Otis Redding was both an influential interpretive vocalist and an impassioned singer/songwriter, but whether Otis Redding was actually the king of Soul music is, naturally, open to discussion among fans of the genre. After all, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder were all worthy of the throne in their own right. But one fact simply cannot be disputed: Otis Redding was most certainly Soul music royalty and remains so to this day.
The 4-disc/92-track box set "The King Of Soul" is a deeply satisfying anthology which contains both studio and live recordings -- singles as well as essential LP tracks -- from various sources, including landmark albums like 1965's "Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul" and 1968's "The Dock Of The Bay". Otis Redding was a balladeer extraordinaire; while he did record numerous energetic and memorable Soul stompers ("Shake", "Chain Gang", "Respect", etc.), he particularly excelled at raunchy, stirring Southern Soul ballads such as "That's How Strong My Love Is", "I've Been Loving You Too Long", "These Arms Of Mine", and "Try A Little Tenderness". Released by Rhino Records, a label which specializes in archival reissues. [Also see Rhino Records' "The Queen Of Soul" 4-disc box set by Aretha Franklin.]