Friday, December 14, 2018

Certain Songs #1400: Otis Redding – “Something is Worrying Me” | Medialoper

Album: Pain in My Heart
Year: 1964

While that percentage would drop a bit on his next few albums, Otis Redding wrote or co-wrote about half of his debut album, and nearly all of side two, which interspersed covers of “Lucille” and “Louie Louie” in between four originals, one of which was “Something is Worrying Me,” the horn-and-drum driven highlight of the record.

When you’ve got a band as dynamite as Booker T & The MGs backing you up, somebody is always going to step up on nearly every single song. In the case of “Something is Worrying Me,” that somebody was drummer Al Jackson, Jr, who alternated flawless time with sparse snare rolls that propelled “Something is Worrying Me” ever forward.

At first, you might not even notice Jackson, as the horns are front-and-center throughout, doing almost a call-and-response with Otis throughout the song.

So the main hook was Otis singing “something” followed by the horns repeating him with a two-note motif:

That’s why something (blam! blammmmmm!)
Is worrying me
That’s why something (blam! blammmmmm!)
Is driving me in misery

At first, why you might notice after the horns is Booker T Jones playing around the song with his piano, but eventually Jackson takes the whole thing over.

Initially, he sneaks in after the first chorus, stutter-stepping the song to its second verse, and you start noticing his snare drum, in perfect step with the first horn stab in each chorus. And then you notice the rolls, especially the one that leads to the horn break, which is punctuated by two incredibly loud slams on the snare, which no doubt made them just in the control room.

After that, Jackson lays it on with the snare, competing with the horns, probably just for the hell of it, but in the end, those loud snare hits just become one more hook.

Something is Worrying Me

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