Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Otis Clay

  • Soul Man--Live in Japan [Rooster Blues, 1985] C+
  • I'll Treat You Right [Bullseye Blues, 1992] Choice Cuts

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Soul Man--Live in Japan [Rooster Blues, 1985]
Clay is obviously no Al Green. He's no Syl Johnson either. He's not even O.V. Wright. He's not James Carr or Howard Tate or Jimmy Lewis or Benny Latimore or McKinley Mitchell or Z.Z. Hill. Having never cracked the r&b top twenty, he made one half decent album for Hi in 1973, and his broad delivery has gained no discernible acuity since. In short, he's a journeyman, and no matter what adoring Japanese innocents think, he's dull and overstated both. I know he's got Hi Rhythm behind him, but would you buy an Eddie Floyd album for Booker T. & the M.G.s--especially with Teenie Hodges taking an endless organ solo? Those whose answer to the above question is a proud yes are making this an exhibit in their Soul Forever campaign. I say it's evidence for the opposition. C+

I'll Treat You Right [Bullseye Blues, 1992]
"Thanks a Lot" Choice Cuts

See Also