Considered by many critics to be Redding's first great album. Recorded in April and July of 1965, it was released September 15th of that same year. Otis Blue includes covers of three songs by Sam Cooke, Redding's idol, who died the previous December in 1964. Their styles couldn't have been more different; Cooke smooth and sure, Redding raw and pleading. But Redding's versions of "Shake" and "A Change Is Gonna Come" show how Cooke's sound and message helped shape Redding's Southern soul sound. Redding's singing reaches a new level of expressiveness with this as well as with covers of B.B. King's "Rock Me Baby" and the Motown hit "My Girl".
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