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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best live R&B albums ever recorded
It's true. Forget the smooth and urbane Sam Cooke from his studio work; this is the real deal, a 38 minute show recorded in Florida in 1963 that captures the primal essence of R&B. Too say Sam sang well is a horrible understatement. He has this crowd in the palm of his hand, and when he turns "You Send Me" (the intro into the "Bring It On Home To...
Published on 17 Aug 2001 by Christoph B. Gondek

versus
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ruining the sound away..
RCA/BMG/Sony is a strange company - they earned billions of dollars on Elvis and they still screwed up almost all Elvis' album reisuess in 90's and in the beginning of this decade with bad mixing and mastering. So, why would Sam Cooke be an exception?
The sound on this cd causes me a headache. A very good and exciting show of one of the greatest singers in popular...
Published on 14 Jun 2009 by I saw the light


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best live R&B albums ever recorded, 17 Aug 2001
By 
It's true. Forget the smooth and urbane Sam Cooke from his studio work; this is the real deal, a 38 minute show recorded in Florida in 1963 that captures the primal essence of R&B. Too say Sam sang well is a horrible understatement. He has this crowd in the palm of his hand, and when he turns "You Send Me" (the intro into the "Bring It On Home To Me" cut) into a white-hot flame of lust and longing, you can hear women fainting in the background, The band he was with that night was amazing as well.
If the film trailers here in the States are any indication, music from this album will be used in the Muhammed Ali film with Will Smith. It should give you a taste of what Sam Cooke was really all about.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't fight it, Feel it!!!, 17 Jun 2005
Boy oh boy oh boy!
This is what a live performance should sound like!
Tight and crammed at 40 mins, but all the blood, sweat, tears, and joy are here for y'all! It's not often you get live versions sounding better than their perfectly rounded and produced counterparts, but Sam takes them into another dimension with that sand papered, raw, and soulful timbre of his. Even 'Cupid,' and 'Twistin' the Night Away' seem to have an unreal and raw edge.
This ain't the smooth pop, no sir. This is the sound of a man who patiently cut his teeth on the chitlin circuit for years, until he made the break and went secular... though, if you think there's a lack of faith or conviction because of this, just play this recording... you'll forget all about your Will Young's and your George Michael's in no time. The beauty is in the simplicity, and that is the key to good music. Boy meets girl, boy falls in love, gets done wrong... yet still is man enough to take it and say, 'Babe, I love you anyway!' Idealistically idyllic!
The band are on fire, too.
SWEET SOUL MUSIC.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mature Sam Cooke!, 25 July 2007
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I can categorically say this album was the cream of Sam Cooke. The reason for saying this, is to counteract the previous comment made by A. Sturley. Sam did not change his voice for this concert. Sam was getting more mature. His voice was breaking. Which I preferred. Had he lived longer, he would'nt be too far of Bobby Womack style or a more polished soul singer. Also with him moving with the times, who knows how he would really sound like had he lived longer. A. Sturley, if you do not believe me, buy and listen to the album (Keep Moving On). Both albums will always make music listeners take notes. The One Night Stand: Live at the Harlem Square Club was Sam Cooke delivering at his very best!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This record is essential..., 16 May 2008
By 
Ben (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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I read a magazine article a few months back about what were the 25 greatest live albums. Granted, it was a rock and roll magazine, but still I felt a considerable pang of disappointment that "One Night Stand: Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club" wasn't featured, as it just about wipes the floor with all of them.

No one can dispute Sam Cooke was an amazing singer, but this record not only underlines that particular fact in the boldest pen possible, but demonstrates he was a showman without equal. This is an astonishing record. A perfectly formed, brilliant emotional journey that Cooke, through his amazing talent, leads you by the hand all the way through.

It's Cooke's grounding in gospel that nails it - much like James Brown "Live At The Apollo" (which Cooke was inspired by sufficiently to lead him to release this record) he acts as the appointed leader of his 'congregation' - and whether the audience noise was dubbed on afterwards or not, I suspect they did indeed all go berserk from the moment he hit the stage.

Far removed from the silky smooth sound that became his trademark, Cooke and his band are far grittier, harder and more energised here. Even during the slow numbers nobody seems willing to hang back to take a breath less the energy should drop even by a fraction. That they all must have worked to the brink of dropping is tangible.

Aside from the performance you of course have the songs - and let's be honest, they remain fantastic. It's almost impossible to pick a highlight, but the obvious choice is the utterly jubilant "Twistin' The Night Away" that eases (and I use that word loosely) into the gorgeous "Somebody Have Mercy".

Some records just beg to be played loud. This is one of them. Enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GREATEST "LIVE" SOUL ALBUM - EVER RECORDED!!!!!, 4 Feb 2005
By A Customer
It is virtually impossible to believe that this CD was recorded in 1963, it sounds as if it was recorded last night!! Who ever
decided to roll the tape here deserves a medal in my opinion as
it captures Sam Cooke like you've never heard him before. This
is Sam Cooke at his ultimate best, raw,vibrant, pulsating soul that comes straight from the roots of gospel. The live albums of Otis Redding, Al Green and others are light years away and fall
flat having heard this..Truly magnificent, If you like Sam Cooke
or soul music then you should buy this CD. You won't regret it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Live Album From The Great Vocalist, 26 Jun 2008
Here we have one of the greatest voices in music playing to a small live audience. The fact that he is singing live doesn't have an affect the quality of his sound. This is such an enjoyable performance to listen to, full of soul, energy, enjoyment and banter. Recorded only about one year before his death, this is Mr. Cooke at his best.

