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Review: Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin, “The King of Soul” and “The Queen of Soul”

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Otis Redding - King of SoulAll hail The King and Queen.

The careers of Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin have been inextricably linked since Franklin entered New York’s Atlantic Studios on Valentine’s Day, 1967, with producer Jerry Wexler to record Redding’s “Respect.”  Even before that pivotal moment, however, the two artists shared a label in Atlantic Records (distributor of Redding’s Stax records) and an ability to invest any song with raw honesty and unvarnished emotion.  Atlantic and Rhino Records have recently issued two newly remastered 4-CD retrospectives dedicated to Redding and Franklin: respectively, The King of Soul and The Queen of Soul.

“Respect” was originally cut by the soul shouter supreme and producer Steve Cropper at Stax’s Memphis, Tennessee studios in July 1965, and became his second-biggest pop hit to that point.  In Redding’s original, he’s insistent as he addresses his woman.  His intensity is as blazing as the song’s horns are frantically bleating.  She can do him wrong, do what she wants to, take his money – but he demands “a little respect” when he comes home.  It’s what he wants, sure.  But moreover, it’s what he needs.  It’s no surprise that Redding’s urgent entreaty to maintain his pride and self-worth took on greater depth against the backdrop of the civil rights movement.  Redding’s personal plea had universal resonance.

When Franklin approached “Respect,” she turned it on its ear.  Whereas Redding asked, “What you want?  Honey, you got it!  What you need, baby you got it!,” Aretha  taunted with equal measures of command and sass, “What you want?  Baby, I got it!  What you need?  You know I got it!”  Franklin and Wexler fleshed the song out, adding an instrumental bridge courtesy of saxophone great King Curtis, and dialing up the funk but relaxing the frenetic tempo.  Aretha, with her sisters/background singers Erma and Carolyn, also personalized the song, throwing in some indelible ad libs (“Sock it to me,” “Take care, T.C.B.!”) and demanding her “propers.”  She might give her man all her money, but there’s no doubt of who’s in control.  The anthemic quality already inherent in Otis’ “Respect” came to the fore in Aretha’s empowered reading, which was crowned by one final, key touch – the spelling out of “R-E-S-P-E-C-T.”  Her electrifying reinvention went to the top of both the Pop and R&B (Black Singles) charts, prompting Redding to kiddingly stammer that it was the song “that a girl took away from me, a friend of mine, this girl, she just took this song!”

“Respect,” of course, features on both box sets – twice on Redding’s collection, once in the studio and once in a live setting.  But that immortal song is just the tip of the iceberg for these compilations.  In addition to offering a wealth of some of the most sublime soul music ever recorded, The King of Soul and The Queen of Soul serve as affordable, no-frills primers for those who don’t own all of the artists’ individual Atlantic albums on compact disc.  The Redding set is particularly valuable in this regard; while most of Franklin’s CD releases are still in print, Rhino’s reissues of Redding’s Stax/Volt/Atco catalogue are considerably more difficult to find.

The King of Soul (Atlantic/Rhino R2 541306, 2014) coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the late legend’s debut album, 1964’s Pain in My Heart.  Over its 92 tracks, these four discs trace Redding’s meteoric rise to superstar status, spanning the fast and furious period between 1962 and his tragic passing in 1967.  King of Soul draws on both studio and live recordings, including key singles and tracks from such landmark albums as 1965’s Otis Blue, 1967’s Carla Thomas duets set King and Queen, and 1968’s posthumously-released The Dock of the Bay.  Every one of Redding’s original studio albums through 1970 is represented here,  and compiler Reggie Collins has also drawn upon the 1968 various-artists album Soul Christmas and 1993’s lavish, now out-of-print Rhino box set Otis! The Definitive Otis Redding.  (Collins was credited as the “research director” on that box.)  As Redding’s catalogue is limited in size, some albums are nearly-complete here, such as 1965’s torrid Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul.  Ten out of the original LP’s eleven tracks are reprised.  (The lone omission is Redding’s version of the Sam Cooke hit “Wonderful World.”)  As Stax did not begin recording in stereo until 1965, the majority of the first three CDs are in mono; the fourth disc is nearly all-stereo.

