The Durutti Column – Otis


Another sleepless night for me…

My favorite guitarist of all time, Vini Reilly, was also a pioneer with regards to sampling in an ostensibly rock context. His Factory Records label boss, mentor, and best friend Tony Wilson famously discouraged Vini’s use of vocals in Durutti Column recordings, feeling he was far better at literally every aspect of music creation other than singing.

This obviously contributed to his daring and invigorating use of sampling (and later, frequent female guest vocalists), highlighted by this brilliant piece from the center of his eponymous Vini Reilly LP, released in 1989.

It’s called Otis:

A rising arpeggio gives way to a typically gorgeous guitar ramble before the song slides into perfection with recontextualized phrases from Otis Redding‘s (also typically gorgeous) Pain In My Heart and Tracy Chapman‘s heartbreaking Behind The Wall (listen, seriously) and cements its place in any hypothetical Top 10 Durutti Column song countdown.

I must note that, indeed, a far more famous and recent use of a classic Redding sample exists, but Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s same-named Otis borrows far more liberally (and literally) from Try A Little Tenderness…  which I’ve always found quite affecting in a certain other context:

You basically owe it to yourself and the perennially under-acknowledged Durutti Column to get the album at Really, buy any of his nearly 2 dozen albums. Anywhere.

6 thoughts on “The Durutti Column – Otis

    • Awesome, I’m happy I could help with the inspiration! The 2cd set from Kooky is the one to get – I wish it could get a vinyl reissue but this easily suffices for now. The bonus material looks great, and better than what’s on my older Factory 1cd reissue


  1. Great to see some new posts here – reminds me that i still need to pick up the 2cd version of this. Have you had a chance to hear the new one, Chronicle? Supposedly it was on sale at a gig earlier in the year (one that i almost went to, but couldn’t quite put together the money for it – a huge regret) but isn’t on general release yet.


    • I have not heard Chronicle although I desperately need to. I’d buy it if I could – not on sale – and I’d handily download it if that was an option, but it seems those who do own it have not heard of sharing!


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