Release Info: Otis Redding - Live in London and Paris 1967 [2008 Stax]
When the Love Generation (which, truthfully, did no better with that emotion than any other Generation) got its first real glimpse of soul giant Otis Redding at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 backed by Booker T. & the MG's, a powerhouse band if there ever were one, they saw love with a capital L, because Redding sang love songs like the world was about to end, wringing the emotion out of them like a soulful, urgent hurricane. He was, simply put, an unstoppable force on-stage, taking all the energy of gospel and upping the ante until it seemed like the very sky itself was about to fly off into space from the very power of it. Redding was soul, and soul in every fiber of his being. The two sets included here, which predate the Monterey performance by a couple of months, were recorded in London (March 17) and Paris (March 21) on the Stax/Volt package tour of Europe in 1967, and they just might be even more astounding (particularly the Paris night) than the Monterey set. Working again with the MG's, with the horns of the Mar-Keys along for extra kick, Redding burns the house down in both of these sets, wringing every last bit of energy out of Sam Cooke's "Shake" until it seems the universe is about to come off its hinges, turning "Try a Little Tenderness" into a silken caress, making "I've Been Loving You Too Long" into an anthem for the hopeless arc of love, and taking "Day Tripper" to places the Beatles could only dream about, all with the MG's and the Mar-Keys churning behind him like a huge, funky turbine. This was Stax soul in all its ragged, vital glory. The original tapes of these sets (Atlantic issued an LP of the London show in 1967) have been reassembled and restored for this release, and the end result is a stunning reminder of what a giant Redding was. You want to know about love? Drop this in your player.