Short, sharp and frank reviews from a confessed vinyl junkie. I’ll be posting my most loved records and most recent purchases right here for your perusal every week.
Limited edition blue vinyl reissue of The Big O’s seminal third studio album. It only feels right to be listening to the great man on what would’ve been his 80th birthday today. Sam Cooke may have been the first Soul man, but Otis nailed it and pushed the genre much further in terms of both sales and his incredible voice.
It saddens me to think that his record company had to put a blonde-haired white woman on the front cover to sell his records. I’ve heard many Rap artists say, “They like our music, but they don’t like us”, and this was a prime example of that. After all, Otis wasn’t just an amazing performer. He was also a big handsome dude too.
My parents introduced me to a lot of Soul artists, but I discovered Otis myself when I was just 11 years old whilst watching an old 80s film called The Catholic Boys (which, incidentally, is also brilliant). There’s a scene where a young couple have a dance to ‘I’ve Been Loving You Too Long’ (featured on this album), and that was it. I was instantly hooked. Hearing that song was a big moment for me. Whilst I’d already fallen in love with Soul music from a very young age, that track cemented it and opened up a whole new world.
People often ask who I’d liked to have seen live but was unable to. The answer is always Otis, his performances are legendary, and I’ve never heard a voice like it. ‘Otis Blue’ also features the definitive version of Sam Cooke’s pre-BLM anthem ‘Change Gonna Come’ as well as the gorgeous ‘My Girl’ and the Redding penned ‘Respect’. In short, if you don’t own this album, buy it now. Happy Birthday Otis, thanks for the amazing, everlasting music x
Listen to Otis Redding - Otis Blue - BELOW: