Live! in London and Paris (Stax)
Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, Fri., Dec. 19, 2008
Otis ReddingLive! in London and Paris (Stax)
Otis Redding didn't do anything nice 'n' easy. Live, the Georgian was double-time or bust, dropping blasts of soul power out front of his dynamic backing band, Booker T. & the MGs. This lot, two full-length concerts on one CD, originally from 1967's Live in Europe and Ace Records' 100 Volts series, finds the too-early departed powerhouse at the peak of his prowess. No song is safe. The Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" powers behind the young Mar-Keys' horn wails, while the Beatles' "Day Tripper" gets tossed around like a rag doll. Even Redding's signature ballad, "These Arms of Mine," induces a little more James Brown than its studio cut. Aside from three additional originals included on the Parisian B-side, both sets run identical. Fortunately, there's plenty of heat in the double takes to "Shake" any unwanted redundancy.