Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Otis Redding - Otis Blue - Otis Redding Sings Soul

After watching the Janis Joplin doc the other day where they show Otis Redding at Monterrey and Janis extols his talents, I pulled out the Otis taht I own. Unfortunately on CD, I only have this release - though it is a monster! Otis Blue was his third record and has some of his most beloved songs.

Of course, Otis always sang soul, so the title kinda goes without saying, and here he is in strong voice with an excellent selection of tunes. The band (Booker T. & The MGs with the Mar Keys and Memphis Horns, as well as Issac Hayes on piano) is tight'n'smokin' as they burn through the subtle'n'soulful "Ole Man Trouble", and then hit us with the powerful dance hit "Respect" - his drummer really propels this one with his snappy snare rolls. "Change is Gonna Come" is a sultry'n'persuasive ballad, "Down in the Valley" is a mid tempo groover and, of course, "I've Been Loving You Too Long" is one of the sexiest soul ballads ever and the build-up on the horns along with his impassioned cries make this one of the most iconic moments in soul.

His "Shake" swings a wild, dynamic dance number, he does nice readings of the classic "My Girl" and "Wonderful World" and then gets the blues in "Rock Me, Baby". The horn-fueled r'n'b take on the Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" actually influenced the original band to change the way they played it for a while! Closing the original record is another commanding ballad, "You Don't Miss Your Water".

Rhino Records' 2-CD set includes a massive amount of bonus tracks, including the entire album in mono and stereo, alternative mixes and a passel of live tracks.

Truly one of the essential soul albums of all time - though pretty much anything from Otis is pretty damn essential!