The simply titled “Otis Redding” is one of the classic albums being released to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Stax Records.
Otis was the R&B superstar whose work took Stax from a small record label into a renowned institution.
Given the stature of songs like (Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay and Respect, the latter also immortalised by Aretha Franklin, it’s hard to believe singer-songwriter Redding’s reign was so brief and he was taken from us all too soon aged 26 in a plane crash.
Some arrangements in this album seem rooted in the 50s rather than the 60s, when they were released, but there are moments when you realise Redding influenced singers up to the present day.
The Dock of the Bay is a song that doesn’t tire with endless replays and there’s more than one vocal master-class, not least These Arms of Mine and Try A Little Tenderness. Redding was known for his emotional delivery and you feel his soul in every line.
The big surprise on the album was the Jagger/Richards classic, Satisfaction, which gets bold but dated treatment with brass.
• Also from Rhino Entertainment, who have partnered with Concord Music Group, are Green Onions by Booker T and the MGs, Walking the Dog by Rufus Thomas and Soul Men by Sam and Dave – all three albums are released on June 23.