#443 – Sam Cooke – Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 (Released 1985)
Sam Cooke is simultaneously one of the greatest and most vexing artists in the history of soul music. He is without question one of the finest singers of all time, regardless of genre, and is one of the foundational, genre-defining artists of soul music. At the same time, his ambitions ran so clearly toward pop superstardom, that his material can be a bit of a mixed bag. Songs like “Bring it on Home to Me” and “A Change is Gonna Come” are absolute masterpieces of recorded music. Songs like “Everybody Likes to Cha Cha Cha,” far less so. And then in the middle are the majority of his songs–pop confections like “Cupid” and “What a Wonderful World” that are elevated to the status of art by the exquisiteness of his voice.
Among the big names of soul music, his voice is unique for its exceptional smoothness. There is a light…
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