By 1966 Otis Redding was well and truly a star, but only in the mostly black R&B world - he had not yet made a true crossover to a wider pop audience. 1966 was the year that began to change, as first he chose to perform at the Whiskey a GoGo in L.A., being one of the first ever soul artists to perform on the west coast. His performance was critically acclaimed, and helped with his recognition in mainstream pop culture. He then went to the UK for a number of gigs, TV performances and interviews. Many of the British groups such as The Rolling Stones and The Animals were huge fans of his, and had covered his songs.
Back in Memphis, he got to work with the Stax house band on his fifth album. Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary Of Soul was released in October 1966, and featured a greater number of original compositons than his past albums had (some of them co-authored with Stax comrades Steve Cropper, David Porter, Isaac Hayes and Al Bell). The covers included soul readings of "The Tennessee Waltz" and The Beatles' "Day Tripper", plus "Try A Little Tenderness", a song at the time best associated through its version by Bing Crosby (though both Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin had sung soul versions of it). It was given the full Stax treatment and subsequently re-invented, and became a hit at #4 on the R&B chart and #25 on the pop chart. The other hits generated from the album were Redding's own "My Lover's Prayer" (#10 R&B) and "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)", which got to #12 R&B, #29 pop and also #23 over in the UK.
The Soul Album (1966) <|> Live In Europe (1967)
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