After the jump: more on Otis, plus the lowdown on Aretha’s Queen of Soul! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 3, 2014 at 12:51


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Written by Joe Marchese

February 6, 2014 at 09:54

Release Round-Up: Week of February 4

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Together OST CDBurt Bacharach, Together? — Original Soundtrack Recording / Toomorrow: From the Harry Saltzman-Don Kirshner Film “Toomorrow” — Original Soundtrack Recording / The Mamas and the Papas, A Gathering of Flowers / Brotherhood, The Complete Recordings / Smith, A Group Called Smith/Minus-Plus / Troyka, Troyka / Jim Reeves, A Beautiful Life — Songs of Inspiration / The Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks Vol. 20 — Capital Centre, Landover, MD 9/25/76 — Onondaga County War Memorial, Syracuse, NY 9/28/76 (Real Gone Music)

What could be better than this Real Gone bounty, featuring a classic compilation by The Mamas and The Papas, an exciting compilation by Brotherhood, a post Paul Revere & The Raiders combo, and two exceptional, long-out-of-print soundtracks? How about those latter two soundtracks making their way to domestic CD with liner notes from The Second Disc’s very own Joe Marchese? I’d call that a big yes!

Together?Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
ToomorrowAmazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Mamas and The Papas: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Brotherhood: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Smith: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Troyka: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Jim Reeves: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Grateful Dead: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Otis Redding - King of SoulAretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul / Otis Redding, The King of Soul (Atlantic/Rhino)

Two of the most legendary performers in the Atlantic soul catalogue are newly anthologized with simple four-disc overviews.

Aretha: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Otis: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

mike-bloomfield-boxMichael Bloomfield, From His Head to His Heart to His Hands (Legacy)

One of the best (and most unfairly obscure) guitarists of the 1960s gets his due in a new career-spanning box set featuring three CDs of favorites and rarities and a new film about the late performer, who played with Bob Dylan, Al Kooper, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and others. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Tina Turner Love SongsTina Turner, Love Songs (Parlophone)

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a new romantically-inclined compilation from another all-time soul queen. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Small Faces - Here Come the NiceThe Small Faces, Here Come The Nice: The Immediate Years 1967-1969 (Charly/Snapper Classics)

An exhaustive new box set (exclusive to Amazon) featuring all of the mod legends’ single sides for the Immediate label, rare and unreleased studio outtakes, four repressed vinyl EPs/acetates and a load of extra content, including replica press kits, posters, art prints, a hardbound book and more. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)


The Day Before of Wine and Roses

The Dream Syndicate, The Day Before of Wine and Roses (Omnivore)

A killer live set recorded at KPFK-FM in Los Angeles, weeks prior to the recording of The Dream Syndicate’s seminal debut. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

rainbow_singles_box_setRainbow, Singles Box (Polydor/UMC)

A 19-disc box replicating various 45s from Ritchie Blackmore’s iconic rock combo. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Gene, Olympian To See the Lights Drawn to the Deep End Revelations Libertine: Deluxe Editions (Edsel)

All five of the alt-rock/Britpop band’s standard albums (including the B-sides compilation To See the Lights) have been newly expanded as double-disc sets in casebound packages, all featuring rare B-sides and some unreleased live material and demos throughout.

Olympian: Amazon U.K.
To See the Lights: Amazon U.K.
Drawn to the Deep End: Amazon U.K.
Revelations: Amazon U.K.
Libertine: Amazon U.K.

Cast, All Change / Mother Nature Calls / Magic Hour Beetroot: Deluxe Editions (Edsel)

In the same vein as Gene, John Power’s band after the dissolution of The La’s was notable in the Britpop era, particularly for debut All Change, the highest-selling debut in Polydor Records’ history. All four of their albums have been expanded as triple-disc (double in the case of Beetroot) sets, including rare B-sides and other material as well as DVDs packed with music videos, live appearances and new interviews with Power about each album.

