Otis Clay

Soul Man: Live in Japan

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Thankfully, Otis Clay is an artist who refused to change with the times. When the R&B audience embraced disco and, later, urban contemporary, the hard-edged belter wisely stuck with the type of raw, unapologetically Southern-sounding soul that put him on the map. Though he calls Chicago home, Clay's approach has always shouted "Memphis!" in no uncertain terms. A 41-year-old Clay was clearly very much in his prime when this magnificent live date was recorded in 1983. Sparing no passion on such treasures as "Holding on to a Dying Love" and Al Green's "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)," Clay illustrates why his small yet devoted following holds him in such high regard. One of the most pleasant surprises is the ballad "Love Don't Love Nobody." While the Spinners' excellent hit version boasted a sleek Philly soul production, Clay takes the gem straight to Memphis.

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