Otis Forever: The Albums & Singles spans 1968-1970
Otis Redding’s reign as the King of Soul was cut short more than 55 years ago when the Georgia-born singer-songwriter perished in a plane crash en route to play a show. The Big O was gone too soon, but generations of fans still cherish the musical legacy he left behind.
Rhino brings all four of Redding’s posthumous records together for a new vinyl boxed set that includes mono versions of 24 singles from the albums. Limited to 1,000 copies, Otis Forever: The Albums & Singles (1968-1970) will be available on June 9th as a 6 LP set on multi-color vinyl. The albums are each pressed on different colors: The Dock of the Bay (yellow), The Immortal Otis Redding (silver), Love Man (green), Tell the Truth (blue), and The Singles 1968-1970 (yellow). The set will also be available as a 6 LP black vinyl retail exclusive.
The Singles 1968-1970 is a double album exclusive to the set in a gatefold sleeve illustrated with the 7-inch labels from all 24 singles. Mono mixes are used for every track, including gems like “The Happy Song (Dum-Dum)” and “Hard To Handle.”
Between 1962 and 1967, Redding was a creative dynamo, recording frequently at Stax Records with Booker T. & The MG’s – keyboardist Booker T. Jones, guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn, and drummer Al Jackson Jr. During his lifetime, Redding released six studio albums and a succession of R&B and Top 40 hits (“These Arms Of Mine,” “Respect,” “Try A Little Tenderness”) that helped transform Stax from a small Memphis record label into a global musical institution.
When Redding died in December 1967, he’d recorded enough music to fill several albums. The first song from that trove arrived shortly after his death when “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” was released in January 1968. Recorded during his final days, it became Redding’s signature song, biggest hit, and first pop chart-topper.
The song was the title track for the first of Redding’s four posthumous studio albums: The Dock of the Bay in 1968, The Immortal Otis Redding in 1968, Love Man in 1969, and Tell the Truth in 1970. The albums sustained Redding’s streak of hits, introducing singles like “Look At That Girl,” “Love Man,” “I’ve Got Dreams To Remember,” and “Amen.”
The box set opens with The Dock of the Bay, a No. 1 album in the US and UK. The album’s title track made history in America as the first posthumous No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Through the years, the song has accumulated a multitude of awards and achievements, including over four million copies sold worldwide; two Grammy Awards (Best R&B Song and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance); and ranked No. 38 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Redding’s legacy has only grown since his 1962 Stax debut with “These Arms Of Mine.” He’s been inducted into the halls of fame for Rock and Roll, Rhythm and Blues, Songwriters, and Georgia Music. Decades after his passing, Redding’s music has continued to be recognized with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (1999), and three of Redding’s songs have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame: “Respect” (1998), “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (2011), and “Try A Little Tenderness” (2015).