Monday, September 24, 2007

No. 161: The Dock Of The Bay

Band: Otis Redding
Album: The Dock Of The Bay
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: Otis Redding is one of the finest voices in soul music and his early death in a plane crash is one of the defining moments for black music fans in the 1960s. "(Sitting On) The Dock Of The Bay" is probably his most famous song and a beautiful departure from raucous soul.
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: While a fine album, the amount of Otis Redding on this list is kind of irritating me.
Best song: The title track is, of course, a classic.
Worst song: "The Hucklebuck" is kind of crappy.
Is it awesome?: It's good, but how much more Otis do I have to listen to?

The title track was recorded in the hopes that Otis could embark on a new phase of his career, doing more soft stuff.

Otis Redding died in December 1967 and "The Dock Of The Bay" came out two months later. It's mostly a collection of b-sides and singles. I imagine those involved likely just wanted to get some money out of this. The songs span the gamut from blues-oriented rock ("Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out") to soul balladry (the title track). The disjointed nature of the record is loved by some (Allmusic says "this is an impossible record not to love"), but I'm not in love with it. I think I'm just getting Otis fatigue.

Of course, I still have two more Otis records before I'm done with him. I guess five of his records isn't ridiculous; He is one of the defining singers of early R&B. But, I'm tired of him.

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