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4.6 out of 5 stars
The Dock of the Bay: the Definitive Collection
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69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on 6 September 2000
'Sitting on the Dock of the Bay', surely one of the most recognisable tunes of all time with its carefree whistling bringing it to a close. However, dear Otis has so much more to offer than just this one track released after his tragically premature death. Otis possessed one of, if not the, greatest soul voices of all time and this album is a joy to listen to from start to finish. From the uplifting horns of 'Shake' at the start through to the witty dialogue between Otis and Carla Thomas on the fantastic 'Tramp' you can't help but get involved in the music and share some of the passion Otis put into it. You may have heard many of the songs , 'Hard to Handle' in the film The Commitments and The Rolling Stones 'I Can't Get No Satisfaction' being two of the most obvious, but, in my opinion, Otis' version is simply always the best, whether it be an original or a cover. Its almost impossible to pick out highlights on an album so full of classic sounds and lyrics but if I had to choose one favourite track I think I would have to go for another song that appeared in The Commitments, the outstanding 'Try A Little Tenderness'. This song starts at a casual pace gradually building up to a moving finale with Otis' voice at its most awe inspiring. You feel he could go on forever and, in kind, you could listen forever. Whilst I admit to knowing very little about soul music surely Otis is what its all about. As Carla says in the aforementioned 'Tramp', "You know what Otis, you're country, your straight from the Georgia woods", to which he replies "That's good". And that seems to be the thing about Otis and his music, its real.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 11 May 2000
Released shortly after his death, this album was the first of several posthumous Otis Redding releases. The fabulous title track reached number one on both the pop and R&B charts, introducing Otis' talent and emotive energy to a much wider (and whiter) audience. Inspired by the Beatles' adventurous songwriting, and his positive experience at the Monterey Pop Festival, he wrote "The Dock of the Bay" while relaxing in Sausalito. He recorded it on December 7, 1967, three days before the airplane crash that would take his life and four members of his touring band, The Bar-Kays. The song was unlike anything he had released thus far, and showed the promising artistic direction he was headed in. Guitarist, co-writer, and friend Steve Cropper compiled this tribute album around it, gathering together some of his past singles, along with the unreleased ballad "Open The Door." There are plenty of great songs, such as the magnificent "Let Me Come On Home," "Don't Mess With Cupid," and his classic duet with Carla Thomas, "Tramp." The funky "Huckle-Buck" is from the Stax "Stay In School" record, and two fine cuts from earlier albums close out the set. As always, the backing musicians on all of the tracks are the fantastic Stax players of Booker T. & The MG's and the Mar-Keys. This disc is a testament to Otis Redding's mastery of his craft, and makes for a decent primer on his sound. It was soon followed by "The Immortal Otis Redding," an excellent collection of unreleased studio recordings.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The single "(Sittin' on) the Dock of the Bay" was recorded by the late, great Otis Redding three days before his death. (The version released includes his famous whistled last verse; he hadn't written the words yet, but intended to soon). The Georgia-born Redding, who left us, tragically, way too young at 26, in a crash of his private plane, was an influential singer/songwriter. He was a practitioner of gospel-derived, deepest fried southern soul, and a producer of the best music Memphis-based Stax/Volt could offer, with its wailing horns, and strong, pounding house band, Steve Cropper's Booker T and the MGs, (Green Onions). Redding's instrument, his voice, was an exemplar of soul: hoarse, passionate and gritty, yet he could produce aching ballads, and party tunes that still carried emotional content.

Now, Memphis has produced many great musicians. Sam Phillips' Sun Studio, launched in February 1952, boasted Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison. Beale Street started BB King's career. And then there was Stax/Volt, home to Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Johnnie Taylor and Rufus Thomas.

Otis, of course, wrote the album's title tune, and it was his biggest hit, although it was posthumously released. He also wrote "Respect," a big hit for Aretha Franklin; his intense version of the song is on this album. However, Redding's biggest, mainstream hit while alive was "Tramp," a duet with Carla Thomas that you will also find here. Otis, of course, was a man of many talents (he wrote several songs with Steve Cropper), and broad range. But he didn't have much of a sense of humor: Carla Thomas (daughter of Rufus) brings hers to this exuberant, exultant, corn pone flavored call and response number. On this record, you get, in addition to the previously-named all time greats, several more wonderful songs. A driving "Mr. Pitiful" and a yearning "These Arms of Mine," his earliest R & B hits. His famous, pounding, mispronounced take on the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction," and some more great rockers: "Shake," "I Can't Turn You Loose," "Love Man," (Sam and Dave's biggest hit) , and "My Girl," the Temptations' greatest hit. You also get prayerful takes of "Pain in My Heart," and Sam Cooke's great "A Change is Gonna Come." He can do tender too: just listen to "I've Been Loving You Too Long," and "Try a Little Tenderness."

