The Second Disc

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New Cooke Digital Box is Really Keen…If You’re in the U.K.

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Sam Cooke fans were really in for a surprise a short time ago, when Legacy released a box set of eight of his original RCA LPs on CD through their PopMarket outlet. Almost as tantalizing – if not for the format or the territorial limits placed upon it – is a new digital box set collecting Cooke’s earlier material for Keen Records.

Cooke’s material for the Keen label – recorded from 1957 (after seven years as lead tenor in the gospel group The Soul Stirrers) to 1960 (the year he signed with RCA Victor and recorded classics like “A Change is Gonna Come,” “Bring It on Home to Me,” “Cupid” and “Twistin’ the Night Away”) – was just as fruitful as any other phase of his career. It was the Keen era that gave Cooke his very first smash single (the highest-charting of his career), with “You Send Me,” not to mention R&B hits like “I’ll Come Running Back to You,” “You Were Made for Me” and “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons.”

And now, ABKCO Records, controllers of Cooke’s Keen output in the U.K., present digital-only reissues of four of Cooke’s LPs for the label, as well as a digital box set collating virtually every single and album side the singer made for the label. The Remastered Keen Collection is three discs – one featuring Cooke’s self-titled debut and a handful of early singles, all in mono; one featuring second and third albums Encore and Tribute to the Lady and another featuring various single sides and a few compilation tracks (several of these tracks are in stereo).

ABKCO will also reissue four Cooke albums on their own – Sam Cooke, Encore, Hit Kit and The Wonderful World of Sam Cooke – with the latter three featuring bonus tracks. Of all the tracks on these individual albums, it seems the only tracks that don’t feature on the digital box are three tracks cut in stereo.

All of these sets are available from your favorite digital retailer today – but only in the U.K. (perhaps to make up for all the time international fans get stuck trying to buy our domestic catalogue products). Hit the jump to taunt yourself (if you’re an American reader) with all the riches you can’t have right now.

Sam Cooke, The Remastered Keen Collection (Digital) (ABKCO, 2011)

Disc 1: Sam Cooke and mono singles

  1. You Send Me
  2. The Lonesome Road
  3. Tammy
  4. Ol’ Man River
  5. Moonlight in Vermont
  6. Canadian Sunset
  7. Summertime
  8. Around the World
  9. Ain’t Misbehavin’
  10. The Bells of St. Mary
  11. So Long
  12. Danny Boy
  13. That Lucky Old Sun
  14. (I Love You) for Sentimental Reasons
  15. Desire Me
  16. You Were Made for Me
  17. Lonely Island
  18. Stealing Kisses
  19. All of My Life
  20. Win Your Love for Me
  21. Almost in Your Arms (Love Song from “Houseboat”)
  22. Love You Most of All
  23. Blue Moon

Disc 2: Encore and Tribute to the Lady

  1. Oh, Look At Me Now
  2. Someday
  3. Along the Navajo Trail
  4. Running Wild
  5. Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive
  6. Mary, Mary Lou
  7. When I Fall in Love
  8. I Cover the Waterfront
  9. My Foolish Heart
  10. Today, I Sing the Blues
  11. The Gypsy
  12. It’s the Talk of the Town
  13. God Bless the Child
  14. She’s Funny That Way
  15. I’ve Gotta Right to Sing the Blues
  16. Good Morning, Heartache
  17. T’aint Nobody’s Bizness (If I Do)
  18. Comes Love
  19. Lover Girl (Man)
  20. Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off
  21. Lover Come Back to Me
  22. Solitude
  23. They Can’t Take That Away from Me
  24. Crazy in Love with You

Disc 3: Mono singles and other tracks

  1. Everybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha (Stereo)
  2. Little Things You Do
  3. Ee-Yi-Ee-Yi-Oh
  4. Only Sixteen
  5. Let’s Go Steady Again
  6. Summertime (Part 1)
  7. There I’ve Said It Again
  8. One Hour Ahead of the Posse
  9. No One (Can Ever Take Your Place)
  10. (What a) Wonderful World
  11. Lonely Island
  12. With You (Stereo)
  13. So Glamorous
  14. Steal Away
  15. I Thank God
  16. Deep River
  17. That’s Heaven to Me
  18. Steal Away

