Like so many other talented artists, both Otis Redding's life and career were short lived. Redding was born on September 9, 1941, and died at the young age of 26 in a tragic plane crash on December 10, 1967. One can only wonder to what heights his career would have soared if his life hadn't been cut so short. He achieved a small amount of success and recognition early in his career, releasing material under the Stax/Volt labels. Unfortunately his life ended shortly after he managed to gain national attention with his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in '67. Redding was responsible for injecting an unparalleled level of raw energy into the soul genre, which would eventually make his name virtually synonymous with soul music. If James Brown was the "Godfather of Soul", then Otis Redding was the King.
Most people are familiar with the studio versions of Redding's hits, but listening to him perform them live will make the listener feel as if they are discovering them all over again. Redding was known for turning it up a notch or two during his live performances, at times delivering his vocals in a frenzied trance-like state. This recording is no exception. You can clearly hear the enthusiasm of the crowd throughout the set, and it's a treat to hear the audience participation on tracks such as "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)" Unlike many live recordings, Redding's powerful voice, backed by Booker T. & the MG's, ensure that the audience doesn't drown out the music. There are moments when the vocals seem distant, but they are brief and easily overlooked. The album was recorded in March 1967, during the Stax/Volt ensemble tour of Europe. It was his first live album that was released, and also the last album released before his death.
Year of Release: 1967
2. Can't Turn You Loose
3. I've Been Loving You Too Long
4. My Girl
7. Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)
8. These Arms of Mine
9. Day Tripper
10. Try A Little Tenderness
Download: Otis Redding - Live In Europe
Download Size: 64MB
In case you missed it, here's a video that I posted back in March of Redding performing "Satisfaction". This perfectly captures the raw energy associated with Redding's live performances, and will give you an idea of what to expect if you haven't had the pleasure of listening to "Live in Europe" or any of Redding's other live albums.
Otis Redding - Satisfation