Rolling Stone - p.705 stars out of 5
-- "[A]mid R&B-gig standards like the Temptations' 'My Girl,' the melodic invention in Redding's songs and the emotional investment in his performances mark the point at which he stopped merely singing soul music. He now created his own..."
Rolling Stone - 12/11/03, p.114Ranked #74
in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time"
Rolling Stone - 8/17/00, p.1145 stars out of 5
- "...Redding's true dictionary of soul, a stunning journey through the past and future vocabulary of R&B....documenting a masterful artist rising to...the immense challenge of his times."
Q - p.121
"[H]e lends a passionate intensity to every song..."
Q - 5/00, p.135
Included in Q Magazine's "Best Soul Albums Of All Time"
Q - 2/93, p.925 Stars
- Indispensable - "...the isolated constituent parts of OTIS BLUE come together with a beautiful precision which borders on a kind of Southern soul sorcery...arguably the hottest and strongest half-hour in soul..."
Uncut - p.1025 stars out of 5
-- "[B]eautifully grained, gospel-rich performances....The band, Cropper's stinging guitar and the atonal Memphis horns, are phenomenal throughout -- this is as much their album as Redding's."
Q (Magazine) - p.1574 stars out of 5
-- "[T]his is widely regarded as Southern soul's crowning glory. The almost perfect crystallisation of Stax's gritty house sound, there's no filler..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1245 stars out of 5
-- "[T]he album opens with a stolid blues, 'Ole Man Trouble,' but then explodes wide open with Redding's own 'Respect'..."
NME (Magazine) - 10/2/93, p.29Ranked #35
in NME's list of the 'Greatest Albums Of All Time.'
Paste (magazine) (p.65) - "OTIS BLUE marked the beginning of increased visibility for Redding....Consistently gripping..."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.835 stars out of 5
-- "So spare, so strong, not a note wasted, defining the very spirit of 60s soul and never sounding better. And riding it all, that amazing voice, that unique fusion of pain and pride, of yearning and percussive drive."
Personnel: Otis Redding (vocals); Steve Cropper (guitar); Andrew Love (tenor saxophone); Floyd Newman (baritone saxophone); Wayne Jackson, Gene "Bowlegs" Miller (trumpet); Isaac Hayes, Booker T. Jones (keyboards); Donald "Duck" Dunn (bass); Al Jackson Jr. (drums); Earl Sims (background vocals).
Recorded at Stax Recording Studios, Memphis, Tennessee in July of 1965 except track 5 recorded in April of 1965.
Originally released on Volt (412).
Includes original release liner notes by Bob Rolontz.
Personnel: Otis Redding (vocals); Steve Cropper (guitar); Andrew Love (tenor saxophone); Floyd Newman (baritone saxophone); Wayne Jackson, Gene "Bowlegs" Miller (trumpets); Isaac Hayes, Booker T. Jones (keyboards); Donald "Duck" Dunn (bass); Al Jackson Jr. (drums); Earl Sims (background vocals).
Recorded at Stax Recording Studios in Memphis, Tennessee in July of 1965 except track 5 recorded in April of 1965. Originally released on Volt (412). Includes original release liner notes by Bob Rolontz.
Many people's choice as their favorite Otis Redding album, much of OTIS BLUE finds the quintessential soul singer in atypically sensitive mode. Up until its release he'd been regarded as something of an R&B shouter in the Wilson Pickett mould, and he doesn't disappoint fans of this earlier incarnation with typically energetic versions of "Respect," "Shake" and "Satisfaction."
But it's the album opener, "Ole Man Trouble" that's a sign of Redding's emerging more mature, reflective side that was to culminate in the posthumous "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay," while the heartbreaking "I've Been Loving You Too Long" remains one of his, and perhaps soul music's, greatest performances. He is, of course, accompanied throughout by the classic MG's lineup which, as always, is the perfect foil for his distinctive style. OTIS BLUE finds Otis Redding and '60s soul at their respective artistic peaks.