Back to the soulful world of Otis Redding today, and his album “Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul”, which is not only album #448 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, it is #9 on the 10 Greatest Soul Albums of All Time as rated by digitaldreamdoor.com. There are some highlights on this album, but overall, it didn’t capture my interest as much as I had hoped it would.
This has evolved into an interesting dilemma and contemplation for me, now that I am two Otis Redding albums in on my list. Like almost every music fan, I dearly love his signature tune “(Sittin’ On) the Dock of The Bay”, which is not on either of these albums, and was recorded just days before his untimely death from a plane crash. I’m fully aware of his stature and rightful place amongst the legends of American soul music, and have tremendous appreciation for his contributions. It does beg the bigger question, building on a discussion from a previous post… How do you react when something that is so acclaimed and so highly regarded just doesn’t impact you in the same way? I gave this album multiple listens… it just reinforces that we all have different tastes, and that music, like any art form, is one that can’t truly be measured, rated or designated as great in a black and white sense, as appreciation is relative and fluid from one individual to the next.
All is not lost on this album. I did like “My Lover’s Prayer” and “She Put the Hurt on Me” a lot, and I also enjoyed “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)”, even if that opinion wasn’t unanimous. 😊 I just found many of his other songs to be well performed, with a very strong band and delivery, but just not that catchy of a hook. He even covered the Beatles “Daytripper”, but as much as I wanted to love it, it just didn’t resonate with me.
So, in this case, I guess I just have to accept that my affection and appreciation for Otis is primarily contained to his most famous song, and I will embrace it and love that song and whatever else I continue to discover by him and others as I continue on my musical journey.