All Change: Amazon U.K.
Mother Nature Calls: Amazon U.K.
Magic Hour: Amazon U.K.
Beetroot: Amazon U.K.

Jon Anderson, Olias of Sunhillow / Alice Cooper, Billion Dollar Babies (Audio Fidelity) / The Doobie Brothers, Stampede / Dean Martin, This Time I’m Swingin’ / Frank Sinatra, Point of No Return (Mobile Fidelity)

The latest hi-def offerings. Kevin Gray and Steve Hoffman respectively master the Audio Fidelity gold disc titles, while MFSL offers two crooners and a ’70s rock band on hybrid SACD.

Jon Anderson: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Alice Cooper: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Doobie Brothers: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Dean Martin: Amazon U.S.
Frank Sinatra: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Rhino Gives The Royal Treatment To The King and Queen of Soul with New Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin Box Sets

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Otis Redding - King of SoulRhino is kicking off February’s Black History Month in a big way – with two new box sets dedicated to undisputed R&B royalty, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding.  On February 4, the label will release the 4-CD collections The King of Soul and The Queen of Soul, and despite the wealth of sublime soul music on these sets, both titles are priced with an eye to the budget-conscious.  As of this writing, the Otis set is available at Amazon U.S. for $33.62, and the Aretha set for $34.05…or less than $0.40 per track!

Otis Redding’s The King of Soul coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the late legend’s debut album, 1964’s Pain in My Heart.  Over its 92 tracks, the collection traces Redding’s meteoric rise to superstar status, spanning the fast and furious period between 1962 and his tragic passing in 1967.  King of Soul draws on both studio and live recordings, including key singles and tracks from such landmark albums as 1965’s Otis Blue, 1967’s Carla Thomas duets set King and Queen, and 1968’s posthumously-released The Dock of the Bay.  It appears that tracks are in stereo (where available) with a few selections noted as mono.  (Stax began recording in stereo in 1965.)  King of Soul is a successor to 1993’s now out-of-print Rhino box set Otis! The Definitive Otis Redding, which featured 96 tracks over four CDs.  The new collection showcases Redding’s prodigious gifts as both an influential interpretive vocalist and an impassioned singer-songwriter.

Aretha - Queen of SoulOf course, Otis Redding penned what many consider to be Aretha Franklin’s signature song, “Respect.”  On King of Soul, you’ll find studio and live versions of the defiant anthem by Redding, and on Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin’s recording takes center stage.  Like the Redding set, this box is a latter-day successor to the 1992 box entitled Queen of Soul: The Atlantic Recordings.  That set boasted 86 tracks on four CDs; this box has 87 with the same disc count.  The new iteration of Queen of Soul includes music from each of Franklin’s Atlantic albums between 1967’s I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You and 1976’s Sparkle with the exception of the still-not-on-CD With Everything I Feel in Me (1974) and You (1975).  In addition to prime album cuts and hit singles such as “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman” and “I Say a Little Prayer,” the collection also features numerous non-LP sides and a smattering of outtakes first issued on Rhino’s 2007 rarities compendium Rare and Unreleased Recordings from the Golden Reign of the Queen of Soul.

After the jump, we have more on both sets, including full track listings with discographical annotations, pre-order links, and news on a special contest! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

January 14, 2014 at 09:57

Personality Crisis: “Lipstick, Powder and Paint” Reveals New York Dolls’ Inspirations

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Lipstick Powder and Paint“While I was layin’ in a hospital bed/A rock ‘n’ roll nurse went to my head/She says, ‘Hold out your arm, stick out yo’ tongue/I got some pills, boy, I’m ‘a give you one!”  It was no surprise that The New York Dolls – crown princes of debauchery, seventies-style – would include a cover of Bo Diddley’s oddly jaunty 1961 single “Pills” on their 1973 debut album.  While The Dolls – lead vocalist David Johansen, rhythm guitarist Sylvain Sylvain, bassist Arthur “Killer” Kane, lead guitarist Johnny Thunders and drummer Jerry Nolan (who replaced the late Billy Murcia) – might have emerged as a response to the studied musicianship of so-called progressive rock and the bright, sanitized sounds of bubblegum pop, their primal, savage and uninhibited style was descended from any number of influences.  Motown, Blues, doo wop, soul, rockabilly, and especially Brill Building-era girl groups all figured into the Dolls’ heady, deliciously trashy rock-and-roll punk brew.  On the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of that seismic debut New York Dolls, Ace has anthologized the music that inspired the flamboyant band with Lipstick, Powder and Paint!  The New York Dolls Heard Them Here First.

