An expanded version of the 1982 LP "Recorded Live", this second volume of live recordings from West Hollywood's Whisky a Go Go is perhaps more energetic than polished, but isn't that how soul music should be played?
These eleven sides were recorded during the same 1966 series of concerts which produced "In Person at the Whisky a Go Go", and they're no less incendiary. Otis Redding and the nine-man band, which includes a three-piece horn section, play a delightfully tough and varied set, delivering amazing, sweaty renditions of fiery up-tempo raves, swaggering, mid-tempo soul grinds, and intense slow numbers.
There is an incredible amount of tension and urgency here. Redding was a God-gifted soul singer, a bit rough-voiced but enormously expressive, and a hugely talented songwriter, too, in an era when few artists recorded very much self-penned material. The set opens with a driving "I'm Depending On You", propelled by a muscular horn riff. Redding mixes R&B and gospel on "Good To Me", ending up with something which transcends both. He wrings every last ounce of emotion from the exquisitely melodic deep soul ballad "These Arms Of Mine". And he lets loose on gritty extended versions of "I Can't Turn You Loose" and "I've Been Loving You Too Long", until you start to think the roof must have been blown off the Whisky, because how else could all that tension possibly have been relieved?
Terrific sound, and terrific annotation, too. No fan of the great Otis Redding, or of classic Memphis soul in general, could possibly go wrong with this one.
Highly, highly recommended.