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Today: Otis Redding released I’ve Been Loving You Too Long in 1965 – 48 years ago

otis redding i've been loving you

Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” is an R&B hit love ballad of the ’60s that has lost none of its soulful power with the passing decades. Redding’s success with the single was second only to that of his ever-popular classic “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.”
~Joslyn Lane (allmusic.com)

I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” became Redding’s first Top 40 single, in June 1965. And when Redding performed a scorching drawn-out version at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 — in front of the audience he called “the love crowd” — the single made the transition from hit to legend.

I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (Monterey ’67):

otis redding 1967 montery


Released April 19, 1965
Format 7″ single
Recorded Miami: 1965
Genre Soul
Length 2:49 (mono version, April 1965)
3:09 (stereo version, July 1965)
Label Volt/Atco
Producer Otis Redding
Jerry Butler

I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (sometimes issued as “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)”) is a song written by Otis Redding and Jerry Butler. It appeared as the A-side of a 1965 hit single by Otis Redding – and subsequently appeared on his thirdalbum, Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul. Although Redding had been appearing in the U.S. Billboard Pop and R&B charts as early as 1962, this was his first big hit, reaching #21 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was his first Top 5 Billboard R&B chart, peaking at #2. The B-side of the single “Just One More Day,” was also a minor hit, reaching #15 on the R&B and #85 on the Pop chart. The song is ranked #110 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

otis blue

Album version:


I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now) by Otis Redding
I’ve been loving you too long to stop now

There were time and you want to be free
My love is growing stronger, as you become a habit to me
Oh I’ve been loving you a little too long
I dont wanna stop now, oh
With you my life,
Has been so wonderful
I can’t stop now

There were times and your love is growing cold
My love is growing stronger as our affair [affair] grows old
I’ve been loving you a little too long, long,
I don’t want to stop now
oh, oh, oh
I’ve been loving you a little bit too long
I don’t wanna stop now
No, no, no

Don’t make me stop now
No baby
I’m down on my knees Please, don’t make me stop now
I love you, I love you,
I love you with all of my heart
And I can’t stop now
Don’t make me stop now
Please, please don’t make me stop now
Good god almighty I love you
I love you, I love you, I love you
I love you, I love you
I love you in so many different ways…
I love you in so many different ways….

otis redding

Live 1967 – London:

Notable cover versions:

  • The first cover of the song was a recording by The Rolling Stones in 1965 — shortly after Redding’s original version became a hit.
  • The most widely known cover version of the song was by Ike & Tina Turner in 1968. It was the lead track from their 1968 Blue Thumb album entitled Outta Season.
    Live at Altamont Festival 1969:
  • Aretha Franklin recorded a cover for her album Young, Gifted and Black (1972).

Playlist of the day:

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Continue reading Today: Otis Redding released I’ve Been Loving You Too Long in 1965 – 48 years ago

Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul


From Wikipedia:

Released September 15, 1965
Recorded April 19 and July 9–10, 1965
Stax Recording Studios
(Memphis, Tennessee)
Genre Soul, R&B
Length 32:22
Label Volt/Atco
Volt 412
Producer Jim StewartIsaac HayesDavid Porter

Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul, or simply Otis Blue, is the third studio album by soul singer Otis Redding, released September 15, 1965 on Stax Records. “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” was originally recorded and released as a mono single in April 1965 whilst the rest of Otis Blue was recorded in a 24-hour period over July 9/10, and mainly features cover songs by popular R&B and soul artists. Two other original songs, “Ole Man Trouble” and “Respect”, were written during the sessions in the Stax Recording Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.

Otis Blue was critically acclaimed upon release and became Redding’s most successful studio album to date, peaking at number 6 on the UK Albums Chart, and his first to reach the top spot of the Billboard R&B chart. Furthermore, it produced three popular singles, all charting at least in the top 50 on both the Billboard R&B and the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It is considered by many critics to be Redding’s first fully realized album.


