Saturday, April 11, 2009

So effortless



That's what my heart needs - Otis Redding (1963)

This sort of record, of which there were so many in the US, obviates most of "the British invasion", I think. Much as I loved John Lennon's singing and I think he said that he was copying, or at least trying to emulate Arthur Alexander (another US singer), Otis Redding just goes into "another gear". From the first phrase in this recording, which sounds almost folksy, the sheer mastery of both the singing and the accompaniment, makes most of the British/Merseybeat/The Animals etc records seem laboured and fussy by comparison. Just take the drumming, for example, the perfect explosion of the high hat (isn't that what that cymbal type sound is?) which is like a firework going off in the distance, and the mellifluous guitar picking, all going to show that it's not just hitting the notes it's how you play them...