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Showing 1-10 of 319 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 395 reviews
It hurts my heart to think about Mr. Redding. I lived in Madison, Wisconsin when on December 10, 1967 his plane went down in Lake Monona. I was only 8 but when "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" started to flood every radio station it seemed shameful to learn he had been flying to give a concert in my town, kind of like how Dallas is for JFK. It's funny: the very first sentence of the liner notes spells it Lake "Monoma." And Wikipedia says Lake Monona is in Waterford, WI. No...wrong county.

Jeez. I didn't know he wrote "Respect." Or dozens of other great songs. I can't believe he was only 26. Some musicians can write music...some can belt out the songs. When one musician can do both, well, he was born in 1941 and so would be only 74 years old now. Think about his trajectory and what his lifetime body of work could have been.

I'm tearing up a bit: right after "Dock of the Bay" is the last song on this album: "I've got Dreams to Remember."

Otis: we'll remember you always.
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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. There are a few different Otis Redding collections around but I find this to be the best of the lot. You'll hear his version of tunes that went on to become hits by other artists like 1965's "I Can't Turn You Loose" and his dynamic version of the great blues standard "Try A Little Tenderness". In the meantime, you'll also enjoy the exhilirating work of the Stax/Volt house band who were undeniably at their peak during this time. For me other favorites on this compilation are the 1968 hit "The Happy Song (Dum-Dum") and Otis' high energy duet with Carla Thomas "Tramp". An informative 12 page booklet with interesting biographical information and chart data for each track is also included. Believe me you cannot go wrong with this one. Highly recommended.
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on April 12, 2016
I immediately liked Otis back in 1966 is when I first heard him. Unfortunately I never saw him live but I can say reading a book about Bill Graham and his testimonial about hearing Otis for the first time at the Fillmore while he was doing a sound check is really an eye opener as to how great a singer and entertainer Graham thought Otis was. Graham goes on to say numerous times in his book that Otis was his favorite and that he was the absolute best entertainer he ever saw. I remember exactly the moment and where I was when I heard on the radio about the plane he was on going down. It hit me real hard. At least I am able to still listen to his tremendous talent on this album. He was truly exceptional, no doubt about it.
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on January 18, 2014
Loved getting this with the free auto rip to my Amazon Cloud player (free from Amazon) and makes me feel I got double the value. It is sometimes not easy to get the free auto rip but have been waiting for long time to get something from Gadys Knight & the Pips with free auto rip to no avail yet. I will keep holding out until they offer it. Amazon is not to blame but whoever is offering the product. They do not want to give that free music out. I love a great deal though & hopefully they will come around if people wait it out to get the extra value. Wish someone could find the first song of his I ever heard that never made it past the demo 45 I got from our local radio station. I'm Amazed. It was an awesome song with him singing so soft and gentle and the sweet refrain still lingers in my mind. I have searched as far as I knew how but cannot find it anywhere. I wore out my 45 and someone broke it but I used to flatten it out & play that scratchy thing over and over just to hear my personal favorite of his that evidently, no one but me knows about. If anyone out there knows how to find it please let me know via response to my review!
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on September 8, 2016
Yes, he is that good. When he sings he sounds like he has opened up a vein to his heart. No singer has ever effected me as emotionally as he does, and The Very Best is not hyperbole. Love Songs

He died way too young, but what I legacy! I have so many of his CDs and love them all. My favorite is "Love Songs," (see link) sold on Amazon for a great price. I have five of them. Really. I mean, what if something happens to one of them? I have enough for a lifetime.
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on May 9, 2017
He died too young but left an enormous legacy that real music lovers will forever appreciate as it never grows old
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on July 15, 2015
Purchased for "Dock of the Bay", which I love, but other selections don't move me as that does. How unfortunate that he died so young. Who knows what he might be doing in the 21st century!
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on February 28, 2017
Timeless love songs, beautifully delivered
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on May 6, 2012
If you know who Otis Redding was, and you like his music, this collection of songs is not a surprise. All of the songs you remember, and one or two that maybe you forgot, are here in all their soulful glory.

However, if you have no idea who Otis Redding was, this collection is an unfiltered look at his very best stuff. Naturally Dock of the Bay is there, but did you ever hear Shake? Yeah, you liked the blues brothers, but did you have any idea that theme song of theirs is actually I Can't Turn You Loose? And in my opinion, this is the definitive version of Try a Little Tenderness, all the other versions are just shadows.

Can you tell I liked it? This is a good pick to crank up while you sweat on the elliptical trainer, or to relax with while you sip a martini on Friday after work is finished for the week. I recommend it, and I predict that if you had no idea who Otis was, you'll find out and wonder what took you so long.

Z.
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on May 21, 2017
Can't beat Otis. Really could stuff.
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