The very face of classic Southern soul is Otis Redding, whose incendiary and passionate singing and stage presence came as close as anyone's to transferring the energy, explosiveness, and drive of Southern gospel into the secular pop world of soul. Otis Redding's recording career really only lasted five years, from 1962 through 1967 (seven studio albums in all), and the balance of it, along with his biggest hits, really only came in the last two years of that time, with his biggest hit and first number one, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," released after his death. All of it was enough, though, to establish Redding as the greatest performer of the classic deep soul era, a designation he undoubtedly deserves. This wonderful three-disc, 70-track set collects all of Redding's singles, both the A- and B-sides, including a couple of holiday releases, plus his singles with fellow Stax Records star Carla Thomas
, in the original mono mixes. Mono is how these tracks were meant to be heard, mixed to sound powerful blasting from radios and jukeboxes, and even played through 21st century sound devices, these mixes are incredible to hear, all power and passion. This was -- and is -- soul.