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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Golden tenor of "Soul" re-born...
This release is another of the outstanding archive renovations that brought the world "The Rolling Stones" re-issues in 2002.
Yet again the same team that brought the world that restoration has done this compliation of "Sam Cooke's" recordings from 1951-1964.
The mastering process was done by the awesome "Bob Ludwig",who has in the past done such re-issues as...
Published on 2 Dec. 2003 by Milt M. R. Ingarfield

versus
14 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warts and All
Sam Cooke's voice is still unrivalled-simple fact!
He didn't invent soul, but he had a major part in its' rise and was one of the first black artists to sell across the race divide-more facts.
Unfortunately, like everyone else, he had great days, good days, OK days and bad days. That extended to the recording studio, and this compilation faithfully echoes the...
Published on 2 Aug. 2005 by The BlackFerret


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...You Send Me..." - Portrait Of A Legend 1951-1964 by SAM COOKE (2003 Abkco DSD CD Remasters), 13 Jan. 2015
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Portrait Of A Legend (Audio CD)
For over 10 years I've been meaning to review this small slice of Audio magnificence by the mighty Sam Cooke - and now with its price hovering just above a five-pound note - it's time to plug its merits as a bargain-CD par excellence. "You Send Me" is damn right...here are the Soul Man details...

Originally US released June 2003 - "Portrait Of A Legend 1951-1964" by SAM COOKE on Abkco 9872418 (Barcode 602498724187) breaks down as follows (79:25 minutes):

1. Touch The Hem Of His Garment (1957, USA 7" single on Specialty 896, A) - written by Sam Cooke and credited to The Soul Stirrers
2. Loveable (1957, USA 7" single on RCA 596, A - credited as Dale Cook)
3. You Send Me (1957, USA 7" single on Keen 3-4013, A)
4. Only Sixteen (1959, USA 7" single on Keen 3-2022, A)
5. (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons (1958, USA 7" single on Keen 3-4002, A)
6. Just For You (1961, USA Promo-Only 7" single on Sar Records 596, A)
7. Win Your Love For Me (1958, USA 7" single on Keen 3-2006, A)
8. Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha (1959, USA 7" single on Keen 3-2018, A)
9. I'll Come Running Back To You (1958, USA 7" single on Specialty 619. A)
10. You Were Made For Me (1958, USA 7" single on Keen 3-4009, A)
11. Sad Mood (1960, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-7816, A)
12. Cupid (1961, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-7883, A)
13. Wonderful World (1960, USA 7" single on Keen 82112, A)
14. Chain Gang (1960, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-7783, A)
15. Summertime (1959, USA 7" single on Keen 3-4013, A)
16. Little Red Rooster (1963, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-8247, A)
17. Bring It On Home To Me (1962, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-8036, A) - with Lou Rawls on Backing Vocals
18. Nothing Can Change This Love (1962, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-8088, A)
19. Sugar Dumpling (1965, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-8631, A)
20. (Ain't That) Good News (1963, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-8299, A)
21. Meet Me At Mary's Place (1966, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-8934, A) - features The Soul Stirrers on Backing Vocals
22. Twistin' The Night Away (1962, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-7983, A)
23. Shake (1964, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-8486, A)
24. Tennessee Waltz (1964, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-8368, B to "Good Times")
25. Another Saturday Night (1963, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-8164, A)
26. Good Times (1964, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-8368, A)
27. Having A Party (1962, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-8036, B-side to "Bring It On Home To Me")
28. That's Where It's At (1964, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-8426, B-side to "Cousin Of Mine")
29. A Change Is Gonna Come (1964, USA 7" single on RCA Victor 47-8486, B-side of "Shake")
30. Jesus Gave Me Water (1951 1st Recording Session for Speciality with The Soul Stirrers)
31. 8 Bars Of Soul - Hidden Track [See NOTES below]

A small army of skilled experts were involved in this prestigious project on the audio front (the results are sensational) - Restoration Producers were JODY KLEIN and TERI LANDI, Analogue To Digital Transfers were carried out by Teri Landi, RICK ESSIG and MICK GOCHANOUR, Sound Restoration by STEVE ROSENTHAL, DSD (Direct Stream Digital) Engineer GUS SKINAS (and others) and finally mastering by the legendary engineer BOB LUDWIG.

While the opening tracks from the Fifties are really good - it's not until you get to the late Fifties and Sixties does the sound hit you for six - every song properly gorgeous. The combination of his simple tunes, that sublime genuinely Soulful voice and the fabulous Production Values afforded to his recordings - gives a combo that will have your jaw hit the carpet on more than one occasion. In my estimation there are only two other artists with this level of audio brilliance and care bestowed on them - Roy Orbison's Monument recordings and Elvis Presley's stay at RCA (both Mono and Stereo remasters handled by Vic Anesini). I remember hearing these Sam Cooke remasters back in 2003 when they were first issued on a Hybrid SACD/CD disc in a card digipak (nowadays this reissue sports a jewel case but still has the excellent 24-page booklet with the track-by-track PETER GURALNICK liner notes) - I was blown away then - and relistening to them in 2015 is no different.

