年,她依然很辉煌——仍然出场震撼观众、带来轰动。即便是那些让人心碎的歌曲,她也会打扮得一丝不苟、确保自己完美无缺。2009年,她在奥巴马总统的就职典礼上演唱了《我的祖国》(My Country 'Tis Of Thee);更有名的是,2015年,当她唱起《(你让我感觉像)一个天生的女人》悼念作曲家卡罗尔·金(Carole King),奥巴马闻声感动落泪。"艾瑞莎一歌唱,美国历史就涌了出来,"奥巴马对《纽约客》的雷姆尼克(David Remnick)这么说。

The Queen of Soul could write a fantastic tune, but when she sang someone else’s words, they belonged to her completely. Dusty Springfield marveled over Aretha’s unique intonation on Son of a Preacher Man (admittedly, intended for Aretha); when Otis Redding heard her version of Respect (which he’d originally written and recorded in 1965), he affirmed: “She done took my song”. When she performed her cover of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep on the David Letterman Show (2014), it felt like genuinely new, classic soul. And no matter how many times we hear her biggest hits, they retain every bit of bright force – whether they’re whisking us onto the dancefloor or soothing us through heartbreak. Viva Aretha. Every line she sings sounds like a revelation, now and forever.

灵魂歌后可以写出美妙的曲调,然而当她唱起别人的歌,那歌就彻底属于她了。达迪思·斯普林菲尔德(Dusty Springfield)惊叹于艾瑞莎演唱他那首《牧师之子》(Son of a Preacher Man)时独有的嗓音,这首歌像是为她而作。奥蒂斯·雷丁(Otis Redding)听到她演唱的《尊重》(这首歌他写于1965年并录制),断言道:"她真的拿走了我的歌"。2014年她在大卫·莱特曼秀(David Letterman Show)上演唱了阿黛尔(Adele)的《爱恨交织》(Rolling in the Deep ),简直是赋予其全新而经典的魂灵。多少次重听她的热门单曲,不论是把我们带入舞池、还是安抚我们的破碎的心灵时,都能让人在感受到,每个节拍中涌出那种光明的力量。艾瑞莎万岁。她唱出的每一行歌词,都像是一种启示,从现在直到永远。

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表