THE BARGAIN BUY: Otis Redding; The Original Album Series (Atco)

 |   |  1 min read

Otis Redding: I've Been Loving You Too Long
THE BARGAIN BUY: Otis Redding; The Original Album Series (Atco)

It seems remarkable that for such an influential figure in soul and popular music, Otis Redding's recording career was actually a few months short of just four years, the time between his 1964 debut album Pain in My Heart and his death in December '67.

His biggest selling album Dock of the Bay was released a year after his plane crashed and he hadn't really crossed over to white audiences in any meaningful way until his appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival, six months before his death.

Of course there were always many white artists (and audiences) who knew of him and the young Rolling Stones, for example, covered Pain in My Heart and That's How Strong My Love is after hearing his versions on his albums Pain in My Heart and The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads.

Redding was one of the great interpreters of a lyric and if you scan his first five albums -- packaged up here -- he is pulling from the songbooks of Rufus Thomas, Sam Cooke, Smokey Robinson, William Bell, Solomon Burke, the Stones (Satisfaction), Lennon-McCartney (Daytripper) and Little Richard as well as covering Louie Louie, and co-writing with Steve Cropper . . .

And he was also weighing in with guitar, drums and keyboards when required.

His album Otis Blue of late '65 -- which includes Respect, A Change is Gonna Come, I've Been Loving You Too Long and You Don't Miss Your Water among his singular interpretations -- was the album which announced him to a wider world in sessions with Booker T and the MGs, Isaac Hayes and the Memphis Horns. He sounds pained from the first notes of Ole Man Trouble, but assertive on Respect.

By current standards of recording where artists go years between albums, Otis Redding hardly seemed to be around long enough to make much impact. But in those few years he released these five albums (and Kings and Queens with Carl Thomas).

But as I noted here, Otis' star went into decline after that first rush of posthumus acclaim so that by the Nineties and even more recently, he was hardly being mentioned at all.

That seems to have been changing in more recent times as classic soul is back on the wider agenda.

If however he has managed to slip past you, or you simply want to check out his impressive catalogue, then this five pack collection in replica sleeves is your easy entry point.

JB_HZ_CHEAP_longAt $20 for five CDs --Pain in My Heart, Sings Soul Ballads, Otis Blue, The Soul Album and Dictionary of Soul -- from JB Hi-Fi stores here, this is a lot of genius for little outlay.

Which is why this is Elsewhere's recommended Bargain Buy

Share It

Your Comments

Evan Silva - Feb 9, 2015

One of the best soul voices ...he expresses lyrics and lines in his phrasing like no other ....his quality of voice is unique ...a True Legend ..

post a comment

More from this section   The Bargain Buy articles index

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Lemonheads: Laughing All The Way to The Cleaners

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Lemonheads: Laughing All The Way to The Cleaners

By happy coincidence, the very day that the Lemonheads' cover of Leonard Cohen's Hey That's No Way to Say Goodbye was pulled out From the Vaults this 2011 double disc -- subtitled The Best of... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: Lana Del Rey; Born to Die, Paradise Edition

THE BARGAIN BUY: Lana Del Rey; Born to Die, Paradise Edition

 For reasons which Elsewhere could never quite understand but tried to explain here, the incredibly talented Del Rey drew derision from many quarters. That's what happens when... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Lucio's trenette al pesto (trenette with pesto sauce)

Lucio's trenette al pesto (trenette with pesto sauce)

What constitutes a great restaurant? Not just superb food . . . but the atmosphere, surely? Lucio's Italian in Sydney (see their website here) has won me every time on both counts (and... > Read more

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . HARRY KALAPANA: Aloha from Yugoslavia?

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . HARRY KALAPANA: Aloha from Yugoslavia?

Of all the many hundreds of musical styles across the planet, only one has managed to embed itself in popular, post-Fifties music which exists along the Western axis of London-New York-America's... > Read more