After Otis Redding‘s appearance in a session with guitarist Johnny Jenkins, producer and co-founder of Stax RecordsJim Stewart. was so deeply affected by Redding’s rendition of “These Arms of Mine” that he signed him immediately. Following the moderately successful Pain in My Heart and The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads, both of which performed well in the newly-established Billboard R&B LP chart but not in the Billboard 200, preparations for the third studio album followed soon after. The album would be Redding’s third studio album and second on Stax’s sister label Volt.

Redding recorded the album with the Stax’s house band Booker T. & the M.G.’s—guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn, drummer Al Jackson Jr.—pianist Isaac Hayes and a horn section consisting of members of the Mar-Keys and the Memphis Horns. The album was recorded in two sessions, lasting from July 9 to 10, between Saturday 10 pm and Sunday 2 am,  as the backing band had to omit several gigs. The album opens with “Ole Man Trouble”, which was finished on the sessions earlier than other songs, and was later released as a B-side of “Respect“. 

The fifth track, “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long“, was the only one not recorded during the 24-hour session. It was, together with “Respect”, recut in stereo during the Otis Blue-session, with the remarkable change that on the latter song the line “hey hey hey” was sung by Earl Sims and not by Redding, while the first song was completely rewritten. “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” was released with B-side “I’m Depending on You” and became a number-two hit on Billboard‘s R&B chart.

Critical Response:

  • Otis Blue has been regarded by music critics as the Redding’s best work. Bruce Eder of Allmusic wrote that “Redding’s powerful, remarkable singing throughout makes Otis Blue gritty, rich, and achingly alive, and an essential listening experience.” He also felt the album “presents his talent unfettered, his direction clear, and his confidence emboldened.”
  • Angus Taylor of BBC Music viewed that it stands “at the crossroads of pop, rock, gospel, blues and soul”, and asserted that the album contains “a set of short, punchy covers and originals, flawlessly ordered to ebb and flow between stirring balladry and foot stomping exuberance”. He dubbed the album “[Redding’s] definitive statement.”
  • Blender music critic Robert Christgau called Otis Blue “the first great album by one of soul’s few reliable long-form artists” and gave its 2004 collector’s edition four out of five stars, which he said “comes with many useless alternate takes, but also with live tracks that preserve for history Redding’s country-goes-uptown style of fun”.
  • Nate Patrin of Pitchfork Media cited the album as “[the] 1960s’ greatest studio-recorded soul LP”, and furthermore stated, “[the album is] a hell of a record, the crowning achievement of a man who could sound pained and celebratory and tender and gritty and proud all at once, with a voice that everyone from John Fogerty to Swamp Dogg to Cee-lo owes a debt to.”
  •  Claudrena N. Harold of PopMatters also praised the diverse sound, which, according to her, is a mixture of “Motown pop, the blues, British rock, and Southern Soul”, although she cited Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul as Redding’s best album.
  • Rolling Stone described the album as “Redding’s true dictionary of soul, a stunning journey through the past and future vocabulary of R&B … documenting a masterful artist rising to … the immense challenge of his times.
  • In The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), Rolling Stone journalist Paul Evans gave Otis Blue five out of five stars and cited the album as Redding’s “first masterwork”.

  • NME ranked it 35 on their list of the “Greatest Albums of All Time”.
  • The album was also ranked 74 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list
  • 92 on Time magazine’s list of the All-Time 100 Greatest Albums
  • included in Q magazine’s Best Soul Albums of All Time list.
  • The album appeared in “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die”

Track listing

  1. “Ole Man Trouble” Otis Redding
  2. “Respect” Redding
  3. “Change Gonna Come” Sam Cooke
  4. “Down in the Valley” Bert Berns, Solomon Burke, Babe Chivian, Joe Martin
  5. “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” Redding, Jerry Butler
  6.  “Shake” Cooke
  7. “My Girl” Smokey Robinson, Ronald White
  8. “Wonderful World” Cooke, Lou Adler, Herb Alpert
  9. “Rock Me Baby” B. B. King
  10. “Satisfaction” Mick Jagger, Keith Richards
  11. “You Don’t Miss Your Water” William Bell


I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (Monterey ’67):




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