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Love Songs

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Album Review

Sixteen of Redding's more romantically inclined performances, largely taken from minor hit singles and album tracks, although "Try a Little Tenderness," "I've Been Loving You Too Long," "That's How Strong My Love Is," and "Pain In My Heart" are all among his most popular (and best) outings. If Redding had not had such a large and varied output and this actually represented his best material, it would certainly deserve four stars, or perhaps even more. It isn't a best-of, of course, which is why it only receives an average rating, although the music is fine. Certainly it's a good disc (and well annotated by David Nathan), with songs like "My Girl" and "I Love You More Than Words Can Say" that will be unfamiliar to many, but it's hard to imagine who needs it. The committed Otis Redding fan probably has it all, and the Otis Redding dilettante will want a greatest-hits package instead, especially considering that this lacks such essential items as "Dock of the Bay" and "Respect."

Biography

Born: 09 September 1941 in Dawson, GA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s

One of the most influential soul singers of the 1960s, Otis Redding exemplified to many listeners the power of Southern "deep soul" — hoarse, gritty vocals, brassy arrangements, and an emotional way with both party tunes and aching ballads. He was also the most consistent exponent of the Stax sound, cutting his records at the Memphis label/studios that did much to update R&B into modern soul. His death at the age of 26 was tragic not just because he seemed on the verge of breaking through...
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