The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads
For all the new standards he set, Otis Redding never forgot his music’s building blocks. His second album, The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads, recalls classic songs by Jerry Butler (“For Your Precious Love”), Chuck Willis (“It’s Too Late”) and longtime Redding model Sam Cooke (“Nothing Can Change This Love”). Each features the singer’s trademark ballad treatment, one easily as recognizable as Miles Davis’s. The album hardly stops with its covers, of course; Otis gently lifts the tempo with his own “I Want to Thank You” and ends by playing sweet havoc with the concept by bringing in his early stomping theme song “Mr. Pitiful.” Soul Ballads might have fallen into a rut in someone else’s hands, but the man is his usual never wavering self. Your attention, and affection, will never wander.