Take a song like "Nothing Can Change This Love" - the audio quality achieved here is juts beautiful - the fantastically cool swagger of "Little Red Rooster" with stunning Organ jabs from Billy Preston is the same. By the time you get to the glorious majesty of "A Change Is Gonna Come" in Stereo with its gospel-stirring melody and message of equality and integration - resistance is frankly futile. Sam Cooke was one of the greatest singers to have ever graced the planet - and on a song like "A Change Is Gonna Come" - touched by something way bigger than ego.

A point worth making is that "Portrait..." is an overall career retrospective - many who bought "The RCA Albums Collection" 8CD box set (which I've also reviewed) were disappointed to find that it did not contain any of the huge Keen Records hits from early in his career - stuff like "You Send Me", "Cupid", "Only Sixteen" and "(What A) Wonderful World" - some of his most famous and beloved songs. This set has those gems in fabulous audio. Other stunners include "Bring It On Home To Me" with Lou Rawls giving it some superb duet vocals (Sam gracefully letting him shine) and the lovely optimism that permeates through "That's Where It's At" and "Just For You".

It ends where Sam Cooke started - his first recording session in 1951 with The Soul Stirrers for Art Rupe's Specialty label - even then he sounded angelic in the truest sense of the word. As I've pointed out above - there's an unannounced hidden 31st track called "8 Bars Of Soul". It's 36 seconds of an interview Cooke did with the progressive US DJ Nathan "Magnificent" Montague (championed Soul music and non-violence) who asks Sam to sing "8 Bars Of Soul" (which Cooke dutifully hums). Nathan then ominously purrs to his listening audience - "Sam Cooke's yours...he'll never grow old..."

And he doesn't grow old in our hearts...because of quality restoration work like "Portrait Of A Legend..."
There are other compilations but don't settle for less - this is the one...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'A GREAT ALBUM OF MEMORIES FROM THE LEGENDARY 'SAM COOKE', 4 Feb. 2015
By 
rbmusicman (U.K) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Portrait Of A Legend (Audio CD)
Singer/Songwriter 'Sam Cook' was born in 'Clarksdale, Mississippi' in 1931 his early music interest was 'Gospel' and is
credited with being an early innovator of Soul-Music inspiring many notable artists, in the 'States' he achieved 30 Chart
entries, his first was 'You Send Me' which Topped the U.S Charts during 1957 and reached number '29' the following year
here in the U.K.
I myself have fond memories of his 'Pop-Style' U.K entries in the early 60's such as 'Only Sixteen' (Chart '23' 1959) -
'Wonderful World' (Chart '27' 1960) 'Chain Gang' (Chart '9' 1960) 'Cupid' (Chart '7' 1961) 'Twisting The Night Away' (Chart
'6' 1962) 'Another Saturday Night' (Chart '23' 1963) also in 63' 'Frankie And Johnny' (Chart '30') the latter not actually on
board this release.
The U.K Hits I've always felt were worthy of higher Chart-Positions...the songs are indeed memorable for those of us that
lived the era, and indeed love the sounds of the era.
The songs 'Wonderful World' and 'Another Saturday Night' did re-chart in 1986 'Wonderful World' peaking at number '2' (U.K)
This very talented artist died 'December 11th 1964' he was shot by a Hotel Manager in Los Angeles, at the inquest the
verdict was 'Justifiable Homicide' an incident and verdict friends and family have frequently questioned.
This 30 Track CD is truly a great reflection of the man's music, containing most of the numbers many of us fondly remember.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 107, 21 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Portrait Of A Legend (Audio CD)
This 30 song career-spanning survey of the scintillating soul singer Sam Cooke, displaces RCA's magisterial but out-of-print mid-'80s release The Man and His Music, as the most comprehensive single volume collection of the man's work available. That 28 track effort included a great many of his best 1950s and 1960s sides: the likes of 'A Change Is Gonna Come'; 'Bring It On Home To Me'; 'Chain Gang'; 'Shake'; 'Somebody Have Mercy'; 'Touch The Hem Of His Garment', and 'Wonderful World' all featured. Sensibly, Portrait of a Legend includes these as well - but does make a few minor adjustments to that double LP. The first is that it drops half a dozen or so tracks from the running order (including 'That's Heaven to Me'), and adds a couple of new ones in instead (such as closer 'Jesus Gave Me Water'). Secondly, there are some hefty, informed liner notes here - where they were totally absent on that album - by one of his biographers, Peter Guralnick, which look into the background of each song. The result is a 79 minute, CD-filling collection that in Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, was ranked at 107.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best soul singer, 26 Mar. 2008
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This review is from: Portrait Of A Legend (Audio CD)
Sam Cooke was a musical genius. As a performer, singer and songwriter he excelled and surpassed all his competitors. This essential compilation (Only When a boy falls in love is missing among these best songs) shows his development, his growing from gospel and pop gems to A change is gonna come, one of the best songs in history. His style of singing is so awesome it may take a few listening to realize in full, because it's done with such ease that is almost a miracle. His effortless melisma, his golden tone, his "feeling" (after all, that's what soul music is about) are haunting, as so many singers who try (in vain) to match it, even in our days, show. More than 40 years after his death, songs like You send me, Chain gang, Wonderful world (I fell in love with it thanks to "Witness", of course), Cupid (And with this one thanks to "Innerspace"), and of course A change is gonna come still sound fresh and gloriously beautiful. Only if you have all the songs of this set already you shouldn't buy the CD. For the rest of the world, there are no excuses to miss it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest soul singer, the finest songs..., 29 Nov. 2006
This review is from: Portrait Of A Legend (Audio CD)
Since the 1980s issue of "The Man And His Music" it has been hard to get hold of a comprehensive Sam Cooke compilation. This makes a very fine effort, starting with sublime gospel of "Touch The Hem Of His Garment", this takes a fascinating journey through the classic perfect pop of much of Mr Cooke's output to the sombre, majestic, stunning "A Change Is Gonna Come". The definitive version of this song is here. Aretha does it well, Otis does it well, The Neville Brothers did it ok and even Beverley Knight did a respectable version on "Later With Jools Holland..." This is the definitive version.

