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Overnight Sensational

Overnight Sensational

3.5 2
by Sam Moore

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Sam Moore could sing the phonebook, and producer Randy Jackson could get that phonebook a record deal and a boatload of guest stars. Together, they've recorded this long-overdue reintroduction of Moore for the American Idol set. It's hard to judge Jackson's affection for Moore: Does he pile on the guest stars as a tribute to Sam's talent, or to sweeten the


Sam Moore could sing the phonebook, and producer Randy Jackson could get that phonebook a record deal and a boatload of guest stars. Together, they've recorded this long-overdue reintroduction of Moore for the American Idol set. It's hard to judge Jackson's affection for Moore: Does he pile on the guest stars as a tribute to Sam's talent, or to sweeten the album's allure for pop fans forgetful of one of soul's signature voices? If it's the former, why such a grab bag of stars -- Sting, Springsteen, Billy Preston -- plus B-list Jackson protégés including Van Hunt and Zucchero? For his part, Sam Moore remains a soul explosion, and when he isn't buried under a guest-star's melisma, his voice rings out with power and authority. Very little seems to have changed since the days of "Hold On, I'm Comin'." And far from the phonebook, Moore is given some great, if occasionally predictable material, including "None of Us Are Free" (mined by Solomon Burke for his Joe Henry-led rebirth) and some country songs along the lines of Conway Twitty's "It's Only Make Believe." For all the gestures to soul and the old school, Jackson smoothes most of the edges off of the instrumentation, and the phoned-in contributions from the raft of guest stars don't even pretend to in-studio spontaneity. Moore, though, takes it in stride, seemingly as pliant to his producer's vision in 2006 as he was in the '60s. That's what used to be known as professionalism, and more than anything, Overnight Sensation proves Moore a consummate pro. He even gives the spotlight over to the late Billy Preston on the closing "You Are So Beautiful." Now that's old-school.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Some sage told us years ago that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and Overnight Sensational is an album with enough good intentions to choke a horse. Sam Moore was one of the great men of 1960s soul as half of Sam & Dave, but like his former partner Dave Prater (who passed away in 1988) once the duo broke up, Moore had a hard time getting a solo career off the ground, and his star turned dim in the '70s. There's no arguing that Sam Moore deserves a second shot at the spotlight, and his voice is still in fine shape, but his wife and manager, Joyce Moore, decided that the best way to relaunch Sam's career was to create an "event" album around him, with a name producer and a gaggle of guest stars. On Overnight Sensational, the name producer turns out to be Randy Jackson, a session musician best known as one of the judges on American Idol, and Jackson has saddled Moore with some dubious choices in terms of material and duet partners (many of whom, judging from the credits, weren't even in the same room with Moore when they recorded their parts). If you ever dreamed of hearing Sam Moore sing songs made famous by Milli Vanilli, Garth Brooks, Seals & Crofts, and Conway Twitty, well, this is your lucky day, but while Moore gives each song his level best, the cheese factor on this album is woefully high. It's true that Moore has a long, rich tradition of singing with a partner, but Wynonna Judd, Paul Rodgers, Fantasia, and Zucchero blend with Moore about as well as oil mixes with water, with Mariah Carey's wordless melismatic wanderings on "It's Only Make Believe" slinking under the line as the album's low point. Fortunately, however, Moore, who must have some spiritual tie to New Jersey, does have a track apiece with Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi, the artists who come off the best by a considerable margin here and consequently save this album's day.