Funny, many years ago now, when I lived in England, a pompous young man in the music business, who lived next door, came wandering into the cottage and found me lying on the floor, listening to this record. He announced that the floor was for walking upon or standing upon, not for lying on, and I was dating myself listening to Otis Redding: the musical smart set was now listening to Al Green. Now I respect and honor Al Green's music, but I will always listen to this record by Otis, and I don't care if it does date me. If you feel the same about Otis's music, you need it. And if you're not familiar with the man and his music, just take a listen, and you, too, will be a fan.
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58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
I don't have a lot to add to the other reviews of this excellent CD. However; Buyers and listeners should be aware that the mix of "Dock of the Bay" which appears on this collection is - as on so many other compilations - the rather gutless stereo mix that was created in the 1970s and which unfortunately gets most airplay. I have a 1968 mono single and although the "Dock..." track on this CD is undoubtedly the same performance, it's definitely not the same mix - it's an inferior one!

The original mix, which is, in a musical sense far more powerful, is available still on CD. If you buy (from Amazon of course!) an excellent album called "The Definitive Sound of Atlantic Soul" you will get the original mix, which has a heavier beat and makes much more of Steve Cropper's great guitar backing. You'll also get a great many other excellent Atlantic cuts.

I just wish that the copyright owner would stop peddling the gutless mix of "Dock..." and get back to the original.

The rest of this album is definitely classic and original stuff though - so do buy this one too.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 15 June 2010
Truly amazing talent sadly lost so early. This man had so much more to give as this compilation shows. No record or CD collection is anywhere near complete without this one!.I'm sure Mick and Keef were well pleased when Otis transformed the Stones classic (I can't get no)Satisfaction into the most amazing soul classic,just one of 20 classics on this CD. I never get tired of hearing Otis Redding.No need to say anymore, just buy it you will be glad you did!.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 26 December 2007
Ironically, the tune for which Otis is best known is untypical of his work. He had made his reputation as the No 1 Soul man with gritty Southern Soul, and had begun to appeal to Rock audiences after his appearance at Monterey. That meant that he was looking to vary his style to make it more acceptable to white audiences, hence "Sittin' on...", a much more mellow tune than he had ever before recorded.

Unfortunately he never saw it's release, he died in the plane accident thta killed him, his manager and all but one of his band The Markeys. Otis would have been a huge star, he died just as the Soul bandwagon was becoming unstoppable. His death in 1968 robbed the world of a finding out just what he could have become. What a shame it is that his work has become best known because of a film where people make pale (literally) versions of his classics.

This collection covers most of his best known songs, although not in chronological order, showing the vast vocal talent that Otis possessed. His ability to take a song and make it his own is clear on both the uptempo ("Respect") and ballads ("Try A Little Tenderness"). It is likely that you will have most of these in your collection if you are a Soul fan, but for the more casual listener, this is a very good place to start - and it includes the sublime "That's How Strong...", on it's own worth the price. Recommended.
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on 1 August 2013
There is an array of compilations that show off the work of this sadly-departed, highly-regarded sixties soul singer. But with its boastful sub-title ('The Definitive Collection') this effort is asserting its claim to be the best of the bunch. Does it deserve that status? Probably. It is certainly popular: since its release date in 1987 this UK-only release has sold over half-a-million copies. It features all of Redding's well-known songs, including '(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay', 'Respect', and 'Try A Little Tenderness'. Over its hour long length it manages to strike a nice balance between his up-tempo party tunes, like 'Shake' and 'Hard To Handle', and downbeat aching ballads such as 'Pain In My Heart' and 'Cigarettes and Coffee'. And there are also no clangourous omissions in the twenty track running order. Sadly, the badly-edited, ungrammatical liner note that accompanies this value-for-money CD slightly spoils The Dock Of The Bay's impression of professionalism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2013
I had looked for a best of Otis to update my old 45 collection but didn't want it bad enough to pay top dollar. This CD on the other hand was the right price, top quality with a first class delivery.
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Everybody knows 'Sitting on the Dock of the Bay'. It still gets lots of airplay. There is so much more to Otis than that, and this cheapie is the perfect introduction to a great talent.

The style is southern soul, with intentionally slow strong rhythms and plaintive Memphis horns topped off with Otis' dramatic impassioned soulful vocals.

My fave is his first R&B hit 'These Arms Of Mine', but I love them all. Then of course there is 'Try A Little Tenderness' which could make you a better person, the feeling is so strong.

Chance a few quid and enjoy. I bet you won't regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 July 2013
One of the best songs ever & a really great singer from a time when the singers could really sing.
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