Friday, February 02, 2007

Get on Down With The Big O!

Otis Redding - Nobody's Fault But Mine

Sometimes I wonder how the history of soul music would've changed had Otis Redding not perished in the December '67 plane crash that took his life and that of all but two of the Bar-Kays. Would Otis have stayed with Stax, or would he have followed his manager, Phil Walden, over to Capricorn Records when Walden formed that label a few years later? Would "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" still make it to #1 on the pop charts, and if so, would he have aimed more of his recordings in that direction? Or would Otis have gone funky, a la "Hard to Handle" and today's selection? Would he have changed with the times, or would his Southern soul roots find him in the same position as many of his contemporaries when disco came along? The questions and potential answers are many and mind-boggling.

As it stands, however, Otis showed several possibilities in his latter recordings, and "Nobody's Fault But Mine," the b-side to the 1968 Atco single "Dreams to Remember," gives us a peek at a funky Otis, doing his usual incendiary thing while the Stax guys lay down a chunky groove.

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