Live On The Sunset Strip

Otis Redding

Concord Music Group, 2010

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


If ever anyone got the short end of the stick in life and the music business, it was Otis Redding. He had built a solid career for himself as a gritty and brilliant soul/rhythm and blues artist when he went into the studio on December 7, 1967 to cut one of the classic songs in American music history. Three days later he was dead in a plane crash.

“(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” topped the American singles charts for a month during early 1967 and made him a superstar after his death. He was elected to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1989, received a Lifetime Grammy Award in 1999, and honored on a United States postage stamp during 1993.

While Redding consistently placed songs on the rhythm and blues charts as well as the pop charts, it was as a live performer that he achieved his early fame. His performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival was legendary and helped introduce him to a white audience.

The Concord Music Group has added to his live music legacy with the release of the two disc-CD my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Live On The Sunset Strip.

During the spring of 1966, Redding arrived in Los Angeles to perform at the Hollywood Bowl with such acts as Donovan, Sonny & Cher, and The Mamas & The Papas. He stayed in the city following the concert to play four nights at the Whiskey A Go Go, April 7-10. While some of the material has been issued in both CD and LP form through the years, the actual complete shows have remained in the archives.

Three complete sets, in order, with introductions and vocal banter make their debuts on this CD set. The 24 year old Redding is backed by his 12 piece band and is at the height of his vocal and performing power.

The second show of the third set is the tightest and probably the most conservative of the three sets presented. Six minute plus renditions of “I Can’t Turn You Loose” and “Satisfaction” form the foundation of show. His performance of “Respect” is both emotional and passionate.

Set one of the third show finds him reaching his emotional peak with a stirring version of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.” “Chained and Bound” at seven and a half minutes proves that he can mesmerize an audience with extended versions of his material. Redding again performs “Satisfaction” and “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” but they are subtle differences from the first show, which keeps them fresh.

It is the second set of show three that is the crown jewel of the release. It is a 12 song extravaganza with a ten minute performance of “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” that will leave you drained. Also included are “Mr. Pitiful” and a cover of The Beatles “A Hard Day’s Night.”

His band is tight and provides a solid foundation for his vocals. The sound quality is excellent, particularly considering it was recorded over forty years ago.

Live On The Sunset Strip captures a young and vital Otis Redding on the verge of stardom. It presents as accurate a picture of his live show as we are liable to receive. For any fan of the ‘60s or rhythm and blues, this release is essential.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


I beleive every word of your review. I saw a concert clip of Otis Redding singing "satisfaction" I've wanted a full live album of his ever since. I can't wait to get this.

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