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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best genuine "soul" albums..., 10 Nov. 2000
Recorded in 1965 when "soul", as opposed to R&B, Motown and gospel, was starting to develop its own identity, "The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads" set an early reference point for this new style of music. And, while his next album - "Otis Blue" - was more polished, more commercial and more successful, this often overlooked record is in many ways much more satisfying. Redding's singing is quite stunning, with heart-rending deliveries that make you believe that he means what he says and the back up from Booker T, Steve Cropper and the Stax "house band" is consistently creative and incisive. Many of the arrangements used here were subsequently recycled in the flood of "soul" (or, more aptly, "not really soul") records that were to follow but, while Sam Cooke and Ray Charles fans may argue, this was where it all came together for the first time in a glorious, unified whole. There's no R&B and, with the exception of "Mr Pitiful", no dance tracks. What there is, is a genuinely painful heart and... that's what "soul" - a much maligned musical label - is in fact all about.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Otis sings, 19 Nov. 2011
This album is a must for any music fan looking to extend their Otis Redding collection beyond a greatest hits package or the iconic Otis Blue. The raw Stax production and simple arrangement provide a great showcase for Otis' peerless voice and much underestimated song-writing ability. From the opening bars of the classic That's How Strong My Love Is, through self penned tracks like Your One and Only Man, you are taken on a journey infused with soul, gospel, blues and pop, that climaxes with the awesome Mr Pitiful. The name of the album says it all - soul ballads sung by the great Otis Redding, what more could you want?
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5.0 out of 5 stars For your precious love, 4 Mar. 2015
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Rather than a compilation, this is a stand-alone album from 1965 by the man with a voice dripping and oozing with soul, the magisterial Otis Redding (1941-67). Those dates tell a tragic story, but few singers in any genre have left such a precious legacy.
Otis grew up in Georgia, home of Ray Charles, Little Richard, Tony Joe White, James Brown, Gladys Knight and Curtis Mayfield - there must be something in the water - and this is country-inflected soul music that could only be from the South.
Of course, Otis recorded many ballads during his brief but illustrious career, only a few of which are presented here, in remastered form (the original CD never sounded quite this good). But the tracks that are here are all wonderful, starting with the opener That's How Strong My Love Is, a great deep soul barnstormer by Roosevelt Jamison that's been recorded by all kinds of artists from the Stones to Steve Young, Humble Pie to Taj Mahal. Otis does the definitive version (though Young's comes close).
The rest of the songs are up to the standard set by that impassioned first track, including a few by Redding himself, closing with the mid-tempo hit Mr Pitiful - a 'ballad' in its broadest sense.
An interesting track is his version of It's Too Late by Chuck Willis, also covered by Roy Orbison and Derek & the Dominoes. All three versions are worth hearing, as they all make something different of this superb number.
Sam Cooke's emotive Nothing Can Change This Love is almost as splendid as Otis's incredible recording of Cooke's Change Gonna Come, while other standouts are Home in Your Heart, the gorgeous Chained and Bound, the sensual Come To Me, Keep Your Arms Around Me, and the slow, bluesy, beautiful For Your Precious Love, all sung with Redding's trademark passionate soulfulness.
It doesn't last long at 33 minutes, but the twelve songs on this disc are worthy their weight in gold. Otis had one of the most unforgettable voices of the last century, and died ridiculously young. But what a legacy!

Unforgettable, irreplaceable.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 6 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Soul Ballads [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Good album good service
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Soul Ballads [VINYL]
Soul Ballads [VINYL] by Otis Redding (Vinyl - 2002)
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