5

Sam Cooke

Night Beat

Sep 1963

With 16 year old Billy Preston before he played with the Beatles and Stones

Sixties Soul and Rhythm'n Blues

Night Beat proves that you should have more Sam Cooke in your collection than just the greatest hits.

Some of his early LPs were too smooth but not 1963’s gorgeous Night Beat, which is a soul, rhythm ‘n’ blues masterpiece. Mr. Soul set about making a record that felt intimate, a singer regaling his audience in a small club. With the aid of RCA’s top Hollywood engineers and equipment – the combination of great material, his silken voice and top quality production values made this LP sizzle.

Studio supremo Vic Anesini went back to the original analogue tapes for the remaster and playing this peach on any format will send a shiver down your spine. Tracks like the piano and organ led Mean Old World’, the slinky Please Don’t Drive Me Away and the smokin’ Little Red Rooster are all liable to have you clicking your fingers and pouring another double scotch. And check out his fabulous take on the Charles Brown classic Fool’s Paradise – sensual soul par excellence.

Sample the simple Ray Johnson piano intro to Get Yourself Another Fool as Sam bemoans his heart’s battered and bruised state. Similar is Laughin’ And Clownin’, a sweet song that sashays around your room like a ballerina. The Ray Johnson piano – the Hall Blaine highhats – Billy Preston’s Organ - the whole record is a wow. The sound is expansive and luxurious, big on presence and full of the expressiveness of Cooke’s voice.

An overlooked gem - Sam Cooke’s Night Beat is one of many great reasons to celebrate vinyl played on a great turntable.