Sam Cooke - The Complete Remastered Keen

Sam Cooke is a legend, the King of Soul and as well as being credited as inspiration for greats like Smokey Robinson and Michael Jackson, has left a lasting legacy through samples by more recent acts like 50 Cent, Beenie Man, The Game and B>B.o.B. From this collection of tracks it’s not hard to see why.

Sam Cooke: The Complete Remastered Keen Collection, is a comprehensive compilation of all of Sam’s album and single tracks during his time on Keen Records. Sam’s vocals are crystal clear and smooth, his manner easy and there’s a romantic sweetness to the tracks that could be considered cheesy by many if it was released today. In his first number one ‘You Send Me’ he sings of wanting to marry his girl whenever he kisses her; in ‘You Were Made for Me’ his certainty and pride over his love for his girl, and in the little known ‘Ee-I-Ee-I-Oh’, he wants to kiss kiss here, kiss kiss there (yes, he samples Old McDonald but it’s upbeat, fun and somehow works). It seems the only problem that Sam has in his love life was his girl didn’t know how to cha cha cha (‘Everybody Likes to Cha Cha Cha’) but, gee, he teaches her and everything works out in the end.

There’s soul, there’s pop, there’s doo-wop and there’s gospel – it really is a complete collection. And no Sam Cooke collection would be without the superbly uplifting affirmation of love that is ‘(What a Wonderful) Wonderful World’.

So while anyone who has seen Mad Men would know that things were not nearly as innocent in the late 50s and early 1960s as they seem in his songs, it’s nice to suspend belief. In a time when Wynter Gordon’s telling us all about how she’s ‘no angel’, Snoop Dogg wants to make us sweat and Flo Rida has yet another video filled with semi-clad bikini beauties, Sam Cooke is a refreshing change.

Overall

8

out of 10

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