Product Details

Release Date:
Rhino Mod Afw

Related Subjects


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sam Moore   Primary Artist
Travis Tritt   Vocals
Jon Bon Jovi   Vocals
Siedah Garrett   Background Vocals
Billy Preston   Piano,Hammond Organ,Guest Appearance
Paul Rodgers   Vocals
Bruce Springsteen   Guitar,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Sting   Vocals
Steve Winwood   Hammond Organ,Vocals
Jimmy Woods   Harmonica,Background Vocals
Mike Finnigan   Hammond Organ
David T. Walker   Guitar
Robert Bacon   Guitar
Charlie Bisharat   Violin
Michael Bland   Drums
Bekka Bramlett   Vocals,Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Mariah Carey   Vocals,Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Eric Clapton   Guitar,Soloist,Guest Appearance
Vinnie Colaiuta   Drums
Larry Corbett   Cello
Kenneth Crouch   Piano,Keyboards
Joel Derouin   Violin
Sheila E.   Percussion,Guest Appearance
Armen Garabedian   Violin
Billy Gibbons   Guitar,Guest Appearance
Vince Gill   Vocals,Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Gary Grant   Trumpet
Jerry Hey   Trumpet
Dan Higgins   Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Wynonna Judd   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Cornelius Mims   Bass
Greg Phillinganes   Piano,Keyboards,Clavinet
Tommy Simms   Bass
Tommy Sims   Bass
David Stenske   Viola
Crystal Taliefero   Background Vocals
Josefina Vergara   Violin
Randy Waldman   Keyboards
Lionel Cole   Keyboards,Background Vocals
Karen Elaine Bakunin   Viola
Michael Hart Thompson   Guitar
Tim Akers   Keyboards,Clavinet
Tabitha Fair   Background Vocals
Dan Needham   Drums
BeBe Winans   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Sharlotte Gibson   Background Vocals
Randy Jackson   Bass,Background Vocals
John Shanks   Guitar
Reggie C. Young   Trombone
Rudy Stein   Cello
Adie Grey   Background Vocals
Michael Ripoll   Guitar
James "Jamie" Gamble   Drums
Susannah Chapman   Violin
Van Hunt   Vocals
Gerry Hilera   Violin
Robert Randolph   Pedal Steel Guitar,Guest Appearance
Nikka Costa   Vocals
Sonny Thompson   Bass
Alyssa Park   Violin
Steve Richards   Cello
Michelle Richards   Violin
Dan Tobin Smith   Cello
Sherree Ford Brown   Background Vocals
Kenneth Lionel Cole   fender rhodes
Shana Crooks   Background Vocals
Andrew Dickles   Viola
Mario de León   Violin

Technical Credits

Garth Brooks   Composer
Conway Twitty   Composer
Paul Carrack   Composer
Steve Cropper   Composer
Eddie Floyd   Composer
Billy Preston   Composer
Brenda Russell   Composer
Barry Mann   Composer
Jay Mitchell   Programming
Homer Banks   Composer
Thomas Bingham   Composer
Donald Bryant   Composer
Neal Cappellino   Engineer
Dash Crofts   Composer
Stephanie Davis   Composer
Alan Douglas   Engineer
Ahmet Ertegun   Composer
Bruce Fisher   Composer
Jerry Hey   Horn Arrangements
Bernard Miller   Composer
Jack Nance   Composer
Obie O'Brien   Engineer
Ann Peebles   Composer
Toby Scott   Engineer
Diane Warren   Composer
Cynthia Weil   Composer
James Alexander   Composer
Raphael Saadiq   Composer
Suzie Katayama   String Arrangements
John Colbert   Composer
Jim Seals   Composer
Neal Preston   Cover Photo
Randy Jackson   Producer
David Gorman   Art Direction
Mike Rew   Engineer
Zelda Samuels   Composer
Brian Garten   Engineer
Betty Nelson   Composer
Kevin Guarnieri   Engineer
James Towler   Engineer
Keith Gretlein   Engineer
Stuart Benjamin   Executive Producer
Arthur Nakata   Art Direction

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3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw Sam Moore this a.m. while watching Imus on TV. I bought his CD as soon as the stores opened - and I rode around in my car playing it LOUD and enjoying every minute of it. My taste is usually Alan Jackson and Josh Groban, but this CD by Sam Moore is my new favorite. Try it - you won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago