Thursday, April 28, 2011

Otis Redding: "Live On The Sunset Strip" (2010) CD Review

This 2-disc CD contains three complete sets that Otis Redding performed in April of 1966 at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, CA.

It's shocking to think that Otis Redding was only twenty-four years old when these recordings were made. Listen to the experience and command in his voice. Listen to the passion.

These discs contain three complete sets that Otis Redding performed in April, 1966. So several songs are repeated throughout the album. That's not a bad thing. It's a treat to be able to listen to the variations and nuances of Otis Redding's performances of these songs. The three sets are from April 9th and 10th at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California.


After he's introduced, Otis Redding launches into "Security." Right away the band is cooking, and Otis grabs hold of the audience.

"Just One More Day"

Otis introduces "Just One More Day" by saying, "And this song is something that everybody needs, and everybody wants it, and I've been trying to get it." He then laughs. Otis co-wrote this song with Steve Cropper and Smokey Robinson. Otis sings, "I've been missing you for so many days/I keep wanting you, darling, in so many ways/I can't get you off of my mind/'Cause true love is so hard to find."

"These Arms Of Mine"

"These Arms Of Mine" is one of the first songs that Otis Redding wrote. It's a slow and beautiful song. There are two wonderful versions included on this release.


His first version of "Satisfaction" is almost completely different from that by the Rolling Stones. In fact, if it weren't for that little guitar part at the beginning, it might be a different song. He sings, "Early in the morning, satisfaction/You gotta get you some satisfaction."

The second version of "Satisfaction" is more in line with the Rolling Stones song. That is, it has the lyrics by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. (This version is track 10 on the first disc.) The third version (track 2 on the second disc) also has the lyrics. The horns on this version are incredible. And by the end, the whole band is working at a frantic pace.

"I Can't Turn You Loose"
"I Can't Turn You Loose" is an incredible song, with more energy than most people can muster at any point in their lives. Otis Redding wrote it and included it as the flip side on his 1965 single "Just One More Day." The Blues Brothers covered this song, and it's included in their 1980 film.


Everyone knows Aretha Franklin's version of this song, but it's Otis Redding who wrote this song and released the first version. His version came out in 1965, two years before the one by Aretha Franklin.

"I'm Depending On You"

After "I'm Depending On You," Otis Redding tells the crowd he's recording an album. He says, "Holler loud as you want. You ain't home. You know? You ain't out there on the strip. Ain't nobody gonna lock you up, just holler loud as you want to."

"Any Ole Way"

"Any Ole Way" was co-written by Otis Redding and Steve Cropper. It's a fun, cheerful song. Just try and be sad while listening to it. Otis Redding sings, "Wherever you go, darling, I will go/And when you get there honey I bet I will be there/Just to hear the sweet words that you say."

"I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)"

Wow. The quaver in his voice at the beginning is fantastic. His vocals throughout are tremendous. This wonderful song was written by Otis Redding and Jerry Butler. It was released as a single in April of 1965, and was included on the LP "Otis Blue." The Rolling Stones covered this song on their first live album, Got Live If You Want It.

"Good To Me"

Otis introduces this song by telling the crowd, "We're fixing to make up a song. Watch this song. This is something new." It's such a cool song. It was used as the title for another collection of music from the Whisky: Good To Me: Live At The Whisky A Go Go Vol. 2 (1993).

"Ole Man Trouble"

"Ole Man Trouble" was written by Otis Redding and released as the flip side to his single "Respect" in August of 1965. It was also the first track on his 1965 LP, Otis Blue. It's a seriously cool song, and the version included here is short and sweet, as Otis pleads with Ole Man Trouble to "Stay away."

"A Hard Day's Night"

Before the band launches into the Beatles' "A Hard Days Night," Otis jokes that he's not sure what song to play. He says, "We ran out of tunes, we're trying to think of something to do, you all."

"Papa's Got A Brand New Bag"

"Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" is a song written by James Brown. Otis stops the song about thirty seconds in, joking that they're not going to do it. The crowd reacts predictably, and so the band launches back into it. At just over ten minutes, this is the longest track on the album. In the middle of the song, he asks the audience, "Are you tired?"

The Band

Robert Holloway, Robert Pittman and Donald Henry played tenor saxophones. Sammy Coleman and John Farris played trumpets. Clarence Johnson, Jr. played trombone. James Young was on guitar. Ralph Stewart played bass. Elbert Woodson played drums.

CD Track List

Disc 1:

  1. Security
  2. Just One More Day
  3. These Arms Of Mine
  4. Satisfaction
  5. I Can't Turn You Loose
  6. Chained And Bound
  7. Respect
  8. I'm Depending On You
  9. I Can't Turn You Loose
  10. Satisfaction
  11. Chained And Bound
  12. Just One More Day
  13. Any Ole Way

Disc 2:

  1. I've Been Loving You too Long (To Stop Now)
  2. Satisfaction
  3. Destiny
  4. Security
  5. Good To Me
  6. Respect
  7. Chained And Bound
  8. Mr. Pitiful
  9. Satisfaction
  10. Ole Man Trouble
  11. I Can't Turn You Loose
  12. A Hard Day's Night
  13. These Arms Of Mine
  14. Papa's Got A Brand New Bag
  15. Satisfaction

Some of these tracks were released on earlier collections. But here on this 2-disc collection are three complete sets, which as close as a listener can get to actually being there. Live On The Sunset Strip is scheduled to be released on May 18, 2010.

The year after these performances, Otis Redding went on to perform a legendary set at the Monterey Pop Festival. At the end of that year, on December 10th, Otis died in a plane crash. He was only 26 years old.

(Note: I originally posted this review on April 20, 2010.)

No comments:

Post a Comment