sexta-feira, 26 de agosto de 2016


Original released on LP RCA Victor LSP-2236
(US, August 1960)

Sam Cooke's second RCA album is mostly a missed opportunity, in terms of representing much about Sam Cooke as an artist or singer - having him cover pop hits of the previous decade wasn't a terrible idea on its face, but Cooke was still getting accustomed to working at RCA, and he wasn't inspired by the material or the way it was chosen, and the result is an album aimed at what the label thought the white teenage market was all about (and what the company thought the parents of those kids would be most comfortable with them buying from a black recording artist), that's a lot less interesting than some of the singles, including "Chain Gang" and "Wonderful World," that he was doing around the same time. His versions of hits associated with Nat "King" Cole, Johnnie Ray, and the Platters should have made for a more interesting record. "Hits of the Fifties" is still an improvement over its immediate predecessor, "Cooke's Tour", but it's also one of the records that for many years - in the absence of his best material being available - blighted Cooke's reputation as a soul singer. (Bruce Eder in AllMusic)

Very much the same approach as "Cooke's Tour" - slightly older, mainstream pop polished to perfection, sung by that magnificent voice that yodels up to the heaven. Sam Cooke must had one of the most beautiful voices ever and when he croons "Mona Lisa" or anything here, its pure delight. Obviously this was all very buttoned up and serious, but this was his polite way to get accepted in business - where on the first two albums he doesn't really sound convincing in snappy, swinging arrangements, here he is perfectly at home in light, romantic pop. Its all very vanilla of course and nothing to do with soul music at all, but enjoyable nevertheless - its just a bit confusing to hear this and than read about Sam Cooke as "inventor of soul music" where in fact he was clearly pursuing Las Vegas. Ray Charles and James Brown were another planet. (in RateYourMusic)

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