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The Very Best of Otis Redding

4.8 out of 5 stars 318 customer reviews

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The Very Best Of Otis Redding
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Audio CD, November 10, 1992
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Nothin' but essential soul smashes! Includes (Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay; I've Been Loving You Too Long (to Stop Now); Tramp; Respect; Try a Little Tenderness; I've Got Dreams to Remember; Mr. Pitiful; Shake; Satisfaction; My Lover's Prayer , and six more.

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No other Otis compilation quite satisfies the way the old double-LP best-of does, but never mind: any way you hear Redding's many great moments is a good one. The Very Best splits ballads and up-tempo stuff half-and-half, letting you hear the great one's humanity in every mood--the pile-driving rock of "Respect," the preaching fervor of "Try a Little Tenderness," the nascent reflection of "Dock of the Bay." A record collection with no Otis is a poor thing: here's yours. --Rickey Wright
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 10, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B0000032XY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (318 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #616 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Though his first hit, "These Arms of Mine" only peaked at #83 in 1963, it wasn't until 1965 that Otis Redding's career began to make headway. With his gritty soulful pipes, and soul music accompanied by a brass section and a strong rhythm section on those foot-stomping numbers, his brief impact on the music scene hinted at things to come had he not died aged 26.

The slow-dance of "I've Been Lovin' You Too Long" is simply heartwarming, nice for the last dance of the evening. His first Top 40 hit reached #21.

Redding describes "Respect" as a song taken away from him by a certain girl. While his version charted at #35 on the pop charts and #4 on the R&B, that certain girl, a Ms. Aretha Franklin, took it to #1 for two weeks (pop) and four times that long on the R&B charts. But Otis's original still has that original stomping rhythm in it. Ditto for "I Can't Turn You Loose," a #11 R&B hit that deserved better on the pop charts. Small wonder the Chamber Bros. covered it the year after he died. And "Mr. Pitiful," which barely missed the Top 40, has a shaking funky rhythm that would presage early 70's style soul.

Though a #6 hit for Ted Lewis in 1933, Otis Redding's version of the tender "Try A Little Tenderness" made it to #25, (R&B #4), higher than the other covers of the rock & roll era, though Three Dog Night came close with it in 1969 at #29. Rod Stewart did his hand of it on his Out of Order album.

He and Carla Thomas duet and rap with each other in "Tramp," where she gives him a hard time about his clothing and haircut, about how he's too country and not cosmopolitan. But he's okay with it, and holds his own.
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Format: Audio CD
Listening to this great CD will compel one incontrovertable conclusion: Otis Redding died way too young. Heaven only knows what wonderful songs we could be enjoying today, had his plane not crashed back in 1967.
But thankfully, listen we can, to some phenominal music from that too-short career. He could burn down the house (as he did in Monterrey) with cuts like "I Can't Turn You Loose", "Satisfaction" and of course "Respect". He could also croon with some of the most deeply soulful love songs, like "Pain in my Heart", and the incomparable "I've Been Lovin' You Too Long To Stop Now". There is no need to mention "Dock of the Bay" recorded just three days before his death. Words are inadequate to describe that song.
This is a must have CD. Too many are now recorded as the "Best of", but this is one which really deserves that moniker.
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It was the summer of 1967. Otis Redding was in the midst of the performance of his life at Monterey International Pop Festival. What he was referring to of course was the way Aretha Franklin had turned his song "Respect" into one of the biggest hits of the year. His version topped out at #35 on the pop charts a couple of years earlier. But I digress. Otis Redding was just beginning to hit his stride as summer turned to autumn in 1967. This veteran performer had been around for a while. The fact is that up until this point he had made the Billboard Hot 100 a total of 19 times although his records usually ran out of gas somewhere in the middle of the chart. His tunes fared much better on the Soul/R&B charts where 8 of them had made it into the Top Ten. It is really difficult to understand why the man had not had greater commercial success up until this point. After taking a few months off Otis Redding returned to the studio in early December 1967. There he recorded a song he had co-written with Steve Cropper. Everyone thought it was a mistake. His wife hated it. Three days later Otis Redding was dead at 26, a victim of a tragic plane crash in Wisconsin.
When the story appeared in the newspaper I remember thinking to myself "Who is that?" And although I had been collecting records for about three years I had never heard of him. Despite his enormous talent Otis Redding had just not quite connected with general audiences. Less than two months later in January of 1968, Volt records released that tune his wife and friends hated so much. "(Sitting On) The Dock of the Bay" went all the way to #1 on the Pop charts and remained there for a month. Everyone was now beginning to realize just how talented this man had been.
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2 Comments 29 of 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on March 24, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I ordered this CD after hearing and falling in love with "My Lover's Prayer". "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" had always been a favorite of mine as well, so I decided to order the CD. What an amazing voice Otis Redding has! Not only can he belt out a tune, but the feeling and emotion that he puts behind each and every lyric are inspiring. I feel his pain, his joy, his love, ETC. so clearly as a result of that beautiful voice. The music is jazzy and well performed as well. I will buy more of his stuff.
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By A Customer on December 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD
What can I say. I picked this up on a whim, and before the second song had finished playing it became my new favorite CD. Really, I just wanted Dock of the Bay and That's How Strong My Love Is. Well believe it or not, those songs dont even stand out next to some of the stuff on this CD that I'd never heard before. I went out the very next day and picked up the second volume of this collection. Otis Redding was the man.
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