60 Songs, 2 Hours 48 Minutes


Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
56 Ratings
56 Ratings

Good God Almighty!

Like most kids born in the early 1970s I went through the requisite 60s music phase during the 1980s. I bombarded my mother about what she listened to. Since I was raised on radio I assumed she listened to the Stones, Beatles, Zeppelin, etc. I remembered she used to chuckle and tell me that there was more to music than "classic rock." She told me about the "Caravan" shows of the early 60s featuring Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Darlene Love and so many others. She told me about dancing so long that her ankles would blister but it didn't matter. One day we were driving and "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" came on the radio. I had heard it many times before, but it never registered with me. She told me that Otis Redding was her favorite and that "this was real music." A few months later D.A. Pennabaker's concert footage of the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival featuring Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding was shown at the Crest Theatre in Sacramento and I attended with my cousin. As much as Hendrix was great Redding was even better. It was my introduction to Southern Soul and I feel blessed to have experienced it, albeit more than a decade later. Buy this compilation and play it over and over as much as you can.


Best compilation to date!

This is by far the best compilation of Otis Redding songs I have ever bought. I was turned on to Otis Redding late in life through a couple covers of his songs and I have loved his songs ever since. It is such a shame that he was taken way too early.


Otis redding

That's a American classic no matter what. Can't top that off!

About Otis Redding

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 to a wide pop audience (which he would indeed do with his posthumous number one single "[Sittin' On] The Dock of the Bay"). It was also unfortunate because, as "Dock of the Bay" demonstrated, he was also at a point of artistic breakthrough in terms of the expression and sophistication of his songwriting and singing.

Although Redding at his peak was viewed as a consummate, versatile showman, he began his recording career in the early '60s as a Little Richard-styled shouter. The Georgian was working in the band of guitarist Johnny Jenkins at the time, and in 1962 he took advantage of an opportunity to record the ballad "These Arms of Mine" at a Jenkins session. When it became an R&B hit, Redding's solo career was truly on its way, though the hits didn't really start to fly until 1965 and 1966, when "Mr. Pitiful," "I've Been Loving You Too Long," "I Can't Turn You Loose," a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction," and "Respect" (later turned into a huge pop smash by Aretha Franklin) were all big sellers.

Redding wrote much of his own material, sometimes with the assistance of Booker T. & the MG's guitarist Steve Cropper. Yet at the time, Redding's success was primarily confined to the soul market; his singles charted only mildly on the pop listings. He was nonetheless tremendously respected by many white groups, particularly the Rolling Stones, who covered Redding's "That's How Strong My Love Is" and "Pain in My Heart." (Redding also returned the favor with "Satisfaction.") One of Redding's biggest hits was a duet with fellow Stax star Carla Thomas, "Tramp," in 1967. That was the same year he began to show signs of making major inroads into the white audience, particularly with a well-received performance at the Monterey Pop Festival (also issued on record). Redding's biggest triumph, however, came just days before his death, when he recorded the wistful "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," which represented a significant leap as far as examination of more intensely personal emotions. Also highlighted by crisp Cropper guitar leads and dignified horns, it rose to the top of the pop charts in early 1968.

Redding, however, had perished in a plane crash in Wisconsin on December 10, 1967, in an accident that also took the lives of four members from his backup band, the Bar-Kays. A few other singles became posthumous hits, and a good amount of other unreleased material was issued in the wake of his death. These releases weren't purely exploitative in nature, in fact containing some pretty interesting music, and little that could be considered embarrassing. What Redding might have achieved, or what directions he might have explored, are among the countless tantalizing "what if" questions in rock & roll history. As it is, he did record a considerable wealth of music at Stax, which is now available on thoughtfully archived reissues. ~ Richie Unterberger

Dawson, GA
September 9, 1941




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