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Soul - Released July 24, 2012 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released July 31, 2012 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released July 15, 2008 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Otis Redding's third album, and his first fully realized album, presents his talent unfettered, his direction clear, and his confidence emboldened, with fully half the songs representing a reach that extended his musical grasp. More than a quarter of this album is given over to Redding's versions of songs by Sam Cooke, his idol, who had died the previous December, and all three are worth owning and hearing. Two of them, "A Change Is Gonna Come" and "Shake," are every bit as essential as any soul recordings ever made, and while they (and much of this album) have reappeared on several anthologies, it's useful to hear the songs from those sessions juxtaposed with each other, and with "Wonderful World," which is seldom compiled elsewhere. Also featured are Redding's spellbinding renditions of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" (a song epitomizing the fully formed Stax/Volt sound and which Mick Jagger and Keith Richards originally wrote in tribute to and imitation of Redding's style), "My Girl," and "You Don't Miss Your Water." "Respect" and "I've Been Loving You Too Long," two originals that were to loom large in his career, are here as well; the former became vastly popular in the hands of Aretha Franklin and the latter was an instant soul classic. Among the seldom-cited jewels here is a rendition of B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby" that has the singer sharing the spotlight with Steve Cropper, his playing alternately elegant and fiery, with Wayne Jackson and Gene "Bowlegs" Miller's trumpets and Andrew Love's and Floyd Newman's saxes providing the backing. Redding's powerful, remarkable singing throughout makes Otis Blue gritty, rich, and achingly alive, and an essential listening experience. ~ Bruce Eder
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Soul - Released July 24, 2012 | Rhino Atlantic

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Recorded and released in 1966, Otis Redding's fifth album, Complete and Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul found the rugged-voiced deep soul singer continuing to expand the boundaries of his style while staying true to his rough and passionate signature sound. Redding's ambitious interpretations of "Tennessee Waltz" and especially "Try a Little Tenderness" found him approaching material well outside the traditional boundaries of R&B and allowing his emotionally charged musical personality to take them to new and unexpected places, and while his cover of "Day Tripper" wasn't his first attempt to confront the British Invasion, his invigorating and idiosyncratic take on the Beatles' cynical pop tune proved Redding's view of the pop music universe was broader than anyone might have expected at the time. While Redding's experiments with covers on this set were successful and satisfying, it was on his own material that he sounded most at home, and "My Lover's Prayer" and "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)" are deep Southern soul at its finest, with Redding's forceful but lovelorn voice delivering an Academy Award-worthy performance. And once again, the Stax house band (centered around Booker T. & the MG's and the Memphis Horns) prove themselves both thoroughly distinctive and remarkably adaptable, fitting into the nooks and crannies of Redding's voice with their supple but muscular performances. With the exception of his duet album with Carla Thomas, Complete and Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul was the last studio album Redding would fully complete before his death, and it proves his desire for a broader musical statement didn't begin when he encountered "the love crowd" at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. ~ Mark Deming
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Soul - Released April 24, 2012 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released May 1, 2012 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released October 30, 2015 | Rhino Atlantic

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
Soul Manifesto is a fancy but accurate title for what is essentially another installment in Rhino's Original Album Series, where all the individual albums are presented as mini-LPs in paper sleeves, slid into a small box, and marketed at a low price. In this case, this rounds up the 12 albums that form the core of the Otis Redding discography: the five studio albums he released between 1964 and 1967 (Pain in My Heart, The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads, Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul, The Soul Album, Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul, the Carla Thomas duet album King & Queen), the live albums Live in Europe and In Person at the Whisky a Go Go, and the four posthumous studio LPs released between 1968 and 1970 (The Dock of the Bay, The Immortal Otis Redding, Love Man, Tell the Truth). While other rarities were dug up years later -- two noteworthy sets are 1992's Remember Me and the following year's box set Otis! The Definitive Otis Redding -- this has all the important music Otis made, all delivered in a handy and affordable little box. If you didn't own this seminal music already, this is a great way to get it. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Soul - Released May 15, 1992 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released May 12, 1992 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released May 28, 1991 | Rhino

