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Night Beat

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 Sept. 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Custom Marketing Group
  • ASIN: B008DVJOVY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,062 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Recorded across 3 nights in February 1963, "Night Beat" is an unusual album for Sam Cooke in that it features slowed-down, paired-back Blues tunes with a slightly Soul-Gospel tint - and man does it work. Originally released September 1963 in the USA on RCA Victor LSP-2709 - the piano and organ centre a lot of the songs - each with a midnight-lounge languid feel that suited his voice to a tee. And of the 12-tracks there's barely a clunker in sight. In fact it feels like you're listening to "Elvis Is Back" from 1960 - an album that's good all the way through - rather than being just patchy. Here are the CD details...

US-released in September 2005 - "Night Beat" by SAM COOKE on RCA/Legacy 82876 69551 2 (Barcode 886919858624) is a straightforward transfer/remaster of the original 1963 Stereo LP and comes in a repro card digipak with an attached 11-page booklet (37:57 minutes). PETER GURALNICK (author of the acclaimed "Dream Boogie: The Triumph Of Sam Cooke") supplies the well-written and hugely affectionate liner notes - while the CD itself rather prettily reflects the original coloured 'Dog And Gramophone' RCA Victor label of the original LP - complete with the 'Hugo & Luigi Production' logo just below it (nice touches). The LP's rear sleeve artwork is pictured beneath the see-through CD tray. Pretty as it looks and feels - that's chump change to the astonishing Audio...

BOB LUDWIG remastered the first generation tapes and the sound quality can only be described as BEAUTIFUL. It's always been a famous Audiophile treat on original 'Living Stereo' vinyl (180-gram reissues of it are available to this day) - but little prepares you for the full range and clarity on offer here.
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Format: Audio CD
Having bought the Portrait of a Legend CD I saw the reissue of this album and took a flyer. The only song shared by both albums is Little Red Rooster and this song is a good indicator of the mood of Night Beat - you only have to look at the titles to get the idea.

The singing is of a very high calibre but with less pop type hits and a more bluesy, gospel approach especially on the first track and the second track which is almost unaccompanied.

The only song that doesn't really fit is the last track "Shake Rattle & Roll" but it's still worth listening to.

A good companion to the Portrait of a Legend.
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Format: Audio CD
As the late, great critic Robert Palmer wrote in the liner notes to the 1995 edition of "Night Beat," this beautiful album is something of an anomaly in Sam Cooke's career, which evolved from the Soul Stirrers' classic gospel through a series of mostly terrific hit singles (see "The Man and His Music") and a pair of very different live albums (get the "Harlem Square Club" set) and his own record label (which issued sides by Bobby Womack and the Valentinos, Johnnie Taylor, and many others, collected on the excellent "SAR Records Story"). Until shortly before his death in December 1964 the market for Cooke's music would have been almost exclusively a singles market, but by then the artist had become aware of Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones, and as "Night Beat" reveals would certainly have adapted to the emerging emphasis on the album as artistic statement.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Music: 10/10
This is truly a wonderful CD. If it has crossed your mind to buy it just do it. You won't regret it. It is a masterpiece! Sam at his best.

Recording: 10/10
It is hard to believe that this was recorded in 1963. The sound quality matches anything else I have purchased recently. Audiophiles, if you want an album to show off your system, here is one for you. It is that good.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This has to be Sam's finest hour. They are mostly bluesy/jazzy type songs.What really stands out on these recordings is that they have really put Sam's voice to the foreground for a change,where a lot of his other recordings seemed to be dominated by loud orchestrations...great stuff.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There can't be much to say about this CD that hasn't been said before. What a great voice, full of feeling when singing, No "squealing and screaming" like a lot of modern day singers. Every word sang is plain to hear. A young Billy Preston on keyboards adds to the great musical backing.
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Format: Audio CD
What a find thanks to an advert for Emerdale which featured 'Trouble Blues' Sam sings the Blues with piano by a
young Billy Preston.
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