Album: Night Beat
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Recorded over three nights in February 1963, Night Beat was used a small group of musicians — including a 16-year-old Billy Preston on organ — and stands out in his discography as his quietest, most intimate album, bereft of horns, strings and complex vocal arrangements. Especially that last: the only other voices on the record are the musicians joyously shouting the title of “Shake Rattle and Roll.” But the rest of Night Beat? Just Sam Cooke singing his heart out.
And nowhere does he sing his heart out more than “Lost and Looking,” which — in my 1995 reissue called Sam Cooke’s Night Beat — opened up with just Sam singing over Clifford Hils’s bass: