Live At The Harlem Square ClubSam Cooke
First Sam Cooke album. I have heard the name before, and I have heard a few of his singles in passing, but this is the first occasion where I listened to an album. The first thing I noticed was the energy in the venue, followed by how raw the production quality is, contrasted by the clean instrumentals. Cooke certainly has a way with words as he carries the energy between songs. In the entire 38 minute run time, I don't think the energy slowed at all. In fact, I was hoping to hear a few more songs before it was all said and done. As mentioned in another review, this album was recorded in January 1963 (just two years before his death), but released in 1985. According to the wikipedia, the record label did not want to tarnish Cooke's pop-soul reputation by releasing the record. They deemed it too raw sounding.