Otis Redding In Europe
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10 March 2011
This is one of the finest 'live' albums that I've ever had the privilege to listen to. When I first heard this in 1968, the sheer power of the performance blew me away. Otis storms the stage with the thumper " Respect" and takes the frantic audience into his hands immediately. "Gotta Gotta Have It" ends the song in those trademark gutterall tones, and indeed we get it in the very next song. "Can't Turn You Loose" opens with one of those oh so beautiful guitar intros that we all would die to be performing to. Busy horns then introduce us to the Man in full swing and the song builds to a finish with Otis and the band in a race to finish the fastest. The whole thing finishes in a crescendo of noise and "Gotta, Gotta, Gotta's, in true Redding style. Brilliant! Otis now slows the whole show down to talk to the crowd and eases into the wonderful, beautiful, "I Been Loving You Too Long", a song so full of 'Soul' that it still stands tall 40 years later. This song starts as the snail and builds into a pleading, screaming, finish with the band pulsating for all their worth. Booker t.'s organ work at it's best and Al Jackson, jnr. hitting that rim until the surge of power kicks in halfway through. All time classic sound. Into the mid-paced "My Girl" to please the hit lovers and a fine rendition it is too. As usual, big O finishes with the trademark gutteral vocal. Al Jackson explodes into life on drums to bring us Sam Cooke's "Shake", one of many of Otis' idol's songs that he has covered. Again, this one builds to a manic finish with singer racing the backing band to the finish. "Rin-A-Ding-A-Ling" sings our man, indeed says I. 'Driving beat' is the only way I can describe "Satisfaction". The Rolling Stones were quoted as saying of Otis' version, "This is how we meant the song to sound". I couldn't agree more. Once again the King Of Soul tests the skill of the band by challenging them to beat him to the end, with a wonderful stalemate to finish the song. Otis now descends into mid-tempo for the marvellous "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (sad song), bringing the crowd into action to join in the lyrics. Lots of fun on this one and you can feel the love of the audience for the artist at this point. Now the start of it all, "These Arms Of Mine", replicated so sweetly, so soulfully, that it tears at the heart strings. This is essential Otis, the begging, the pleading, it's all there. A ballad of true Soul. "Day Tripper" rips into the lull like a train a'comin'! Full of steam, pulsating, driving, Otis in full flight. Builds and builds with another 90 mile an hour finish for man and musician. The show finishes with my all time favourite Redding song. Everbody has a song they want played at their funeral.This is the one that I would want, no competition! This is SOUL music, first, last and always. A performance that defies description. The very meaning of SOUL. You have to listen to understand the feeling evoked by this performance. It's truly awesome! Those that think there are Soul singers today, have no idea. To sum up, this is a stunning performance by a truely gifted artist caught in his prime for us all to marvel at. We will never see the like of Otis again, many have imitated, no one can better. If you want to taste the flavour of those sixties soul days, this is the starter for your pallett. Delicious!!
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