The Complete SAR Records Recordings
Here we have Sam Cooke’s little brother. Yep, such a curse huh? Good ole Sam the man – one of the world’s greatest ever singers, that voice that just soothes – recorded his brother among other acts on his label. The more famous of the Cooke brothers had his own SAR label and alongside L.C. he recorded sides with Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Womack, The Soul Stirrers – and so here, 50 years later we have the album that L.C. Cooke was going to release. He sounds so much like his famous brother that you could be convinced these are long lost Sam Cooke tunes.
Sam’s untimely death put this album in the can – now we have the 10 tracks that were going to be the official record with another eight b-sides and alternate takes.
It’s vintage sixties soul – those R’n’R rhythm section feels, slight hint of gospel in the delivery and that upbeat pop style too.
L.C. Cooke did release some singles – there are some songs out there, that people know – like this album’s opener, Take Me For What I Am. But you can’t help but wonder what might have happened if he’d had a full album out at the time it was first intended – would he have been ignored for sounding too much like Sam? Would he have taken his place in people’s hearts? Did he deserve a shot at fame all on his own? Well, you have these songs now if you want them and they are worth wanting. Chalk Line with his smooth falsetto, the “Chain Gang” feel of Teach Me, The Coasters-like groove of The Wobble – it’s all good stuff. It never got the chance to be considered great stuff until now.
It’s pretty great to hear and just remarkable to spot that family resemblance in the voice.