Night Beat (album)

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Night Beat
Night Beat cover.jpg
Studio album by Sam Cooke
Released August 1963
Recorded February 22–23, 25 1963
RCA Victor's Music Center of the World
(Hollywood)
Genre Rhythm and blues, lounge[1]
Length 37:51
Label RCA Victor
Producer Hugo & Luigi
Sam Cooke chronology
Mr. Soul
(1963)
Night Beat
(1963)
3 Great Guys
(1963)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[2]
Blender 3/5 stars[1]
MusicHound R&B 5/5[3]

Night Beat is the twelfth studio album by American R&B, soul, and rock and roll singer and songwriter Sam Cooke. Produced by Hugo & Luigi, the album was released in August 1963 in the United States by RCA Victor.

Night Beat originated from late-night recording sessions by Cooke and a quartet of studio musicians in February 1963. It has been featured in "best-of" lists by contemporary music critics and regarded as one of Cooke's best.

The album was remastered in 2011 as a part of The RCA Albums Collection.

Background[edit]

Cooke and his musicians — pianist Ray Johnson, organist Billy Preston (who was only 16 at the time of recording), lead guitarist Barney Kessell, alternating drummers Hal Blaine and Ed Hall, bassist Cliff Hils and Clif White, and René Hall on rhythm guitar — cut Night Beat in three days during late-night recording sessions at RCA Victor Studios in Hollywood in February 1963.[4] "I Lost Everything", "Get Yourself Another Fool" and "Trouble Blues" were laid down on February 22, with the group returning, sans Kessell, the following day to record "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen", "Mean Old World", "Little Red Rooster" and "Laughin' and Clownin'".[4] The last recording session for Night Beat took place on February 25, when the same group, sans Hall and Kessell, reunited to commit "Lost and Lookin'", "Please Don't Drive Me Away", "You Gotta Move", "Fool's Paradise" and "Shake Rattle and Roll" to tape.[4]

Reception[edit]

According to John Bush of Allmusic, "Saddled with soaring strings and vocal choruses for maximum crossover potential, Sam Cooke's solo material often masked the most important part of his genius—his glorious voice—so the odd small-group date earns a special recommendation in his discography".[2] He speculated that had Cooke not died prematurely, "there would've been several more sessions like this, but Night Beat is an even richer treasure for its rarity."[2] Al Kooper of Goldmine wrote: "This is intimate Sam Cooke and his favorite musicians having some genuine fun in the studio, with obviously no eye toward ramming up the pop charts ... Each song is like another moody painting always in the appropriate, tasteful frame."[5]

The Guardian included it on their 2007 list of "1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die", writing: "[Cooke] brought a spiritual intensity to every cute mainstream confection he recorded, but his beautiful voice was never more mesmerizing than on this hushed and gracious final album."[6]

Track listing[edit]

All songs conducted by René Hall

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen" Traditional; arranged by Sam Cooke 3:22
2. "Lost and Lookin'" James W. Alexander, Lowell Jordan 2:09
3. "Mean Old World" Cooke 3:44
4. "Please Don't Drive Me Away" Charles Brown, Jesse Ervin 2:12
5. "I Lost Everything" Ella Tate 3:19
6. "Get Yourself Another Fool" Ernest Monroe Tucker, Frank A. Haywood [7] 4:00
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Little Red Rooster" Willie Dixon 2:50
2. "Laughin' and Clownin'" Cooke 3:34
3. "Trouble Blues" Charles Brown 3:18
4. "You Gotta Move" Cooke 2:35
5. "Fool's Paradise" Johnny Fuller, Robert Geddins, David Avid 2:32
6. "Shake, Rattle and Roll" Charles Calhoun 3:22

Personnel[edit]

All credits adapted from The RCA Albums Collection (2011) liner notes.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (October 2005). "Sam Cooke". Blender. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Allmusic review
  3. ^ Graff, Gary; du Lac, Josh Freedom; McFarlin, Jim, eds. (1998). "Sam Cooke". MusicHound R&B: The Essential Album Guide. Visible Ink Press. ISBN 1578590264. 
  4. ^ a b c d The RCA Albums Collection (liner notes). Sam Cooke. US: RCA Records/Legacy Recordings. 2011. 88697898702. 
  5. ^ Cooper, Al (1985). "Night Beat review". Goldmine. 48. 
  6. ^ "1000 albums to hear before you die". The Guardian. November 17, 2007. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Get Yourself Another Fool". musicnotes.com. Retrieved January 3, 2015. 

External links[edit]