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Very Best of 2
Genres: Pop, R&B
His life and career cut short by a plane crash on the eve of his greatest commercial triumph ("Dock of the Bay"), Otis Redding's legacy has always seemed clouded by faulty memory, an even more suspect nostalgia, and mor... more »
His life and career cut short by a plane crash on the eve of his greatest commercial triumph ("Dock of the Bay"), Otis Redding's legacy has always seemed clouded by faulty memory, an even more suspect nostalgia, and more than a few troubling misconceptions. This 16-cut collection goes a long way toward putting Redding's talents in better focus. As the star of Stax/Volt's wide-ranging roster of talent, Redding came to epitomize the label's earthy R&B roots and bluesy Southern grit in the face of more polished efforts from Motown and Philly. Indeed, this set's disparate covers (including the Temptations' "My Girl," the Beatles' "Daytripper," and James Brown's "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag") underscore Redding's ability to strip a song to its emotional core, then rebuild it in his own relentless, sweaty image. Two of his groundbreaking duets with Carla Thomas are featured ("Knock on Wood" and "Lovey Dovey"), as well as the funk-drenched "Hard to Handle," all backed to perfection by the labels' house bands, the M.G.'s and Mar-Keys. There were others who sang the blues with more pain, crooned R&B ballads with greater polish, and infused gospel with deeper self-righteousness, but no one combined them all with the emotional fire and naked humanity of Otis Redding. Hear the man testify. --Jerry McCulley
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THE HEART OF OTIS
ALAIN ROBERT | ST-HUBERT,QUÉBEC | 01/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While not as satisfying as volume 1 which collects OTIS's greatest hits,volume 2 has three great covers:DAY TRIPPER(almost unrecognizable but great fun to hear),KNOCK ON WOOD with CARLA THOMAS and PAPA'S GOT A BRAND NEW BAG the JAMES BROWN classic being a natural for OTIS.MY GIRL was hard to beat because the TEMPTATIONS's original is perfect;the same can be said about CHANGE GONNA COME that can be heard in the movie MALCOM X with the SAM COOKE version.OTIS REDDING being a legend now,has a box under his name with everything he recorded.DREAMS TO REMEMBER is an excellent anthology.Budget wise,volume 1 and 2 of this collection is a good alternative."
Unfortunately Not Nearly As Comprehensive As Volume 1
ALAIN ROBERT | 08/08/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Whereas I gave Volume One in this two-volume set full marks for both content and quality, I can only go as high as 3 stars for Volume Two. Like the first one the AAD sound is fine, and there are comprehensive liner notes and content discography, but there are five tracks which do not belong in a compilation titled "The Very Best Of Otis Redding." At least not when some which fit that description are omitted.
None among Day Tripper, Change Gonna Come, My Girl, and Look At The Girl were hits for Otis, and another track, I'm Depending On You, was an uncharted flipside to one of his hits included in Volume One - I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now).
Missing from both volumes are the following: Just One More Day which, as a Volt A-side in late 1965 went to # 85 Hot 100, although the flipside, I Can't Turn You Loose [# 11 R&B] is in Volume One; and his last three posthumous hits with Atlantic's Atco subsidiary, a cover of Clyde McPhatter's A Lover's Question which which topped out at # 20 R&B/# 48 Hot 100 in April 1969, Love Man [# 17 R&B/# 72 Hot 100 in July 1969], and Free Me [# 30 R&B/# 103 Hot 100 "bubble under" in September 1969.
Why they were so meticulous in including only hits in Volume One and so negligent in Volume Two is anyone's guess, but for completist collectors it is a huge disappointment."