With a voice like this, it’s never too early for Christmas songs.
Aretha Franklin’s 2008 version of “Silent Night” was re-released on Tuesday in a new mix that strips away the orchestrations and backing vocals. What’s left is the unmistakable voice of the Queen of Soul, backed only by the sound of her own piano playing.
“Her beautiful spirit is radiant throughout the record and this new mix of ‘Silent Night’ showcases what an incomparable force she truly was, both on vocals and piano,” album producer Tena Clark said in a news release.
Franklin died in August at the age of 76.
The remix of “Silent Night” was released to promote the upcoming vinyl issue of “This Christmas,” the only holiday-themed offering in the diva’s extensive decades-spanning catalog.
“Christmas is so special for so many reasons,” she told NPR in 2008. “Each time it comes around, you hear very, very little on me. I’m not in the mix.”
This year, she’s definitely in the mix.
Here’s the original release with the full orchestration and backing vocals: