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Otis Redding

DOCK OF THE BAY SESSIONS

RHINO/VOLT RECORDS

Otis Redding could do it all – from ripping up R&B scorchers to breaking our hearts with a tearstained ballad. It’s all here in microcosm across these 12 tracks, which serve as a celebration of an artist at the peak of his powers and a moving reminder of the man we lost. Dock Of The Bay Sessions represents Redding’s last forays into the recording studio before his tragic death in December 1967. You may be familiar with the majority of the tracklisting from posthumous releases in the three years following his passing, but this is the first time these songs have been presented in a coherent fashion that could well have formed the follow-up to his duets LP with Carla Thomas, King & Queen. The (near) title track that became Redding’s most famous hit has its own side order of poignancy; big hits Hard To Handle and Love Man remain prime cuts of funky soul; while lesser-celebrated tracks, including the pleading Direct Me and plaintive I’ve Got Dreams To Remember maintain the high quality. The sheer exuberance of his unrestrained performance on I’m A Changed Man is an absolute joy, too. Redding’s star shines brightly throughout, but equally impressive is the economical guitar style of Steve Cropper and the stellar Stax backing band. Essential stuff.

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