As I continue to grow and document my collection of old soul records, I figured I would write up each of these Otis Redding records individually as opposed to just trying to cram in everything I want to say into one review about the entire box set. That said, I really like having the box set as a whole, I just wish it had included the other main posthumous albums so I could have everything in one nice and easy set.
First up is Otis Redding's debut album, Pain In My Heart. As great as it is, you really can tell this is his first release. It's a little sparser than some of his other albums and in a lot of ways you can hear how he was still trying to find his voice. The really plays like a collection of random songs than it does a cohesive album. It's a little scattershot with a few chugging rockabilly songs, some slower soul ballads and a somewhat unnecessary version of "Louie Louie."
But, when Otis is playing to his strengths on songs like "Pain In My Heart" and "Security" you can tell that he's really, really close to hitting on the formula that he's been looking for. Pain In My Heart may not be the Otis album crammed with the most hits, but it's probably the only record of his where you really see his talents coming together. By his next album he emerged a full blown soul superstar, so it's really interesting to listen to his first crack at it, even if there are a few moments that don't hold up as well as the others.
Otis Redding - "Pain In My Heart":
Otis Redding - "Security":