One can only wonder what it would have been like to be there that night, to see him in person, to get involved in the show. The people there must have treasured that experience forever. Not all the tracks are the best from his career, but it is the pure quality of his voice, performance and the atmosphere of the audience that makes this album stand out.

1. Feel It: After getting the crowd warmed up he leaps into his first song which just carries flawlessly to the end. `Don't fight it, don't fight it, don't fight the feeling' he sings and it's hard not to. Such an easy track to get into, nothing amazing, but the beat and the soul that pours forth sets up the mood for the rest of the album.

2. Chain Gang: One of his more well known tracks is next and the transition to live performance is great. Sam has the chance to really get into his zone, grunting and `Ah'-ing and the crowd responds to it as you would expect.

3. Cupid: One of my favourite Cooke songs, Sam here makes it a little funkier and it works. Probably his best vocals of the night.

4. Medley: It's All Right/ For Sentimental Reasons: This is a lesson from Sam to guys about how to talk to your woman. After a brief intro he cracks into this gentle and soulful tune, his vocals as perfect as ever. A seamless link into the second half, as he sings you can imagine him picking out certain women and singing directly to them. He then gets the whole crowd to sing along. Throughout the album he is constantly talking throughout the songs, at the right times, getting the crowd involved and showing us that he is enjoying himself.

5. Twistin' The Night Away: My favourite Sam Cooke song of all time, this is perfect for a live performance and he delivers it with style and class. What a showcase for his vocals and his ability to sing live and retain that quality in his voice. If the dance floor was sparse before then this song would have guaranteed it to be packed be the end. One of the highlights of the album.

6. Somebody Have Mercy: A cool sax, upbeat rhythm and a great voice carries this so-so track through and makes it fit.

7. Bring It On Home To Me: There is a slow intro that lasts just under 3 minutes, it's not really something that fits but when the song begins we have the groove and soul back. It feels as though this may be one of Sam's favourites to sing live, something in his voice and interaction with the crowd shows that there is something more there. Then the track ends with the crowd getting involved once again, they clearly love their evening.

8. Nothing Can Change This Love: Again, top-notch singing is the highlight of this enjoyable track. Not the strongest track on the album but the performance is one of the strongest.

9. Having A Party: This song aptly sums up this album. Everybody's singing, dancing to the music and they certainly were having a party. Everyone gets involved, you can also picture them swinging away with their friends and partners. A fitting end to a great performance.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ruining the sound away.., 14 Jun 2009
RCA/BMG/Sony is a strange company - they earned billions of dollars on Elvis and they still screwed up almost all Elvis' album reisuess in 90's and in the beginning of this decade with bad mixing and mastering. So, why would Sam Cooke be an exception?
The sound on this cd causes me a headache. A very good and exciting show of one of the greatest singers in popular music history, unfortunately, it is very painfull to listen to.
Bad mix, that's all - there is so many high level tones that I have to put the treble button on my receiver to zero. Up front in the mix are very, very loud cymbals (my god, it's noisy), Sam's voice and flat bass. Audience, sax, guitars? Forget it..
People at RCA/BMG/Sony are without any musical ear or they are completely deaf. Or maybe they just don't care.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LISTEN TO THE COLONEL ONLY, THE COLONEL SHALL LEAD US ON THE PATH TO RIGHTEOUSNESS, 23 Nov 2006
By 
C. Trippett "The Soul man" (North England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ladies nad Gentlemen, Boys and Girls,

this album is perhaps the greatest live album ever recorded. Sam cooke was such an incredible man, with such a beautiful stage presence and increbible harmonic and infectious voice, this album captures his great qualities well.

It is my path to lead young impressionable persons such as yourselves away from cheesy modern pop, Sam Cooke would have been the largest name in the music world and I believe still recording today had he not been taken from us so so early.

I'm not a wise man, I don't have land or a knighthood, but the COLONEL knows his soul music, and this music right here is the best of the best.

Listen to the beauty of Same Cooke, and feel it..........

The COLONEL
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Samsational, 15 Dec 2010
Sam Cooke is often mentioned as one of the best soul singers but generally his studio recordings are good but over produced. On this album you get to hear a rawer more gospel influenced Cooke in an electric live performance.

The album includes many classic Cooke tunes such as Chain Gang and Cupid but it's main strength is that the whole set flows and builds nicely to a real climax. Cooke works the crowd superbly using tricks he learnt in his Gospel days to build up tension before launching into fantastic versions of Twistin the night away and Bring it on home to me.

He's backed by a fantastic group that includes sax legend King Curtis and New Orleans drummer Gentleman June Gardner. His singing is a lot rougher than in the studio and you can see how he influenced others like Otis Redding.

Overall a fantastic album that made me finally appreciate this great singer. Ignore the grumblers going on about sound quality in other reviews it's not much of a problem and if anything compliments the feel of the performance - raw and authentic.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cooke Live, 24 Feb 2007
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
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This album is incredible! I always loved Sam Cooke but find his studio work a little too polished. When you hear him live, however, he is raw, raw, raw. His voice is so much grittier and his delivery fits in more with the soul of the music. The breaks between songs where he ad-libs and talks to the audience really add to the atmosphere and it is obvious from audience reaction how much they are loving it too. You get a wide selection of his songs, so can get a real feel to how his music should be heard. This is such a good soul album and a great recording of a legend. Highly, highly recommended.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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Live At The Harlem Square Club [VINYL]
Live At The Harlem Square Club [VINYL] by Sam Cooke (Vinyl - 2010)
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