Greatest Hits

Greatest Hits

by Sam CookeSam Cooke


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Sam Cooke possessed the sweetest voice in soul, and his supple vocal style inspired everyone from Otis Redding to Rod Stewart and Al Green. He was also a terrific songwriter, and the string of hits created prior to his death in 1964 is one of the most enduring of the pre-Beatles era. Cooke started out as a teenage gospel star with the Soul Stirrers and caused much consternation in the religious community when he began releasing secular songs. But after his 1957 single "You Send Me" went to No. 1, the battle was over. Cooke became famous for puppy-love pop-soul songs like "Only Sixteen" and "Wonderful World," but he really came into his own when tunes like "Chain Gang" and "Bring It on Home to Me" added a bluesier and more mature texture to his songs. The 21-track Greatest Hits finds a better balance between Cooke's pop and soul hits than the 12-song Best of Sam Cooke, but both discs suffer from the inexplicable lack of his masterful "A Change Is Gonna Come."

Product Details

Release Date: 02/24/1998
Label: Rca
UPC: 0078636760520
catalogNumber: 67605
Rank: 5217

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sam Cooke   Primary Artist
Ralph Burns   Conductor
Rene Hall   Conductor
Glenn Osser   Conductor
Horace Ott   Conductor
Sammy Lowe   Conductor

Technical Credits

Sam Cooke   Arranger,Composer
Hugo   Producer
Luigi   Producer
Clarence Paul   Composer
Ed Townsend   Composer
Joseph F. Laredo   Liner Notes,Essay
Barbara Mayson Campbell   Composer
Paul Williams   Contributor
Kim Biggs   Art Direction
John Marascalco   Composer
L.C. Cooke   Composer
Barbara Campbell   Composer

Customer Reviews

Greatest Hits 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
CarrieinWI More than 1 year ago
Sam Cook has a very smooth voice and this is a great cd of his music. I find it easy to listen to and very relaxing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
One possible benefit I saw in this coll. was that it skips the song "Another Saturday Night," which has some lyrical moments about "two chicks swinging on my arm" and a girl the protagonist is set up with bearing "a strange resemblance to a cat named Frankenstein" that make me cringe just a little, though the last one is, I admit, rather funny. The song's absence is also a loss though, as it is a good tune and captures a certain mood rather well, I suppose. While it also has pop material, to be sure, it is a grittier collection than the old best of w/ the yellow and black cover. Drawbacks include that the new Portrait of a Legend "1951-1964" collection is rather superior overall, in no small part due to the inclusion of "A Change Is Gonna Come" as well as a couple of songs from Cooke's best gospel work. Some might like the absences if they are allergic to strings ("A Change") or religious music, but they need to grow up and see how beautiful and expressive these songs are. Another downside is the inclusion on this collection "it is not on '54-64"" of "Somebody Have Mercy." This has a really hard to hear lyrical moment, in my view and probably in the view of anyone who cares about the treatment of women, that goes something like this: "... every time I think I got her chained down, she starts acting up again." Hard to believe Cooke could use that language and yet write "A Change Is Gonna Come" in response to racism, but he would not be the first to call for freedom for some group, while not taking women's rights seriously. Someone may accuse me of political correctness, but I find that charge is often leveled by people who are either deluded in thinking oppression, including of others and perhaps themselves, does not exist or matter. Anyway, this is a good collection, but the one called "Portrait of a Legend "1951-1964" is probably the one to get. It is masterful, and does right by Cooke's immense talents as well as his fans. By the way, it continues to drive me nuts how parentheses (which I like using) become quotation marks when you post the review. M. Bazin