Rhino's The Very Best of Otis Redding is a wonderful 16-track "Greatest Hits" compilation of soul music by the late singer. Not only was Redding a great singer, but he was also an accomplished songwriter; 10 of the tracks on this album were written or co-written by Redding (including "Respect," which was famously covered by the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin). One can't listen to this "Very Best of..." collection and wonder what soul music could have been had Redding survived the airplane crash that silenced him on Dec. 10, 1967.
No wonder, then, that a generation of rock and rollers embraced his music after his death. Most of them (myself included) had not heard of him before his death. As The Very Best of Otis Redding shows, he left a rich legacy that is surprising for such a young man.
Like most of the great singers of the genre, Redding sang his songs with such heartfelt emotion feelings that he drew the listener into feeling he or she was actually in Redding's heart and soul.
I was only 13 when I first heard Redding's posthumous No. 1 hit, (Sittin' On) The Dock of The Bay. When I read the liner notes of this CD, I was saddened by the fact that he never got to realize how big a hit that song became. (Three months after his premature death, (Sittin' on) The Dock of The Bay climbed to become No. 1 song on the charts.
While I enjoy the entire album, my three favorite songs on this CD are (Sittin' On) The Dock of The Bay, That's How Strong My Love Is, and I've Got Dreams to Remember.
If you want a good soulful music CD by one of the greats of the genre, The Very of Otis Redding is definitely worth your money and your time.
Betty June Moore