Music Stunt 2009

Stunt 2009: Week 14 – Sam Cooke

*This is a companion piece to a similarly-themed article on Karen’s site which, all things being equal, should be published at roughly the same time.*


1. **Any Day Now** from Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers – I sense that I’m supposed to be reviewing this song based upon his vocal performance. It’s fairly good, but there’s lots of note acrobatics, which has been taken to excess in recent decades. So Sam has a lot to answer for. Other than that, I found this song fairly dull.

2. **Wonderful** from Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers – if I was a devout Christian then maybe I’d get this, but I’m not, and so I just find it rather annoying.

3. **Jesus, Wash Away My Troubles** from Sam Cooke with the Soul Stirrers – stop expecting Jesus to clean up your shit, and take some responsibility for your own life. He’s been dead for years. The only use he’ll be now is if you spill some petrol on the forecourt and you need something sandy to soak it up.

4. **Nearer To Thee** from The Great 1955 Shrine Concert – I couldn’t find the “epic eight-and-a-half minute” version described in the playlist blurb, so my review is based on incomplete knowledge. But the version that I did find was quite dull.

5. **You Send Me** from Portrait Of A Legend – Sam realised that gospel was a dead-end genre and decided to dabble in some easy listening instead. It’s an improvement, but I’m not particularly impressed. I think I’ve written better songs.

6. **Wonderful World** from Portrait Of A Legend – I don’t know what a slide rule is for either. I do rather like this song. The Levi’s advert that it (or, an inferior version of it) was used in was the one where some dude climbs into the bath with his jeans on.

7. **Twisting The Night Away** from Portrait Of A Legend – I’m fairly keen on this song too. It’s actually a song that is in my current band’s repertoire, though our version doesn’t come close to the original, partly because we’re missing a piano and horn section. And Sam Cooke on vocals.

8. **That’s Where It’s At** from Portrait Of A Legend – probably the best song of this week’s playlist, it’s a beautiful soul ballad, and I love the way he practically screams the chorus.

9. **Bring It On Home To Me** from Portrait Of A Legend – this is just the same song again, though with an annoying “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah” refrain between Sam and Lou Rawls; which, according to Neil Foxlee, who compiled this playlist, is the “icing on the cake” of this song. Yeah, if the icing smelled of wee.

10. **A Change Is Gonna Come** from Portrait Of A Legend – I can’t help but be moved by this song, because I know that it dates back to a time when black people were genuinely seen to be inferior in the eyes of the law in the US. Okay, there’s still a lot of racism in the world, and maybe we’ll never be able to completely eradicate it, but things are undeniably better. Sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder that the human race has some capacity for improvement.

So, in conclusion: underwhelmed, but hey ho, that’s how it goes sometimes. His wikipedia page makes for an interesting read though.

The next week’s playlist

Random number: 132
Two playlists on this page – at the coin toss stage, Flaming Lips concede to Fleetwood Mac, though I would have been happy with either. The book says:

> Around the eternal nucleus of Mick Fleetwood (drums) and John McVie (bass), Fleetwood Mac have battled through since 1967. Their story has been described as the ultimate rock soap opera, but even the most imaginative scriptwriter would struggle to dream up such a litany of success, failure, love, hate, alcoholism, disappearance, sex and drugs. And that was just 1971.


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