One Night Stand! Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
For anyone who thought they knew Sam Cooke's music based on the hit singles, this disc will be a revelation. This is the real Sam Cooke, doing a sweaty, raspy soulful set at the Harlem Square Club in North Miami, FL, on Jan. 12, 1963, backed by King Curtis and his band, a handful of local musicians, and Cooke's resident sidemen, guitarist Clifford White and drummer Albert "June" Gardner. To put it simply, it's one of the greatest soul records ever cut by anybody, outshining James Brown's first live album from the Apollo Theater and easily outclassing Jackie Wilson's live record from the Copa. Cooke's pop style is far removed from the proceedings here, which have the feel of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
For anyone who thought they knew Sam Cooke's music based on the hit singles, this disc will be a revelation. This is the real Sam Cooke, doing a sweaty, raspy soulful set at the Harlem Square Club in North Miami, FL, on Jan. 12, 1963, backed by King Curtis and his band, a handful of local musicians, and Cooke's resident sidemen, guitarist Clifford White and drummer Albert "June" Gardner. To put it simply, it's one of the greatest soul records ever cut by anybody, outshining James Brown's first live album from the Apollo Theater and easily outclassing Jackie Wilson's live record from the Copa. Cooke's pop style is far removed from the proceedings here, which have the feel of being virtually a secular sermon. The record opens with the frantic, desperate chant-like "Feel It," followed by a version of "Chain Gang" that has all of the gentling influences of the single's string accompaniment stripped from it -- Cooke's slightly hoarse voice only adds to the startling change in the song, transformed from a piece of pop-soul into an in-your-face ode to freedom and release. "Cupid," perhaps the most sweetly textured song that Cooke cut during the 1960s, gets the full soul treatment, with horns and Curtis' sax up front and Cooke imparting an urgency here that's only implied in the studio rendition. "Twistin' the Night Away" gets two hot King Curtis sax solos, the highlights of a pounding, rippling performance with a beautifully vamped extended ending with the drums, bass, and White's guitar wrapping themselves ever tighter around the central riff that never would have made it to the floor of the Copa. "Somebody Have Mercy" leads into a long vamp by Cooke, a brief, soaring quotation from "You Send Me" that could easily have been a high point in sheer intensity -- and then Cooke and the band crank the tension and the spirits several notches higher with the greatest version of "Bring It on Home to Me" ever done by anybody. It all ends with a version of "Having a Party" that manages to be both soothing and wrenching at the same time, Cooke luxuriating in every nuance as the crowd joins in singing, reaching a higher pitch to the gently swinging tune, the drums kicking in harder, the rhythm guitar rising up, and Curtis' sax and the horns rising up slowly while Cooke goes on with his singing, which is more like preaching and the group sounds like it could play the riff all night. It's one of the cruel ironies of the recording business that this unique and extraordinary concert recording went unreleased for almost 22 years, in favor of the more polished but also more antiseptic and duller Sam Cooke at the Copa.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/22/2008
  • Label: Tombstone Records
  • EAN: 4988017663769
  • Catalog Number: 34450

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sam Cooke Primary Artist, Vocals
King Curtis Saxophone
Jimmy Lewis Bass, Electric Bass
Cornell Dupree Guitar
Tate Houston Saxophone
George Stubbs Piano
Clifton White Guitar
Albert "June" Garnder Drums
Technical Credits
Sam Cooke Composer
Rod Stewart Author
William Best Composer
Peter Guralnick Liner Notes
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Tony Salvatore Engineer
Bob Simpson Engineer
Rob Santos Reissue Producer, Audio Production
Curtis Ousley Composer
Paul Guralnick Liner Notes
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 3, 2011

    Wow!

    Here is Sam Cooke, arguably the greatest combination Soul, Blues, Gospel, and Romantic Pop singer ever, on stage, giving one of the finest live musical events I've heard. Sam even engages the noisy and appreciative audience in his gentle, cool way, then jams out the place with a fantastic backup band and singers. This is no polite sit down auditorium show, here. The crowd is dancing and carrying on, like they should at a Club. And this vinyl LP issue puts you, the listener, right in the show with them. This is real Club ambience and the finest of performances by Sam.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Missing Link

    Sam could croon and Sam could swing, but here's solid proof that Sam could sing. Rhythm and Blues. For Real. If I could go back in time and do anything, it would be go to this show and lose my mind. No more powerful recording exists in any category.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Greatest Live Album You Could Ask For

    This album takes you for a ride straight from the first track through to the final seconds. It's one of those instances in which something was caught in a recording that could be considered a transcendent example of what human beings can accomplish. The World's failure to passionately embrace the music of Sam Cooke (if not the man himself)stands as one of life's great disappointments. A brilliant songwriter with a voice and charisma that could only be called a gift, Sam Cooke was the daddy of them all. His recordings were so diverse and yet singularly unique entirely him. Catching up on his work is an extremely rewarding experience, and easier all the time as more and more of his work becomes readily avalible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One of the great live albums!

    Sam Cooke was a music legend. He is still very respected in the world of music. People still record his songs. He made music that can be altered a little to create something new and great. He was a master. Just listen to Van Morrison's version of 'Bring It on Home to Me' on his "It's Too Late to Stop Now" CD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews