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Try a little Otis
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.