Album: Ain’t That Good News
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It’s ironic that the first album of Sam Cooke’s contract with RCA — which gave him the most control he’d ever had — was also the final album recorded and released in Sam Cooke’s lifetime. And while Ain’t That Good News wasn’t nearly as focused as 1963’s Night Beat, which was recorded in the space of three nights as opposed to nearly a year, it did have a structure. The first side featured uptempo songs — nearly all written or co-written by Cooke — like the rollicking title track, the previously-released “Another Saturday Night” and “Good Times,” which was covered by the Rolling Stones on their immortal Out of Our Heads.
Side two featured soaring string-laden soul ballads, mostly covers, and peaked with the Cooke-written all-time all-time that we’ll discuss tomorrow. Of course I like the first side better, and probably my favorite song on the whole thing was the amblin’ “Meet Me At Mary’s Place.”