Thursday, October 4, 2012

#75: Sam Cooke - Live At The Harlem Square Club (1963)

Sam Cooke was one of the pioneers of soul music, he's known as the 'King of Soul'. Interestingly enough, he's one of the first black performers to take care of the business side of his career. He was fatally shot when he was only 33 years of age by the manager of the hotel in which he was staying.

Somebody Have Mercy
Dude's got a voice. Very soulful, a little scratchy, he's got the perfect voice for this style of music. It's early 60's soul and it just oozes cool. The only thing better than Sam Cooke is the sax solos. They're breathtaking - it may be 50+ years old but it still moves you, which shows you just how timeless it is. The rest of the music is alright (nothing special) but it does give way to Cooke and the sax.

Bring It On Home To Me
It starts out with this prototypical James Brownish entry: quick hits with some vocals telling a story between the spaces. It's about him calling the operator and he doesn't wanna talk to the operator - he wants to talk to his baby. My only complaint with the track is just that it's too short, it's got such a good vibe to it and as a listener you hope it never ends. It's easily the high point of the concert. Best track on the album.

Having a Party
Other than the two tracks above it's an incredibly repetitive album. It doesn't really matter which song I choose here to highlight. I live for the moments between the songs, because it seems like those were the only moments that change. You can hear inside of songs other songs from the era and you can even sing those over the top. It's not really endearing, it's formulaic.

All in all, it's interesting. I say that because I wanted to enjoy it. I found this album to be much like primitive computers. I can respect and greatly admire how amazing computers were 50 years ago. I can really admire how they did so much with so little. However, just because I can admire it doesn't necessarily mean I want to work on a computer from 50 years ago.

Tomorrow's album: 'N Sync's Celebrity.

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