The 24-track anthology compiled by Ian Johnston and Mick Patrick brings together the original versions of songs covered by the Dolls and the solo Johansen and Thunders.  These range from expected choices such as “Pills” or The Jayhawks’ “Stranded in the Jungle,” to tracks that might surprise a casual fan like Erma Franklin’s “Piece of My Heart” or Gary U.S. Bonds’ “Seven Day Weekend.”  The latter, recorded by The Dolls on a 1973 demo released in 1992, has the raucous, hedonistic spirit that The Dolls so admired.  Bonds’ throaty vocal brings grit to the infectious Doc Pomus/Mort Shuman tune with its doo-wop backing vocals and honking saxophone solo.  It’s far from the only track here from that early rock-and-roll era.  The Coasters, those supreme R&B jokesters, are heard with 1963’s “Bad Detective,” recorded in primitive style by Johansen and co. on 1974’s Too Much Too Soon.  It has the bop-shoo-bops, boogedy-boogedy-shoos and rama-lama-ding-dongs lampooned in the musical Grease, and it’s at least a spiritual cousin in comedy to another song also covered for that same album, The Jayhawks’ goofy, spoken/sung “Stranded in the Jungle” (1956).

The blues is a less obvious inspiration on debut New York Dolls and Too Much Too Soon, the second and final album by the original iteration of the group.  But in addition to Bo Diddley’s “Pills,” the group also demoed Otis Redding’s Stax burner “Don’t Mess with Cupid” and Muddy Waters’ immortal “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man.”  Similarly, one might not think to draw a line between The New York Dolls and the smooth Philadelphia soul from the team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, but Ace does just that by selecting Archie Bell and the Drells’ “(There’s Gonna Be a) Showdown” and Wilson Pickett’s Memphis-by-way-of-Philly “International Playboy.”  The Dolls brought a slow, menacing feel to the former on Too Much Too Soon, while David Johansen’s lounge-singin’, novelty-slingin’ alter ego Buster Poindexter recorded the rough-hewn (by Philly standards, at least!) “Playboy” for 1989’s Buster Goes Berzerk.

There’s much more after the jump, including the complete track listing with discographical annotation, and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 9, 2013 at 10:39

Review: Otis Redding, “The Complete Stax/Volt Singles Collection”

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Otis Stax Volt SinglesOtis Redding was just 21 years of age when Volt Records issued his first single for the label, “These Arms of Mine” b/w “Hey Hey Baby,” in October 1962. The latter is a solid if unremarkable riff on rockabilly (“Hey, hey, pretty baby/Baby, you sure is fine…Every time I look at you/You drive me out of my mind!”) but the torrid, smoldering A-side reveals a singer-songwriter far older than his years. Otis Redding couldn’t have known then that he was living on borrowed time; he would, in fact, perish just five years and a couple of months following the release of that first 45. But in those crucial 60+ months, Redding released a series of singles filled with the essence of what we call soul music. Shout! Factory has, for the very first time, compiled the As and Bs of Redding’s Stax/Volt singles in one package, with each one in its original mono single mix. Redding’s posthumous Atco singles, drawn from the Stax/Volt sessions but released after Stax’s split from original distributor Atlantic, are all here, too. The Complete Stax/Volt Singles Collection (826663-13488, 2013) offers 70 songs on 3 CDs, all heart-rending slabs of R&B from an artist whose every work is precious.

