Otis Redding – The Dock Of The Bay
[Volt Records S-419, 1968]
This was a Must Buy, for me, and it was the first vinyl I bought after I got my new (to me) stereo. I have always loved Otis, and I just knew that these songs would sound so much warmer on vinyl, that this would be the only way to truly hear these tunes. I was right – I played my CD version and, while great, it just isn’t the same.
(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay needs no introduction. One of soul musics biggest tracks.
I Love You More Than Words Can Say is a gorgeous slow-dancer where Otis’ vocals are so sweet, and the horns are his perfect wingmen.
Come On Home is a great, slinky, shuffling song. I can’t help but imagine how awesome this track would have been as a duet with Aretha, as it has that same vibe as her Baby, I Love You.
Open The Door finds Otis talking to us, then preaching that soul gospel about looking to reconnect with his lost love. Amazing.
Don’t Mess With Cupid’s great guitar riff intro becomes pure soul stomp goodness. Hot damn.
The Glory of Love is another sweet love song over perfect piano interjection and guitar arpeggios. I could do without the persistent rasp noises in the beginning, which are totally distracting, but as the song builds it makes more sense. Poor choice, there.
I’m Coming Home picks things up a bit and is an infectious , positive love song.
Tramp (a duet with Carla Thomas) is a playful stomper. She even tells him to get a haircut. Haha.
The Huckle-Buck is a big, fat, juicy groove that makes me think it’d be a favourite of Baloo The Bear.
Nobody Knows You (When You’re Down And Out) is a knockout version of an old classic. Otis sure can take a familiar song and make it his own.
Ole Man Trouble rounds out the side beautifully, swinging along on a solid bass line and the man’s perfect vocals.
What a loss for music, when Otis died. He was truly one of the greats, and given far too little time.
Produced by Steve Cropper, the guitar genius who is all over this record with his stellar playing, this album is indeed Essential.