"But 'Dock of the Bay' wasn't an ending, or shouldn't have been. Rather, it was a beginning. According to the song's co-author, Steve Cropper, Redding was obsessed with the Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (which had come out weeks before Redding wrote the song), and was looking to 'change his style.' And 'Dock of the Bay' is a remarkable turning point in Redding's catalogue: By 1967 he had mastered the barn-burning dance number and the candlelit love ballad, but 'Dock of the Bay' is another thing entirely, a song about homesickness that Redding turns into something elemental, existential. It's been covered by artists ranging from Bob Dylan to Sammy Hagar--understandable considering it's one of the best songs ever written--but no rendition approaches the power and depth of Redding's original. It is personal, bold, warm and warming, completely magnificent. And written and performed by a man who was only 26 years old."
Jack Hamilton at The Atlantic praises Otis Redding.