There’s a consistency of sound and performance on these 70 brassy sides, released between 1962 and 1972, roughly five years after Redding’s December 1967 death. (Part of CD 2 and all of CD 3 consists of posthumous releases.) Redding brought out the best in the Stax staff, working with producers Jim Stewart, Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Booker T. Jones, Al Jackson, Jr., Isaac Hayes and David Porter, and singing in front of Booker T. and the MGs and the Mar-Keys. Even more impressively, Redding wrote the majority of his singles. (For a detailed look at Otis Redding, songwriter, see Ace’s recent anthology Hard to Handle: Black America Sings Otis Redding.)

Take a closer look after the jump!

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

July 26, 2013 at 07:52

Posted in Box Sets, Compilations, Otis Redding, Reviews

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Release Round-Up: Week of July 23

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Otis Redding - Stax-Volt OpenOtis Redding, The Complete Stax/Volt Singles (Shout! Factory)

A triple-disc set featuring every one of Otis’ single sides in mono – a striking statement on a short but iconic soul career. (Amazon U.S.)

The Aeroplane Flies HighSmashing Pumpkins, The Aeroplane Flies High: Deluxe Edition (Virgin/UMe)

The Pumpkins’ 1996 box set of Mellon Collie-era singles is massively expanded, with bonus tracks on each of the five original discs and an unreleased live CD and DVD.

CD box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Dionne - Just Being MyselfDionne Warwick, second wave of expanded reissues (Rhino/WEA Japan)

This week, 11 Dionne Warwick titles come out on CD in Japan; three of these titles, released between 1969 and 1977, are making their CD debuts, and nearly all of the titles feature bonus tracks! (The order links are in the post linked above.)

Ella BBCElla Fitzgerald, The Best of the BBC Vaults (Universal)

This CD/DVD set, released as an import in 2010, features four complete shows from 1965 to 1977, newly unearthed and released to video, and a disc of audio highlights from the same sets. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Buckaroos Play Buck and MerleThe Buckaroos, The Buckaroos Play Buck and Merle / Don Rich and The Buckaroos, That Fiddlin’ Man (Omnivore)

It’s back to Bakersfield for Omnivore with two new sets featuring Buck Owens’ iconic band: Play Buck and Merle collects The Buck Owens Songbook (1965) and The Songs of Merle Haggard (1971) on one disc, while That Fiddlin’ Man (1971) appears on CD for the first time.

Play Buck and Merle: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
That Fiddlin’ Man: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The Idolmaker OSTThe Idolmaker: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Varese Sarabande)

The cult classic film, directed by Taylor Hackford and featuring original songs written by Jeff Barry, sees its soundtrack released on CD for the first time. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Stax, Motown, Chess Go Country with Second Volume of “Where Country Meets Soul”

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Where Country Meets Soul 2Ace’s first volume of Where Country Meets Soul arrived late last year, proving that those two venerable genres intersect more often than one might think.  After all, many of the most enduring records in both styles revolve around the vagaries of heartbreak, so the fine folks at Ace’s Kent imprint brought together 23 tracks from artists well-versed in the torrid ways of love: Solomon Burke (“He’ll Have to Go”), Percy Sledge (“Take Time to Know Her”), Clarence Carter (“Set Me Free”), Esther Phillips (“I Saw Me”), Al Green (“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”) and Candi Staton (“He Called Me Baby”) among them.

The newly-arrived Sweet Dreams: Where Country Meets Soul 2 offers another 23 examples of R&B artists bringing country-and-western staples to life.  Though some artists make a return appearance (Esther Phillips, Clarence Carter, Joe Simon), the overall line-up is even more diverse this time out.  Like the first volume, there are well-chosen songs from the catalogue of Atlantic Records: The Sweet Inspirations’ Tom Dowd-produced “But You Know I Love You,” introduced by Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, and Clarence Carter’s Fame-recorded version of John D. Loudermilk’s “Bad News.”  From Atlantic-distributed Stax comes Otis Redding’s dark reinvention of the 1947 standard “Tennessee Waltz” (introduced by Cowboy Copas and a pop hit for Patti Page) and Johnnie Taylor’s 1967 rendition of Merle Travis’ “Sixteen Tons,” produced by Isaac Hayes and David Porter.  Hayes himself makes an appearance from Stax’s post-Atlantic years via a 1971 Enterprise single of Hank Williams’ “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You).”

