Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul – Otis Redding (1965)

Album no. 51/1001

Otis Redding is probably one of the most recognised singers in the soul genre – and this album definitely backs up that claim.

Poor Otis died in a plane crash AT AGE 26 (!!!) only three days after recording arguably his most well-known track ‘(Sitting On) The Dock Of The Bay’. Just one more reason not to fly. Should’ve learnt from Buddy Holly mate.

Fun fact: that album (The Dock Of The Bay) was the first posthumous album to reach number one in the UK in 1967.

Have you listened to this album before?

CL: I’ve really only heard a few tracks by Otis. And obviously, anyone who’s heard ‘Otis’ by Kanye West and Jay Z knows old mate, whether they want to or not.

NK: I don’t know this album, but I do know bits and pieces of Otis’ work. My old mates Steve Cropper, Donald Dunn and Al Jackson Jr from Booker T and the MGs all play on this, so I was already on board. Also, in the interest of full disclosure I had never heard ‘Otis’ by Kanye West and Jay Z until just now. I didn’t fancy it much.

Standout track

CL: There’s a bunch of really good tracks on this album. It’s pretty solid the whole way through but I think my favourite was ‘Ole Man Trouble’. As is expected in 1965, there are a couple of covers as well – his version of ‘Satisfaction’ just isn’t as good as the original though. I’m also fairly sure he says “shake it like a bowl of soup” on ‘Shake it’. That’s what I heard anyway.

NK: I quite like his ‘Satisfaction’! But I think the best track might be ‘My Girl’, maybe the best version of that song? Pretty close if not. However this album is super consistent, I don’t think there’s a single track you’d want to skip. His voice is so good, he really makes the songs his own.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

CL: Well, I listened to this on the bus into work on a rather cold and rainy morning – and it worked well for that. But I think it wouldn’t be out of place as late night listening. Much like Sam Cooke, it’s the sort of music to woo someone to.

NK: There are a couple of Sam Cooke songs on this, and I think these versions are better! Sorry Sam. I’m trying to think of a time this album wouldn’t be appropriate. Maybe at a funeral? Even then you could probably play ‘You Don’t Miss Your Water’ and have everybody in floods. It’ll work for a party, a wedding, the soundtrack to a romance movie, do what you want with it, can’t go wrong.

Why has this album been included on the list?

CL: Otis has one of the best voices in the biz, in my opinion. It’s husky in all the right places and definitely has the ability to make the ladies swoon. Myself included.  

NK: I don’t know much about this album in terms of it’s impact and influence, but it is easily one of the best and most consistent albums we’ve had so far. I’ve got no problem with this being here.

Will you be listening again?  

CL: Yes. I reckon so.

NK: You better believe it. I’ve played this four or five times already.

Rating

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

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