Dock of the Bay Sessions

Dock of the Bay Sessions

by Otis ReddingOtis Redding


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Otis Redding quickly became one of the biggest stars in R&B after scoring a hit in 1962 with "These Arms of Mine," but as the decade wore on, his creative ambitions began to shift. Redding had absorbed the influences of Bob Dylan and the Beatles in his songwriting, and after playing the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, where he handily won over what he called "the love crowd," he had big plans for his next album. Sadly, while Redding had put the finishing touches on what would be his breakthrough song, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," he didn't live to see its success or complete the accompanying album, losing his life in a plane crash in December 1967. An album titled The Dock of the Bay appeared in February 1968 as the single was topping the charts, but it was a hodge-podge of material recorded throughout Redding's career and didn't reflect his vision of music that combined intelligent and impressionistic songwriting mixed with the taut passion of the Stax Records' brand of Southern soul. The Dock of the Bay Sessions is an attempt to approximate what Redding had in mind from material he recorded in the last months of his life. None of this music is previously unreleased, and several of the tracks are very well-known to fans (particularly "Hard to Handle," "Love Man," and "I've Got Dreams to Remember"). But most didn't surface until after Redding's death, and this collection gives them a coherent context they previously lacked. Given the familiarity of many of the tracks, and the fact that most don't step away from Redding's usual approach the way "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" did, this doesn't play like the Great Lost Otis Redding Album that one might hope for. However, as a summary of the great work Redding was doing up to the very end of his life, this is a splendid listen. As a vocalist, Redding was only growing stronger at this point, adding greater nuances to the forceful punch of his vocals, and the subtle dynamics of "Think About It" and "Champagne and Wine," while not as much of a step forward as the title cut, suggest a greater sonic maturity than most of Redding's work. And the work of the Stax Studio crew was and remains a joy to hear, economic but full-bodied and powerfully soulful. The Dock of the Bay Sessions is hardly essential for loyal Otis Redding fans, but as a compact summation of his final recordings, it's a fine collection that flows with the coherence of a "real" LP, and if you're looking for an album with "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," this is a good way to go.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/18/2018
Label: Atlantic
UPC: 0603497861590
catalogNumber: 566247
Rank: 4268

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Otis Redding   Primary Artist,Vocals
Steve Cropper   Bass,Guitar
Joe Arnold   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor (Vocal)
Ben Cauley   Trumpet
Donald "Duck" Dunn   Bass
Isaac Hayes   Organ,Piano
Wayne Jackson   Trumpet
Booker T. Jones   Organ,Piano
Andrew Love   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor (Vocal)
Tommy Lee Williams   Baritone Saxophone,Tenor (Vocal)
Al Jackson   Drums

Technical Credits

Steve Cropper   Composer,Producer
Otis Redding   Arranger,Composer,Whistle
Jim Stewart   Supervisor of Analog Tape Transfers
Rachel Gutek   Cover Design
Zelma Redding   Composer
Joe Rock   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Alvertis Isbell   Composer
Roy Johnson   Composer
Jason Reynolds   Producer
Allen Jones   Composer
Don Covay   Composer
Allen Walden   Composer

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