Liner Note Authors: Bob Rolontz; Paul Ackerman; Bob Altshuler.
Photographer: Paul C. Acree Jr.
The very face of classic Southern soul is Otis Redding, whose incendiary and passionate singing and stage presence came as close as anyone's to transferring the energy, explosiveness, and drive of Southern gospel into the secular pop world of soul. Otis Redding's recording career really only lasted five years, from 1962 through 1967 (seven studio albums in all), and the balance of it, along with his biggest hits, really only came in the last two years of that time, with his biggest hit and first number one, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay," released after his death. All of it was enough, though, to establish Redding as the greatest performer of the classic deep soul era, a designation he undoubtedly deserves. This five-disc set collects five of Redding's Atco albums in one package, including 1964's Pain in My Heart, 1965's The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads, and 1966's Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul, The Soul Album, and Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul. ~ Steve Leggett