Sam Cooke: Portrait of a Legend 1951-64 (Abkco)

 |   |  <1 min read

Sam Cooke: Just For You
Sam Cooke: Portrait of a Legend 1951-64 (Abkco)

It seems a shame that this great soul singer -- who was shot in strange and sad circumstances in late '64 -- should be relegated to classic hits radio and soundtracks on the basis of a few of his hits: You Send Me, What A Wonderful World, Bring It On Home To Me, Another Saturday Night . . .

Cooke's wonderful gospel-into-pop sound of 1959-65 was covered on the excellent double disc box set Sam Cooke's SAR Records Story (Abkco) which came out in the mid 90s. It is essential listening.

This single disc of his subsequent pop-soul career adequately covers a lot of ground -- 30 tracks which are bookended by the gospel of Touch the Hem of His Garment and Jesus Gave Me Water, and hidden track at the end is Cooke talking about soul then humming a beautiful brief melody.

Between times all those hits (and more) mentioned above are covered, but there is also his great A Change is Gonna Come (which became an unofficial anthem for the civil rights movement), some country music and many gentle ballads.

Cooke's velvet and melodious voice sounded unbeatable on the ballads, ached with soul elsewhere, and could coil around a melody like no other.

For anyone not up for a box set but wanting those great hits and more then this disc -- with good liner notes on each song by Peter Guralnick -- is a fine collection.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Van Morrison: What's Wrong With This Picture? (Blue Note)

Van Morrison: What's Wrong With This Picture? (Blue Note)

Wordsworth, more fool him, peaked early. The first edition of his groundbreaking Lyrical Ballads collection with fellow poet Coleridge was published in 1798 when he was 28. In the following decades... > Read more

Helen Henderson: Twisting Wind (Ranui)

Helen Henderson: Twisting Wind (Ranui)

Tough and often earthy blues rock/alt.country from a New Zealand-born LA raised singer-songwriter who here calls up some big names (guitarist Doug Pettibone, Spooner Oldham on keyboards) whose... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Various: Bollywood Dreams/Bhangra (ARC)

Various: Bollywood Dreams/Bhangra (ARC)

My guess is that if you are asked to do a Bollywood compilation you'd be somewhat spoiled for choice, right? There are some thrilling Bollywood soundtrack albums and bhangra compilations out... > Read more

RANDOM RADIO (2015-16): Archived radio spots

RANDOM RADIO (2015-16): Archived radio spots

Because Elsewhere is so eclectic in its taste, Graham is frequently invited on to various radio programmes to discuss music, great concerts and the passing of some greats (and there have been a few... > Read more