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|Sam Cooke||Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist|
|Big Mama Thornton||Composer|
|Sam Cooke||Arranger, Composer|
|Joseph F. Laredo||Liner Notes, Essay|
|Barbara Mayson Campbell||Composer|
|Kim Biggs||Art Direction|
Posted October 1, 2010
Posted October 1, 2010
One possible benefit I saw in this coll. was that it skips the song "Another Saturday Night," which has some lyrical moments about "two chicks swinging on my arm" and a girl the protagonist is set up with bearing "a strange resemblance to a cat named Frankenstein" that make me cringe just a little, though the last one is, I admit, rather funny. The song's absence is also a loss though, as it is a good tune and captures a certain mood rather well, I suppose. While it also has pop material, to be sure, it is a grittier collection than the old best of w/ the yellow and black cover. Drawbacks include that the new Portrait of a Legend "1951-1964" collection is rather superior overall, in no small part due to the inclusion of "A Change Is Gonna Come" as well as a couple of songs from Cooke's best gospel work. Some might like the absences if they are allergic to strings ("A Change") or religious music, but they need to grow up and see how beautiful and expressive these songs are. Another downside is the inclusion on this collection "it is not on '54-64"" of "Somebody Have Mercy." This has a really hard to hear lyrical moment, in my view and probably in the view of anyone who cares about the treatment of women, that goes something like this: "... every time I think I got her chained down, she starts acting up again." Hard to believe Cooke could use that language and yet write "A Change Is Gonna Come" in response to racism, but he would not be the first to call for freedom for some group, while not taking women's rights seriously. Someone may accuse me of political correctness, but I find that charge is often leveled by people who are either deluded in thinking oppression, including of others and perhaps themselves, does not exist or matter. Anyway, this is a good collection, but the one called "Portrait of a Legend "1951-1964" is probably the one to get. It is masterful, and does right by Cooke's immense talents as well as his fans. By the way, it continues to drive me nuts how parentheses (which I like using) become quotation marks when you post the review. M. Bazin
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Posted April 27, 2010
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