The man's voice is pure gold, his songwriting pen is instinctive and contained herein is some of the greatest pop music ever made, some of the finest soul and one of the greatest songs recorded in the last fifty years.

Peter Guralnack's excellent liner notes are a bonus.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Right portrait of a soul legend, 2 Jan. 2014
By 
Koos "Koos Reitsma" (Groningen, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Portrait Of A Legend (Audio CD)
As a teenager I did not listen so much to soulmusic or to Sam Cooke. All I knew was the beautiful song "A wonderful world". It was only later when I start to dig into the history of music that I came to understand the importance of Sam Cooke. At the same time I started to listen to a singer capability of singing and voice control. After having read different articles about Sam Cooke I decided a few years to buy this record.

Definitely no regrets. The title 'portrait of a legend' tells it all. It's a very good collection of songs giving a good overview of his career: well know songs like 'Send Me", 'Wonderful World' and 'A change is gonna come' are included. The record also contains a few songs that had not been available before. Instant favorite 'just for you' is one of them. It's song that expresses Sam Cooke his quality for 100%, especially if you consider that a. he wrote the song b. took care of the arrangement and c. also delivers the backgroundvocals. Just listen to the two waves of lines within the song.

Portrait of a legend is an excellent portrait of a soullegend. It is a perfect introduction into the world of Sam Cooke. It is a well balanced collection of songs. Every singer should listen closely to Cooke attitude towards delivering "who-ho-ho" before starting wiht "oehs" and "aahs" in a song.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pioneer of soul music, 13 Aug. 2005
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Portrait Of A Legend (Audio CD)
Whether Sam really was the first soul singer as some people claim, I'm not sure, though he has a strong claim to the title. In any event, this is an excellent collection of his music.

Sam made his breakthrough with You send me, which went all the way to number one in America (where it sold a couple of million) though it barely made the top thirty in Britain. In the fifties, when music was often racially segregated, this was quite an achievement. Sam was well aware of the problems, as is clear from his song, A change is gonna come. The change did come (to some extent, at least) though Sam, murdered aged just 33, did not live to see it.

Another important American hit, Only sixteen, fared slightly better than You send me in the UK despite being covered by Craig Douglas who took the song to the very top of the UK charts. Sam's version of Wonderful world, another huge American hit, again only registered in the UK top thirty at the time of its original release, though Brits grew to love this song, with Herman's Hermits also having a big hit in the sixties. Sam's version made number two in the UK when re-issued in 1986.

Sam finally achieved success in the UK when Chain gang, Cupid and Twisting the night away all made the top ten. Only two more UK hits followed - Another Saturday night (which Cat Stevens covered in the seventies) and Frankie and Johnny (not included here), both of which made the top thirty. However, Sam had many more (and bigger) hits in his homeland, where his music was better appreciated. There are many other great songs here, too numerous to mention.

This is a better compilation than the earlier one titled The man and his music, featuring more tracks, extensive liner notes and even better sound quality. Many of the songs are the same but there are a few differences, although all the essentials are on both collections.

If you enjoy Sam's music, this is the best compilation yet released. If you are new to his music, you are in for a real treat if you buy this. Sam's role in the development of soul music cannot be over-estimated.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars top class album shame the case is pants, 7 Jan. 2005
wow what a fantastic cd album of sam cookes best hits and the sound is top draw stuff if you have a sacd player and speakers to hear it on. but the case packaging as another reviewer as said is pants, as soon as i had removed the plastic film the booklet fell out of the case and as ripped from the staples inside. why do record companys think we want rubbish digi pack packaging as i would have kindly paid more money to have better case and covers than digipak rubbish. what a shame as this man and his music sould be wrapped up in gold......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Get This Work Of Art!., 2 Nov. 2014
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Stunning vinyl remaster LP and the LP Album itself, is so classy and really a top notch package. As for the great Sam Cooke, he would love this a real master.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality music from the 60's, 20 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Portrait Of A Legend (Audio CD)
Brilliantly remastered resulting in excellent sound quality plus a good song list. Highly recommended if you are into the 60's
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