Otis Redding - The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads (1965)

Otis Redding was a highly influential American singer and songwriter, considered one of the most important artists of the soul genre.

By 1964 Otis Redding had managed to have three successful singles on the R&B charts, and had released a fantastic debut album. 1965 saw the release of its follow-up, The Great Otis Redding Signs Soul Ballads. Like its predecessor, it saw him backed by Booker T & The MGs, along with The Memphis Horns. Rumour also has it that Isaac Hayes made his recording debut on this album, playing piano, but this is disputed. The songs themselves featured both new originals and covers, including Sam Cooke's "Nothing Can Change This Love", Chuck Willis' "It's Too Late" and Jerry Butler & The Impressions' "For Your Precious Love". As the title suggests, the focus was on ballads (but not without a few more upbeat numbers included as well).
The most important songs on the album were "That's How Strong My Love Is" (written by Roosevelt Jamison, and originally released by O.V. Wright just days earlier) and "Mr Pitiful", which Redding co-wrote with Steve Cropper of the MGs. The latter was released as a single (with the former as the b-side) and got to #10 on the R&B charts - Redding's first Top 10 hit, and another big step forward for him.

Pain In My Heart
(1964) <|> Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul (1965)
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