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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 17 August 2001
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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on 17 June 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.
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on 25 July 2007
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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on 14 June 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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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.

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on 4 February 2005
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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on 16 May 2008
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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on 5 December 2014
One Night Stand Live at the Harlem Square Club Sam Cooke is a great CD to have. This Cd is full of energy. Sam Cooke really sings his heart out to the audience with his well known hits and you can hear plenty of participation from the audience. You feel like you're really there at the show!
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on 17 September 2007
The songs, the voice, the audience going absolutely bonkers crazy singing along with Sam adds up to the happiest fun 38 minutes ever on record. Twistin the night away is amazing especially the ending the way Sam works the audience is breathtaking then segues into Somebody Have Mercy(listen to the crowd as he sings it)Buy this record asap.
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on 14 February 2008
Of course this is agreat live performance. However, the remastering is not as good as it should be. The strangest thing is that the fantastic two and a half minute intro (one of the greatest things ever recorded in soul music in my view) to Bring It On Home To Me has been 'moved' to the end of the preceding track. It cuts off with an alarming 'crunch' on this version, which is presumable when the band kicks into BIOHTM. Also, the sound of the audience has been muffled, so we lose the interaction between Sam and his fans, which is so much a part of the atmosphere of this kind of recording. I have the original vynil, but it is possible to buy an older version of the CD which reviewers on say is true to the original record.
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