Otis Redding - Otis Blueː Otis Redding Sings Soul - Review
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critics' view

Following on from “The Great Otis Redding Sings Ballads” in March, came “Otis Blue” in September. Team Otis were just going from strength to strength at this time and this was the best serving yet; both in my eyes and in the commercial stakes. The hottest action all comes in the first half of the set. The album leads off with two of Otis’s own compositions, both of which make up the album’s lead single, released just a month before the LP. “Ole Man Trouble” (the current b-side) makes for a great starter – as ever, the whole group are sharp and Otis vocals are amazingly nuanced and expressive. The horns and organ are a treat. The A-side, “Respect” (another penned by Otis), proceeds to tear the place up with its foot-stomping brilliance; this must have been a scorcher on the dance floors. Having lost his buddy, Sam Cooke, in distressing circumstances in December ’64, “Otis Blue” pays tribute by title and by the inclusion of 3 of Sam’s songs, including a thoroughly magnificent reading of “A Change Is Gonna Come”. The fight for equal rights and social justice goes on via this soul brother. Just when you think Side 1 can’t possibly get much better, along comes another all-time classic written, once again, by the main man. “I’ve Been Loving You For Too Long” had given him his biggest single success to date, peaking at #21 in the Billboard 100 in the early summertime.

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