on 25 February 2014
This 5-CD collection includes three of Otis Redding's four posthumous studio albums, Dock of the Bay, Love Man and Tell the Truth and the original versions of two of his live albums, the second also released posthumously. However, don't let the word posthumous put you off. At the time of Redding's death in December 1967 there was enough quality unreleased material to justify these releases.
Dock of the Bay made history as the first posthumous album to reach No. 1 in the UK charts. It was followed by "The Immortal Otis Redding", which is missing from this collection. Love Man, released in 1969 also has a number of good tracks, most notably the wonderfully unique Direct Me, which was a successful single. Tell the Truth (1970) is weaker by comparison, marking as it does, the end of the supply of new material.
Otis Redding's live recordings are always worth having, as they successfully convey the excitement in his performances and are well-recorded given their age. Live in Europe and At the Whiskey-A-GoGo share share a number of songs, but the former is, in my view, the better and the latter gives you his only recording of James Brown's Papa's Got a Brand New Bag.
As some other reviewers have noted, there are good reasons to invest in the later, enlarged, versions of the live albums, Also, two studio albums are missing from the Original Album Series Volumes 1 and 2: King and Queen (recorded with Carla Thomas) and the Immortal Otis Redding. Finally, if you ever get the chance to buy Live at Monterey, I would go for it. These are my only reasons for giving this collection four stars instead of five. Completists may want look for alternatives, but when all's said and done, the entry price for these 5 CDs makes them good value, even if you eventually end up with some duplication.
on 29 September 2013
This is a very nice box, but I cannot understand why the people who put it together, decided to include two live albums. Both are great, because Redding was a magnificent performer, but the "Live in Europe" (1967) CD is now available in a superior version ("Live in London & Paris", released in 2008). So I would have prefered this box to omit the "Live in Europe" CD, but include "The Immortal Otis Redding". It's a real shame that the box now only includes two of Redding's three posthumous studio albums. After all, "The Immortal Otis Redding" includes gems such as "I've Got Dreams to Remember" and "Hard to Handle".
All in all, this box still offers great value, but if you have purchased both "original album series" boxes, you still need to buy "The Immortal Otis Redding" and "King & Queen", Redding's duet album with Carla Thomas
on 14 September 2015
I'm a fan of the late Otis Redding. If you've seen Otis Redding's live performances, you'd know that he "wasn't lying" when he sang; he ment it; he sang from his heart; he sang for the people; he performed for the people and you could see his enthusiasm; a great singer; a great artist. You can hear the passion in his music which is something that can't be said for many today (eg Riha...cough-cough) ..This is a collection of albums (not his entire catagloue). I believe in full albums and not compilations because you experience the full range of an artist and their style. Beauty is in the ear of the beholder; you might miss out on that one song which only you like and songs do tend to grow on you. Otis Redding had happy songs, love songs, heartfelt songs, moving songs, deep songs, ... what more can I say? Otis Redding. There will be at least one song of his that you'll have as a top ten favourite if you haven't heard any these albums already (or the rest of them).