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Otis Redding's talent began to surge, across songs and their stylesand absorbing them, with the recording of The Soul Album. In contrast to The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads, which was an advance over its predecessor but still a body of 12 songs of varying styles and textures, rising to peaks and never falling before an intense, soulful mid-range, The Soul Album shows him moving from strength to strength in a string of high-energy, sweaty soul performances, interspersing his own songs with work by Sam Cooke ("Chain Gang"), Roy Head ("Treat Her Right"), Eddie Floyd ("Everybody Makes a Mistake"), and Smokey Robinson ("It's Growing") and recasting them in his own style, so that they're not "covers" so much as reinterpretations; indeed, "Chain Gang" is almost a rewrite of the original, though one suspects not one that Cooke would have disapproved of. He still had a little way to go as a songwriter -- the jewel of this undervalued collection is "Cigarettes and Coffee, co-authored by Eddie Thomas and Jerry Butler -- but as an interpreter he was now without peer, and his albums were now showing this remarkable, stunningly high level of consistency. Also significant on this album was the contribution of Steve Cropper, not only on guitar but as co-author of three songs. ~ Bruce Eder
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Soul - Released May 1, 2012 | Rhino Atlantic

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This album, released posthumously, captured Otis Redding's show at the Whisky A Go Go from April of 1966 in Los Angeles. What is essential here was that it captured Otis Redding's sound in a small club with his own touring band, as opposed to his work on stage with Booker T. & the MG's -- an ideal band, to be sure, which is why they were sent over to Europe with him and why they were at Monterey with him a year later, but not the group that Redding normally worked on stage with. This album is closer to how Otis Redding sounded in the years coming up and working his way to the top, and the way that his original audience on the chitlin' circuit heard him. The singer and his band (including a pair of tenor saxes, a trombone, and four trumpets, with James Young, Ralph Stewart, and Elbert Woodson pounding out the rhythm on guitar, bass, and drums, respectively, go through roaring versions of "Respect," "I Can't Turn You Loose," "These Arms of Mine," "Pain in My Heart," "Satisfaction" and "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and four more, in Redding's only full-length recording in a small-scale setting. They may not have the musical elegance of Booker T. and company, but they create this intense, hypnotic sound that is spellbinding. The set itself lasts less than 40 minutes but the singer and his band are so energetic, that it doesn't feel short or lacking. This album was, in more ways than one, Redding's equivalent to Sam Cooke's Live At The Harlem Square Club, and just as essential. Reissued in 1992 on the Atco label through Rhino Records. ~ Bruce Eder
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Soul - Released May 18, 2018 | Rhino Atlantic

In 1967, Otis Redding is a king who even managed to sneak onto the stage of the pop festival of Monterey. Back in Memphis, he thinks about new directions for his next disc. The rest is as legendary as it is tragic: he dies in a plane crash on December 10, 1967 at only 26… Even if only Otis knew what this “new album” would sound like, Dock Of The Bay Sessions tries to answer this question. Conceived with Roger Armstrong from the label Ace Records and with Jonathan Gould, the singer’s biographer, it doesn’t offer any new title (every track present here had been already released on a posthumous album or on a compilation), but rather an original track list. It shows a new Otis Redding. The one who impressed the European crowds with his atomic concerts and got himself a new American audience thanks to the Monterey episode. We hear all of this on the stripped-down funk of Hard To Handle, as can be felt Bob Dylan’s influence—whose music was loved by Redding—in Gone Again’s superb lyricism. His cover of the hit Amen from the Impressions also shows us that he was far from having abandoned his gospel roots. Otis Redding also doesn’t forget to make his audience dance like on the powerful Love Man carried by the striking drums of Al Jackson and a 100% Memphis fiery brass section. Finally, he reminds us that he can also be a God of ballads on I’ve Got Dreams To Remember, with its lyrics adapting a poem from his wife Zelma. As for the hit (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay which opens the ball, everyone knows it was his final song recorded before his death. Released in January 1968, the single reaches the first place in the charts on March 16, sells more than four million copies and will be the first posthumous album of an artist to reach this position… © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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R&B - Released December 8, 2014 | Rhino Atlantic

