Wednesday, December 7, 2011

251. Dictionary of Soul. Worth looking up.

Album: Complete and Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul
Artist: Otis Redding
Genre: Soul
Year: 1966


1. Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)
2. I'm Sick Y'all
3. Tennessee Waltz
4. Sweet Lorene
5. Try a Little Tenderness
6. Day Tripper
7. My Lover's Prayer
8. She Put the Hurt on Me
9. Ton of Joy
10. You're Still My Baby
11. Hawg for You
12. Love Have Mercy"

Otis Redding was taken from us too soon. When the plane he was in hit Lake Monana on the tenth of December 1967 we lost one of Soul's greatest voices and most talented superstars. Thankfully before he died he left us with some great albums. Dictionary of Soul was the last album he recorded before he was taken away and the fact that it's so good makes his death all the more tragic.

Dictionary features a collection of Otis originals (My Lover's Prayer), traditional standards (Try a little Tenderness) and contemporary covers (Day Tripper) all of which Otis turns into Soul classics. Aided by Booker T Jones, Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn and Isaac Hayes (among others) Redding lays down vocals that make you forget anyone else ever sang the same songs. At times he can make you forget anyone ever sang another song ever.

While I could talk a lot about how good this album is I don't recommend you hunt it down. Instead why not get your hands on Otis! The Definitive Otis Redding, a box set put out in the nineties. The three discs of studio releases collect Reddings finest moments from his albums and singles but the real treat is the fourth disc which collects the definitive versions of his various recorded live appearances into one "Dream concert" which is far better than much of this countdown. While it doesn't have too many songs from the Dictionary (Otis died before he could perform them live) it does have an incredible atmosphere and doesn't feature the annoying fade outs that prematurely end too many of the Dictionary's tracks.

Otis Redding- people that talented shouldn't be allowed to fly. Just in case.

Highlight: My Lover's Prayer
Lowlight: Fa Fa Fa Fa

Influenced by: Sweet Soul Music
Influenced: All Souls that followed

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "Personally, I hate listening to anything is MONO even Otis, and I love the man's voice."

-I worry that there are people that my son will grow up with who won't want to watch The Godfather because it's not in 3D.

So is the dictionary worth looking up or should it be left on the shelf? Let me know below.

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