Album: Otis Redding <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fivestar -->

Stax Profiles, STAX/UNIVERSAL
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The Independent Culture

The latest set of Stax reissues is a series of 10 Profiles, on which fans, friends or associates choose their own favourite tracks by an individual artist - Elvis Costello on Booker T & The MGs, Dan Aykroyd on Eddie Floyd, Mable John on Carla Thomas, etc. The most interesting is probably this compilation of Otis Redding selected by MGs guitarist Steve Cropper, who produced and co-wrote many of the soul giant's classic tracks. Cropper's choice is interesting both for its omissions - no "My Girl", "Respect", "Dock of the Bay" or even "I've Been Loving You Too Long" - and for his preference for alternative takes of many songs: a "Satisfaction" largely indistinguishable from the released version; a delightful country-soul reading of "Champagne and Wine"; a faster "Mr Pitiful"; and a strangely restrained "Happy Song" on which Otis's slightly sombre mood gives the lie to the title. Elsewhere, "A Change Is Gonna Come" and "A Woman, a Lover, a Friend" affirm Redding's debts to Sam Cooke and Ray Charles respectively, while live versions of "Security", "Shake" and "Good to Me" reveal the zip-tight interlocking of his well-drilled bands.

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Mr Pitiful', 'Shake', 'Champagne and Wine', 'A Change Is Gonna Come'

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