John Newman talks Otis Redding in Record That Changed My Life 4 years ago

John Newman talks Otis Redding in Record That Changed My Life

Record That Changed My Life.

In the fifth episode of JOE's Record That Changed My Life series, singer John Newman dissects Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul by Otis Redding and tells us what it is that makes the 1965 album so special.


Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul is essentially an Otis Redding covers album, bar three songs. Adding his own spin to Sam Cooke's "Change Gonna Come", The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "My Girl" by The Temptations, the album went on to be ranked 74 on the Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list. It also featured a song written by Redding called "Respect" that a lady by the name of Aretha Franklin went on to record and transform into an international women's anthem.

John Newman is the singer/songwriter who rose to prominence when "Love Me Again", the lead single from his debut album Tribute, went straight in at number one on the UK chart. Aside from other big songs such as "Feel the Love" with Rudimental and "Not Giving In", Newman went on to top the charts again featuring on the Calvin Harris song "Blame".

Discussing how Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul helped him during a really dark period of his life following the death of two of his friends in a car crash, Newman gives a detailed account of how he found the album in a library in Leeds when he asked the librarian for something that was going to change his life. Educating us on the history of Stax Records while also throwing in a little bit about Motown, he also explains how "Change Gonna Come" influenced his own songwriting.


"I remember walking home kicking my old dirty pumps along the floor thinking 'I’m very excited to listen to this.' So I walk into my flat that’s got plates covered in 10 day old food and mould everywhere - it was a tiny studio flat with cigarette butts everywhere and booze everywhere. I kinda locked the door and went back into my little igloo and put this on.It was something that instantly inspired me both in a way for music and for my personal life. I mean songs like 'Change Gonna Come', it’s such a… people might call it a depressing song or an emotive song but the positivity from taking negativity within a song, it’s one of the key things I brought into my music."

Watch John Newman's Record That Changed My Life below:

John Newman's new single "Fire In Me" is out now. Listen to it here.