As part of Record Store Day 2015, we here at Modern Vinyl will be highlighting our Top “Must Haves” from the recently released lists. Next up is an entry from David Fisch where he discusses the reissue of legendary soul singer Otis Redding’s classic 1965 album.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest albums to grace the soul genre and music in general: Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul. Listed at #74 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, the album sees Redding covering some of classic soul, R&B, blues, and rock of the time, including hits such as The Rolling Stone’s “Satisfaction,” Sam Cooke’s “Change Gonna Come,” and Smokey Robinson’s “My Girl,” to name a few. It was released in the middle of a career that only saw hit after hit, and surprisingly, as incredible a singer as he is on this record, this wouldn’t even be his peak performance. Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul also works tremendously well as an album, with an ebb and flow that feels unmatched compared to most modern records and particularly covers albums.
Rhino Records had done a fantastic job remastering and reissuing this Volt/Atco release in CD form in 2008, and now it will see the light on record the way it was meant to be heard and this should keep Redding’s painful, delightful, and sharp vocals in tact for hopefully another 50 years.
Record Store Day is listing this release with a pressing of 5,000, which means you will likely snag this record if you get to your record store right on schedule. If this is your only pick-up for the day, I don’t see any particular reason to arrive super early, though there might be some serious old-school soul/R&B fans in attendance considering there will be notable releases from Brenton Wood (“Oogum Boogum”) and Dionne Warwick (“Walk On By”).
According to Bull Moose, this 2×12” 180-gram LP + 1×7” 45rpm blue-colored vinyl set is a bit pricey at around $42, and I chalk it up to the necessity to include both Stereo and Mono mixes on separate LPs. I almost wish they would issue the mixes separately for those interested, much in the vein of Bob Dylan’s The Basement Tapes, also being released on Record Store Day. That would bring the price down, but seeing as how the double LP with both mixes was released that way back on CD in 2008 and with the addition of the 7” colored vinyl single in a replica-like Atco pressing AND that the music itself is classic, the price can be justifiable.