Down at Muscle Shoals, Millie Jackson cut Kenny Rogers’ “Sweet Music Man” in 1977, just one of the many smoldering southern soul performances here.  James Carr, one of R&B’s premier voices, tipped the hat to country music legend George Jones at Malaco Studios for his Goldwax recording of Jones’ “Tell Me My Lying Eyes are Wrong.”  Southern soul queen Bettye Swann is heard on her Capitol 45 of Hank Cochran’s “Don’t You Ever Get Tired (Of Hurting Me).”

There’s more after the jump, including the full track listing with discography and order links! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 27, 2013 at 10:15

Jerry Lee Lewis, The Ronettes, Del Shannon, Louis Armstrong Feature On “The London American Label 1964”

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London American 19641964 will forever be remembered on American shores as the year of Beatlemania, when those four moptops from Liverpool led the British Invasion to the top of the pop charts.  That tale has been chronicled many times, but one of the most recent releases from U.K.-based label Ace tells the story of the year’s American Invasion – via the American records imported to London on the London American label.  This latest volume in the long-running series (which now features an entry for each year between 1956 and 1964) may be the most exciting and most eclectic yet.  The London American Label: 1964 takes in an array of artists both familiar (Jerry Lee Lewis, Ben E. King, The Ronettes) and less-heralded (David Box, Ned Miller, Jimmy Holiday) and everybody in between in chronicling this exciting and musically diverse time.

In his liner notes, Tony Rounce sets the scene for the music, detailing the United Kingdom’s seismic shifts that year in politics, sports, architecture and culture.  The London American label issued 111 singles in 1964, and 28 sides appear on the new compilation.  These were drawn from U.S. labels including Philles, Atlantic, Hi, Dot, Stax and Kapp.  By 1964, Pye and EMI both had their own dedicated labels for releasing American repertoire in the U.K., and by mid-year, Atlantic and Dot would cease supplying singles for release on London, too.  Cadence also departed the London roster by the end of the year.  In many respects, this crucial volume in the London American Label series points the way towards the end of an era.  1965 would be the final year that London’s release tally would total a three-digit number.

What will you find on this transatlantic showcase?  Hit the jump for more details plus a full track listing with discography and order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Otis Gets Respect with “Complete Stax/Volt Singles” Set

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Otis Stax Volt SinglesIt’s shaping up to be a soulful summer with the release of Otis Redding’s The Complete Stax/Volt Singles Collection on Shout! Factory Records. This triple-disc set will feature every single side released by Redding in life and death.

Born in Georgia, Redding was a singer/songwriter who went from stints on the chitlin circuit to a brief tenure in Little Richard’s band The Upsetters before a chance session at Stax Studios in Memphis put him on the soul music map. With songs like “These Arms of Mine,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” and “Respect” (later, of course, a hit for Aretha Franklin), Redding’s impassioned vocal delivery and arrangements made him a bona fide R&B star. He’d flirted with crossover success on slow burners like “Try a Little Tenderness” and cut several duets with Carla Thomas, and delivered a phenomenal performance at the Monterey Pop Festival of 1967.

But it was the serene “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” and the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the track that gave Redding the crossover hit he deserved. “Dock of the Bay” was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard charts in 1968; unfortunately, by that point Redding died in a plane crash late the past year. It was the first posthumous chart-topper.

Redding’s body of work lives on today, in film and through covers and samples. There’s also a helping of catalogue activity, like this year’s Lonely and Blue compilation. And this three-disc set, featuring each of Redding’s A- and B-sides in mono (some for the first time on CD), ensures his memory will never die.

The Complete Stax/Volt Singles Collection is available in stores on July 23, but those who order from the label directly will see theirs ship around June 25, and with a bonus 7″ of “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember” b/w “Nobody’s Fault But Mine,” featuring a replica ATCO promo-only label.

Hit the jump for full specs on this set.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

April 5, 2013 at 09:57