This is particularly bluesy Aretha record, at least based on my very slight knowledge of her catalogue. Though it produced two hits, it infamously did relatively poorly as an album and, listening to it, it’s fairly easy to see why.
Can I tell you how great it is to listen to a Stax record right after a Motown record? It’s pretty damn great. And I must admit that there is a nonzero chance that listening to The Temptations prior to listening to Otis made me like this record even more than I would have normally.
There’s this idea that James Carr’s LP debut (I think it’s his debut) is one of the great underrated soul records of the 1960s, or of any era. I guess that depends upon what you value in your soul.
I didn’t mind Sam & Dave’s debut. It was gritty enough for me and I appreciated the performances and arrangements, even if the songs were not the best. (Soul, at least to me, is always more about the performances than it is about the songs.)