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Soul - Released December 2, 2016 | Stax

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"Famously, Otis could never sing the same song the same way twice and every number here comes up slightly different, as he punctuates it with assorted stammers, grunts and exhortations....As a tribute to a still-missed talent, it testifies."
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R&B - Released September 10, 2001 | Rhino Atlantic

Otis Redding never recorded a lighter, more purely entertaining record than King & Queen, a collection of duets with Stax labelmate Carla Thomas. In all likelihood inspired by a series of popular duets recorded by Marvin Gaye -- indeed, "It Takes Two," Gaye's sublime collaboration with Kim Weston, is covered here -- the record serves no greater purpose than to allow Redding the chance to run through some of the era's biggest soul hits, including "Knock on Wood," "Tell It Like It Is,"and "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby," and while clearly not a personal triumph on a par with either Otis Blue or The Dictionary of Soul, the set is still hugely successful on its own terms. Redding and Thomas enjoy an undeniable chemistry, and they play off each other wonderfully; while sparks fly furiously throughout King & Queen, the album's highlight is the classic "Tramp," where their battle of the sexes reaches its fever pitch in supremely witty fashion. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Soul - Released January 1, 2008 | Stax

When the Love Generation (which, truthfully, did no better with that emotion than any other generation) got its first real glimpse of soul giant Otis Redding at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 backed by Booker T. & the MG's, a powerhouse band if there ever were one, they saw love with a capital L, because Redding sang love songs like the world was about to end, wringing the emotion out of them like a soulful, urgent hurricane. He was, simply put, an unstoppable force on-stage, taking all the energy of gospel and upping the ante until it seemed like the very sky itself was about to fly off into space from the very power of it. Redding was soul, and soul in every fiber of his being. The two sets included here, which predate the Monterey performance by a couple of months, were recorded in London (March 17) and Paris (March 21) on the Stax/Volt package tour of Europe in 1967, and they just might be even more astounding (particularly the Paris night) than the Monterey set. Working again with the MG's, with the horns of the Mar-Keys along for extra kick, Redding burns the house down in both of these sets, wringing every last bit of energy out of Sam Cooke's "Shake" until it seems the universe is about to come off its hinges, turning "Try a Little Tenderness" into a silken caress, making "I've Been Loving You Too Long" into an anthem for the hopeless arc of love, and taking "Day Tripper" to places the Beatles could only dream about, all with the MG's and the Mar-Keys churning behind him like a huge, funky turbine. This was Stax soul in all its ragged, vital glory. The original tapes of these sets (Atlantic issued an LP of the London show in 1967) have been reassembled and restored for this release, and the end result is a stunning reminder of what a giant Redding was. You want to know about love? Drop this in your player. ~ Steve Leggett
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Soul - Released October 8, 1991 | Elektra Records

It was never supposed to be like this: "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" was supposed to mark the beginning of a new phase in Otis Redding's career, not an ending. Producer/guitarist Steve Cropper had a difficult task to perform in pulling together this album, the first of several posthumous releases issued by Stax/Volt in the wake of Redding's death. What could have been a cash-in effort or a grim memorial album instead became a vivid, exciting presentation of some key aspects of the talent that was lost when Redding died. Dock of the Bay is, indeed, a mixed bag of singles and B-sides going back to July of 1965, one hit duet with Carla Thomas, and two, previously unissued tracks from 1966 and 1967. There's little cohesion, stylistic or otherwise, in the songs, especially when the title track is taken into consideration -- nothing else here resembles it, for the obvious reason that Redding never had a chance to follow it up. Despite the mix-and-match nature of the album, however, this is an impossible record not to love. Cropper chose his tracks well, selecting some of the strongest and most unusual among the late singer's orphaned songs: "I Love You More Than Words Can Say" is one of Redding's most passionate performances; "Let Me Come on Home" presents an ebullient Redding accompanied by some sharp playing, and "Don't Mess with Cupid" begins with a gorgeous guitar flourish and blooms into an intense, pounding, soaring showcase for singer and band alike. No one could complain about the album then, and it still holds more than four decades later. ~ Bruce Eder
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Soul - Released April 21, 2008 | Rhino Atlantic

