The Best of Sam Cooke was the beacon that kept Cooke's most popular songs in the public eye. Between 1957 and his death seven years later, Cooke recorded an average of one Top Ten single every four months! And now on this single LP, you can relive the timeless best known and best-loved Sam Cooke classics.
For a couple of generations this was the first - and often only - Sam Cooke album they owned. Although there are more ambitious collections that show Cooke's remarkable range and diversity, this is still the best starting place. These are Sam Cooke's biggest commercial hits. This is the message in a bottle that brought his gifts to millions of people.
What is it that makes Cooke's music so irresistible? Well, first the voice, of course. So good, in fact, was Cooke as a vocalist that Atlantic Records vice president Jerry Wexler said matter-of-factly, "Sam Cooke was the best singer who ever lived, no contest." But beyond just his voice, it's the phrasing that makes these songs so timeless and memorable. Cooke himself explained it this way: "You just talk the story. That's how you get people to come to you - because it's not like a song, it's like two people rapping, only with a melody attached. But then when you come to the hook ('That's the sound of the men working on the chain gang'), then you're free, everybody's gonna sing that part, you want to get everybody to sing along." And they're still singing along.
So we all know the songs. We all know they're great. But nobody's known — not unless you were there when it was recorded — just how incredible these recordings actually sound. Now, cut at 45 RPM with every detail tended to and no expense spared, we've got the best of The Best of Sam Cooke.