Album Review | r&b

Otis Redding, ‘The Complete Stax/Volt Singles Collection’

It is probably impossible to go wrong with a collection of songs by Otis Redding, by far one of the most righteous soul singers of all time. And just about everything about this new compilation, “The Complete Stax/Volt Singles Collection,” goes right.

The title of this three-disc, 70-song set says it all, collecting every A and B side Redding released, some for the first time on CD. That includes singles he released with Carla Thomas, a pair of Christmas songs, and a handful of white-hot live tracks, all in their original mono mixes.

So many compilations have been released on Redding, and his tale is well known, but it would have been nice if there were a more substantive accompanying booklet with biographical context and chart information. Of course the songs tell the story just fine on their own.


From big, rocking rumblers — including his get-on-the-good-foot take on the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” — to such gritty, pleading ballads as the searing “That’s What My Heart Needs” and the big hits like “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay,” it’s easy to fall under Redding’s impassioned sway all over again. (Out Tuesday)

Sarah Rodman

ESSENTIAL “Snatch a Little Piece”