‘I’ve got one more thing’: The amazing one-take story behind a signature Otis Redding hit

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Otis Redding’s 1965 No. 11 R&B hit “I Can’t Turn You Loose” was aptly named, considering that he refused to leave for his next show until guitarist Steve Cropper laid down the song’s famous lick.

“We had recorded in the afternoon,” Cropper tells Ronnie Wood, “and we let the guys go home and eat before they came back for the night gig. Otis Redding’s bus, with his band in it, was waiting outside the studio — and they were saying: ‘Otis, c’mon. We’ve gotta go now, or we’re gonna miss the gig.’ ‘No, no, I’ve got one more thing. One more thing.'”

That thing was “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” which started life as a b-side to the song “Just One More Day,” before eventually becoming a huge hit and then signature concert moment for Redding. The singer asked Cropper to play the opening riff one more time — and they proceeded to put down the master version right then.

“We made one take,” Cropper adds, “and if you listen to it, he kind of sings the same verse over and over again — because he hadn’t finished writing the song yet. We put it all together, while they were sitting on the bus screaming: ‘Otis, get on the bus!'” We did it in about 10 minutes.”

An instrumental version of “I Can’t Turn You Loose” was later used during the introductions for concerts by the Blues Brothers, which featured Cropper. The track was also used in the 1980 film, on the Blues Brothers’ 1978 studio effort Briefcase Full of Blues and as part of the soundtrack of Blues Brothers 2000.

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