Disc 1, Tracks 1-13 released as Keen LP A-2001, 1957
Disc 1, Tracks 14-15 released as Keen single 4002, 1957
Disc 1, Tracks 16-17 released as Keen single 4009, 1957
Disc 1, Tracks 18-19 released as Keen single 2005, 1958
Disc 1, Tracks 20-21 released as Keen single 2006, 1958
Disc 1, Tracks 22-23 released as Keen single 2008, 1958
Disc 2, Tracks 1-12 released as Keen LP A-2003, 1958
Disc 2, Tracks 13-24 released as Keen LP A-2004, 1958
Disc 3, Tracks 1-2 released as Keen single 2018, 1959
Disc 3, Track 3 released on Keen single B-side 2122, 1960
Disc 3, Tracks 4-5 released as Keen single 2022, 1959
Disc 3, Track 6 released on Keen single A-side 2101, 1959
Disc 3, Tracks 7-8 released as Keen single 2105, 1959
Disc 3, Track 9 released on Keen single B-side 2111, 1960
Disc 3, Track 10 released on Keen single A-side 2112, 1960
Disc 3, Track 11 from Hit Kit (Keen LP 86101, 1959)
Disc 3, Tracks 12 and 15 released as Keen single 2117, 1960
Disc 3, Tracks 13-14 released as Keen single 2118, 1960
Disc 3, Tracks 16-18 from I Thank God (Keen LP 86103, 1960)

Individual digital reissues

Sam Cooke (originally released as Keen LP A-2001, 1957 – program identical to Disc 1, Tracks 1-12 in above compilation)

Encore (originally released as Keen LP A-2003, 1958 – program identical to Disc 2, Tracks 1-12 with one bonus track: “Ee-Yi-Ee-Yi-Oh (Stereo)”)

Hit Kit (originally released as Keen LP 86101, 1959)

  1. Only Sixteen
  2. All of My Life
  3. Everybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha (Stereo)
  4. Blue Moon
  5. Win Your Love for Me
  6. Lonely Island
  7. You Send Me
  8. Love You Most of All
  9. (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons
  10. Little Things You Do (Stereo)
  11. Let’s Go Steady Again (Stereo)
  12. You Were Made for Me
  13. Lonely Island (Single Version) (Keen single A-side 4009, 1957)
  14. So Glamorous (Single Version) (Keen single A-side 2118, 1960)
  15. Steal Away (Single Version) (Keen single B-side 2118, 1960)

The Wonderful World of Sam Cooke (originally released as Keen LP 86106, 1960)

  1. (What a) Wonderful World
  2. Desire Me
  3. Summertime (Part 1)
  4. Almost In Your Arms (Love Song from “Houseboat”)
  5. That’s Heaven to Me
  6. No One (Can Ever Take Your Place)
  7. With You (Stereo)
  8. Blue Moon
  9. Stealing Kisses
  10. You Were Made for Me
  11. There I’ve Said It Again
  12. I Thank God
  13. Steal Away (from I Thank God (Keen LP 86103, 1960))
  14. Deep River (from I Thank God (Keen LP 86103, 1960))
  15. One Hour Ahead of the Posse (Keen single B-side 2105, 1959)

Written by Mike Duquette

July 25, 2011 at 13:11

6 Responses

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  1. Actually, “I’ll Come Running Back To You” is from his days at Specialty Records, pre-Keen. Cooke cut 3 45s for them, and then after his departure to Keen, Art Rupe put out a fourth to piggy back on the success Cooke was having at Keen. The ironic part of it is how Rupe had heard “You Send Me,” but turned it down. Cooke and Bumps Blackwell took it with them, and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Still irritated that this isn’t seeing a stateside release at this point, but it’s the nature of the beast. Some of the soundclips over on Amazon UK sound really nice. “I Thank God” is especially nice to hear in remastered form.

    Also, let me just say that “Ee Yi Ee Yi Oh” is perhaps the worst Cooke song ever, although I’m glad it’s included for completist’s sake.

    Eric Luecking

    July 25, 2011 at 16:23

  2. Thanks, please keep us updated on access to real CDs in the US. I have not deciphered whether all of the download tracks listed above will appear on the actual CDs. Can you clear this up. Do you think the real CDs will be available in US?


    July 26, 2011 at 08:21

  3. ABKCO hasn’t made any comment yet about issuing them on CD at this point. As far as US release of Keen material in any format, that would have to come from Sony/Legacy who controls the rights to that material stateside. I have a strong suspicion they’ll be watching sales of the RCA box set of Cooke material before committing to anything further.

    Eric Luecking

    July 26, 2011 at 08:50

  4. If the “real CDs” will be issued on CD in the UK, won’t we be able to get them from an importer like importcds, blowitoutahere, or from an USA amazonmarketplace UK dealer like groove (either through their amazonUSA link, or directly from their UK homepage.

    I hate download-only music.


    July 26, 2011 at 13:20

  5. I just reviewed the digital box set over at Record Racks for those interested in reading more about it:

    Eric Luecking

    August 13, 2011 at 18:53

  6. Can anyone over in the UK help me get these albums? I live in the U.S. – HUGE Sam Cooke fan but can’t purchase them from any European digital stores. I’d be happy to paypal anyone the money for the albums if you can purchase them for me. I’m not sure how to work it out otherwise. Shoot me an e-mail please! Thanks a bunch

    Bradley James

    December 2, 2011 at 14:17

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