The Man Who Invented Soul
Sam Cooke's decision to shift away from The Soul Stirrers' gospel and blend R&B with pop music meant Cooke indeed "invented" soul music for the '60s. This extensive career survey starts with his early pop successes, such as "You Send Me," "For Sentimental Reasons," and select album tracks. It ends with the complete Night Beat and Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 albums. Though contractual reasons prevent "A Change Is Gonna Come" and other material from Cooke's final year of recording from being included here, there's no shortage of great songs to uncover. Quite simply, Cooke could sing anything and make it a meaningful experience. While pop hits like "Only Sixteen," "Havin' a Party," and "Twistin' the Night Away" are obvious and joyous performances, it's heartening that lesser-known cuts such as "Let's Go Steady Again," "I Lost Everything," and the alternate takes of "Another Saturday Night" and "Sad Mood" are also featured. The amount of material Cooke recorded ensures that it takes several decent collections to capture the full spectrum of his achievements. However, The Man Who Invented Soul is an essential centerpiece.