Otis Redding's third album, and his first fully realized album, presents his talent unfettered, his direction clear, and his confidence emboldened, with fully half the songs representing a reach that extended his musical grasp. More than a quarter of this album is given over to Redding's versions of songs by Sam Cooke, his idol, who had died the previous December, and all three are worth owning and hearing. Two of them, "A Change Is Gonna Come" and "Shake," are every bit as essential as any soul recordings ever made, and while they (and much of this album) have reappeared on several anthologies, it's useful to hear the songs from those sessions juxtaposed with each other, and with "Wonderful World," which is seldom compiled elsewhere. Also featured are Redding's spellbinding renditions of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" (a song epitomizing the fully formed Stax/Volt sound and which Mick Jagger and Keith Richards originally wrote in tribute to and imitation of Redding's style), "My Girl," and "You Don't Miss Your Water." "Respect" and "I've Been Loving You Too Long," two originals that were to loom large in his career, are here as well; the former became vastly popular in the hands of Aretha Franklin and the latter was an instant soul classic. Among the seldom-cited jewels here is a rendition of B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby" that has the singer sharing the spotlight with Steve Cropper, his playing alternately elegant and fiery, with Wayne Jackson and Gene "Bowlegs" Miller's trumpets and Andrew Love's and Floyd Newman's saxes providing the backing. Redding's powerful, remarkable singing throughout makes Otis Blue gritty, rich, and achingly alive, and an essential listening experience. ~ Bruce Eder
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R&B - Released January 9, 1998 | Rhino

Sixteen of Redding's more romantically inclined performances, largely taken from minor hit singles and album tracks, although "Try a Little Tenderness," "I've Been Loving You Too Long," "That's How Strong My Love Is," and "Pain In My Heart" are all among his most popular (and best) outings. If Redding had not had such a large and varied output and this actually represented his best material, it would certainly deserve four stars, or perhaps even more. It isn't a best-of, of course, which is why it only receives an average rating, although the music is fine. Certainly it's a good disc (and well annotated by David Nathan), with songs like "My Girl" and "I Love You More Than Words Can Say" that will be unfamiliar to many, but it's hard to imagine who needs it. The committed Otis Redding fan probably has it all, and the Otis Redding dilettante will want a greatest-hits package instead, especially considering that this lacks such essential items as "Dock of the Bay" and "Respect." ~ Richie Unterberger
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Soul - Released February 3, 2013 | Rhino Atlantic

Although his recording career only lasted five years, from 1962 through 1967 (seven studio albums in all), with his biggest hits coming in the last two years of that time, and his only number one, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," after his death, Otis Redding is still widely considered the greatest performer of the classic soul era, a designation he undoubtedly deserves. A dynamic performer and a more than competent songwriter ("Dock of the Bay," for instance, is a Redding original), he brought the energy and directness of gospel into the secular world with a fervor and passion that made his songs, and particularly his live versions of them, into gritty sermons on the joy, loss, pain, and yearning that attends being in love. It helped, too, that his backing outfit on most of his tracks was the great Stax Records house band the MG's, who knew how to punch in and stomp it and also when to lay back in a quiet storm behind him, and the band and Redding together were an unstoppable force. There have been plenty of Redding compilations over the years, with this one, The King of Soul, being yet another one, but it is distinctive for its breadth, tracking the arc of Redding's career through 92 tracks arranged chronologically over four discs, and because it also, particularly when covering the early years, includes mono mixes, which often carried more tightly focused punch than the stereo ones. Appearing during the 50th anniversary year of the release of Redding's debut album, Pain in My Heart, this set tells the story of the King of Soul as well as any other compilation out there. Everything essential is here, and with Otis Redding, it's pretty much all essential. He was that kind of artist. ~ Steve Leggett

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Otis Redding in the magazine