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Otis Blue


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Audio CD, July 15, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

2008 archive reissue of Otis Blue. Otis Redding Sings Soul is the third album by soul singer Otis Redding and is considered by many critics to be Redding's first great album. Recorded in April and July of 1965, it was released September 15th of that same year. Otis Blue includes covers of three songs by Sam Cooke, Redding's idol, who died the previous December in 1964. Their styles couldn't have been more different; Cooke smooth and sure, Redding raw and pleading. But Redding's versions of "Shake" and "A Change Is Gonna Come" show how Cooke's sound and message helped shape Redding's Southern soul sound. Redding's singing reaches a new level of expressiveness with this as well as with covers of B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby" and the Motown hit "My Girl".

1. Ole Man Trouble
2. Respect
3. A Change Is Gonna Come
4. Down in the Valley
5. I've Been Loving You Too Long
6. Shake
7. My Girl
8. Wonderful World
9. Rock Me Baby
10. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
11. You Don't Miss Your Water

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 15, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino Flashback
  • ASIN: B001AUKUSG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,082 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Michael Sean on May 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Outside of an anthology or greatest hits package, this is the Otis Redding disc to own. Eight of the eleven selections are cover tunes, but Otis and crew attack the material with such passion and precision that it escapes the usual haphazard feel of a full length record slapped together around a few strong singles. There's three Sam Cooke numbers, ("Wonderful World," "Shake," and the incredible "A Change Is Gonna Come"), a fabulous rendition of Solomon Burke's "Down in the Valley," B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby," William Bell's "You Don't Miss Your Water," and the Motown hit, "My Girl," done Stax-Volt style. When Otis released his blistering take on "Satisfaction" in early 1966, many thought that the Rolling Stones had gotten the song from him instead of the other way around. The three originals show Otis in top songwriting form with "Respect" (later turned out by Aretha Franklin), "Ole Man Trouble," and the exceptional ballad "I've Been Loving You Too Long." The Big O is of course backed up by the always impressive Stax house band Booker T. & The MG's, augmented by horn players from the Mar-Keys and Isaac Hayes on keyboards (who often played with the group whenever Booker T. was away at school). Without question, this is an essential Otis Redding CD, a classic Stax release, and a milestone of the soul genre in the 1960's. Follow this one with the aptly named "Otis Redding Dictionary Of Soul: Complete & Unbelievable."
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Luigi Facotti VINE VOICE on April 22, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Forty three years after its first vinyl release on Volt and after two CD releases (mono on Atco; stereo on a rare Japanese reissue) - this album sounds as great as it always did. The major revelation is the stereo version newly remastered by the guys at DigiPrep - Bill Inglot and Dan Hersch - it is INCREDIBLE - having listened to this album for the full 43 years in stereo-I now hear things in the stereo version that I never knew were there! A must have version of perhaps the greatest soul album of all time.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. Scagnelli on February 21, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Otis Redding's Otis Blue is among the greatest albums ever made. Every moment of this record is breathtaking. This is one of the earliest albums that was true soul, and it is most likely the best. All 11 songs are incredible. Otis Blue shows just how great of a singer Redding was.
Three things make this album so incredible. One of them is Otis Redding's voice. It is incredible. Few people could sing like Otis Redding. Whether it is a slower song, such as I've Been Loving You Too Long, an up beat song, such as Respect or even a blues song, such as Rock Me Baby, Redding's voice shines. There isn't one moment on this album where one woul question the greatness of his voice.
A Second and equally important aspect of this incredible album is the band. Backed by Booker T. and The MGs, the instruments on this album are wide and the playing is great. Also, Steve Cropper on lead guitar is essential to the greatness of the sound of these songs. Especially on Ole Man Trouble and Rock Me Baby, Cropper's guitar almost overshadow's Redding's incredible voice.
Perhaps the most important aspect of this album is just how great the songs are. Ole Man Trouble is a Redding original. It contains some great guitar work and Redding's voice, as always, is great. Respect, another original, is only about two minute long, but the energy that Redding and the band put into that two minutes in intense. It is very different then the later Aretha Franklin version. I like this one just as much, but it is up for arguement. A Change is Gonna Come is the first of three Sam Cooke songs on this album. Cooke was one of Redding's favorite singers and he did these songs in tribute to the recently deceased Cooke. In paying tribute, Redding's versions at least equal the originals and sometimes almost surpass.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Sim Andrew Bryant on November 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
If I could,I would give Otis Blue 6 stars.
This was the first album I ever bought, and it's turned out to be the greatest ever made,in my opinion.
Incredibly, all 11 tracks were recorded in a 24 hour period.
Considering the technology of the time,the sound quality is hard to belive.
But Otis could have made these songs into jewels under almost any conditions.We're blessed that those conditions were instead almost optimal,thanks to musicians like Booker T. Jones and Steve Cropper.
If you only buy one Otis Redding album,this should be the one.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 29, 2008
Format: Audio CD
HISTORY:
With the groundwork of his first two albums behind him, "Pain In My Heart" in 1964 and "The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads" in early 1965, Otis Redding stepped into the Stax recording studio on McLemore Avenue in Memphis on the 9th of July 1965 to quickly slap down his 3rd album. And quick was the optional word. In one long adrenalin fuelled session (broken up by night gigs the band had to attend - only to reconvene in the early hours of the morning), its 11 songs took less than 24 hours to produce. In fact, Otis flew out of Memphis the very next day to do another gig! It is of course now recongnised as a bona-fide 60ts soul classic and this "Collector's Edition" is here to celebrate that.

TOM DOWD was the Engineer, ISAAC HAYES, JIM STEWART and DAVID PORTER were the Producers and the Stax House Band were the session players:
WAYNE JACKSON and GENE "BOWLEGS" MILLER on Trumpets
ANDREW LOVE on Tenor Sax
FLOYD NEWMAN on Baritone Sax
ISAAC HAYES and BOOKER T. JONES on Keyboards
STEVE CROPPER on Guitar
DONALD "DUCK" DUNN on Bass
AL JACKSON, JR. on Drums
EARL SIMS on Backing Vocals
(Jones, Cropper, Dunn and Jackson, Jr make up the nucleus of Booker T. & The MG's)

"Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul" was released in the USA on the 15th of September 1965 on Volt 412. It charted on the Pop Albums chart at a lowly number 75, but hit the big number 1 spot on the R'n'B LP chart of that month. It was released in the UK in February 1966 on Atlantic ATL 5041, originally in Stereo only - but later re-issued in 1967, again on Atlantic, but this time in both Mono and Stereo (587 036 for Mono and 588 036 for Stereo).
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