The big-voiced soul singer from Macon, Georgia was on the brink of breaking big when he recorded his third, full-length album in one amazing adrenaline-charged twenty-four hour period. Rhino gives "Respect" to an album most soul music aficionados call one of the greatest of all time with an expanded and remastered Collector's Edition of OTIS BLUE: OTIS REDDING SINGS SOUL. The two-disc set will be available in stores and at www.rhino.com April 22
The first disc features a remastered version of the original album in mono expanded with previously unreleased alternate mixes of "Respect,""Ole Man Trouble," and "I've Been Loving You Too Long," as well as remastered tracks from Redding's explosive live album Live At The Whisky A Go Go. The second disc contains a remastered version of the original album in stereo expanded with a version of "Respect" recorded in 1967, plus five songs recorded live in Europe the same year featuring Redding backed onstage by Booker T. & The MG's and horn players Wayne Jackson, Joe Arnold, and Andrew Love.
At the time OTIS BLUE was recorded, the inimitable singer was enjoying the phenomenal success of his highest charting single to date, "I've Been Loving You Too Long," a song he wrote with Chicago R&B great Jerry Butler.The sessions for OTIS BLUE represented a quantum leap for both Redding and the Stax house band of Booker T. & The MG's, Isaac Hayes, and the Mar-Key horns (the latter at this point consisting of Wayne Jackson, Andrew Love, and Floyd Newman, with Bowlegs Miller guesting on second trumpet). Whereas on many of Redding's earlier recordings he sounded tentative -- feeling his way through a song -- on Otis Blue he roars like a locomotive.
The 11-song album features three original tunes, including his then recent hit "I've Been Loving You Too Long," "Ole Man Trouble," and "Respect." In addition to his originals, Redding also recorded a trio of Sam Cooke songs as a tribute to the recently slain singer, who had been a seminal influence on him. Rounding out the album is a strutting version of Solomon Burke's "Down In The Valley" (whom Otis had recently toured with), B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby," label mate William Bell's quintessential southern soul ballad, "You Don't Miss Your Water" and left field covers of the Temptations' "My Girl" and The Rolling Stones'"Satisfaction."