While I was searching for Sam Cooke's nice, smooth session version of Bring It On Home to Me yesterday, I found the live recording. It's paired with a wonderfully deconstructed You Send Me, and it's many things, but a pop song it ain't. Sam Cooke was quite the ladies man. In fact, his tom catting around the town led to his early death – he was shot in a hotel room in circumstances that have never been fully explained. And having listened to the amazing live recording, I can understand his appeal. An hour or so listening to that impassioned voice and half the crowd probably wanted to go home with him.
It's a shame that he didn't record more of his raw live sound but stuck to the poppy boppy style of Cupid and Only Sixteen. Those are good fun songs, but their fluffiness doesn't do justice to Sam Cooke's vocal and lyrical range.