Quarkmonkey's 1001 Album challenge

51. Otis Redding – Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul

Otisblue

I guess that, considering these albums so far are about half a century in the past, it’s not surprising that there’s going to be some reflection on the fact that the artists are not still about. And it’s all the more tragic when you look back on those who went before their time, when their careers were just starting to bloom – Buddy Holly… Sam Cooke…

… Otis.

In the short years of his career before his plane ploughed in a Wisconsin lake in the winter of ’67, Otis Redding made a resonating impact on the soul industry. He not only wrote “Respect” as well as co-writing his greatest hit, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” but he redefined Jagger/Richard’s “Satisfaction” and, with this album, gave soul music a whole new maturity.

There isn’t a single duff track here. Even when he gets his hands on ever-familiar songs like “Wonderful World”, that strained vocal and imaginative stretched arrangement makes it new.

The plaudits this album has received are not to be sniffed at. It’s often been considered one of the greatest soul albums of all time. With performances like this, that seems reasonable.

 

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