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For The "Love Crowd"

11 APR 13 DAVID SHANNON

Otis Redding made his name as the sound of soul music in the mid-'60s, an enduring legacy that marks him as the vocal standard against which all other soul singers who followed him are measured. Redding’s death in 1967 left only six studio recordings, as well as a handful of posthumous albums. The latest of these is Lonely & Blue: The Deepest Soul Of Otis Redding on Stax records, the studio that recorded and released Redding’s first album, Pain In My Heart.

The songs compiled on Lonely & Blue share the heartbreak theme that Redding brilliantly conveyed during his Stax career, a topic suited so well to his voice that noted Memphis disc jockey Moohah Williams dubbed him “Mr. Pitiful.” However, the track listing isn’t limited to heartbreak hits. While “These Arms Of Mine,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now),” and a moving version of “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember” are all included here, the album features equally affecting -- if not as famous -- songs such as “Open The Door” and “Everybody Makes A Mistake.”

When Redding played the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, he famously asked the audience if it was the “love crowd” and received a warm response that prefigured his growing popularity beyond black listeners. Redding’s ruminations on the subject of lost love were limited to “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)” at Monterey. This album beautifully expands on his thoughts on the subject.



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