Remastered Keen collection available from 25 July 2011 on ABKCO.

Sam Cooke’s 1957 Keen Records debut You Send Me was a landmark recording on multiple levels. The song, written by the artist, was Cooke’s very first number 1 record and was groundbreaking in no uncertain terms: a pop record by a gospel great that created the template for what would come to be known as “soul.” Cooke’s easy manner, bell-clear intonation and truly spectacular vocal ability set him apart from all others in both pop and R&B. This holds true today just as it did at the dawn of his secular career.

Sam Cooke was very much at home in the recording studio; the 65 tracks he cut for John and Alex Siamas’s Keen label, over the course of three years, reflect his massive talent at a turning point. Now, the authentic Keen recordings, sourced directly from the original master tapes, are available for digital download from iTunes, Amazon and all authorized digital E-tailers, offering an unparalleled listening experience. The series includes a virtual box set (the equivalent of 3 CDs) containing Cooke’s complete Keen recordings as well as four of his originally released Keen LPs with multiple bonus tracks. As always, ABKCO assures the consumer the very best audio quality thanks to painstaking research that has yielded tracks from the original tape reels from which the Keen albums and singles were mastered in the late 1950s and early 1960s. 

This virtual box set, titled Sam Cooke: The Complete Remastered Keen Collection, is a three-volume compilation that offers the Sam Cooke aficionado the unique opportunity to download all of Cooke’s Keen album and single tracks for a comprehensive overview of his time at the label.  The first volume of the set offers 23 tracks, thirteen of which form the content of Cooke’s 1958 LP debut for Keen, are simply titled Sam Cooke.

The album’s other 10 tracks are singles presented in mono as originally recorded and released. In addition to You Send Me, the set includes Summertime (Part 2), Ain’t MisbehavinThat Lucky Old Sun, (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons, You Were Made For Me, Desire Me and Almost In Your Arms (Love Song From ‘Houseboat’).

The second volume in the set includes the 1958 album Encore in its entirety, as well as all the tracks from Cooke’s 1959 salute to Billie Holiday, Tribute To A Lady, again, in mono as originally recorded and released. Among the collection’s 24 tracks are “Along The Navajo Trail,” “Mary, Mary Lou,” “When I Fall In Love,” “I Cover The Waterfront,” “Today I Sing the Blues,” “God Bless The Child,” “I’ve Gotta Right To Sing The Blues,” “Good Morning, Heartache,” and “T'aint Nobody's Bizness (If I Do).”  

The set’s third volume is an 18-track collection comprised mostly of singles and selections that appeared on hit collections and various artist compilations. These tracks, with the exception of Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha and With You are in mono and also include Only Sixteen, and (What a) Wonderful World, written by Cooke along with Lou Adler and Herb Alpert who were on staff at Keen. Rarely-heard songs include Ee-Yi-Ee-Yi-Oh, No One (Can Ever Take Your Place), plus, I Thank God, Deep River, That’s Heaven To Me, and Steal Away, the four gospel tracks that were released on Keen’s gospel artist compilation LP, I Thank God.

Also released concurrently with the virtual box set are the individual Keen albums with bonus tracks. They include Sam Cooke, the 13-track 1958 label debut; Encore, also from that year with 12 original tracks and the bonus Ee-Yi-Ee-Yi-Oh in stereo. 1960’s Hit Kit features fan favorites Everybody Loves to Cha Cha Cha, Win Your Love For Me, and two versions of Lonely Island, (the single version of which is included as one of three bonus tracks).  Of special note are rare stereo versions of Little Things You Do and Let’s Go Steady Again. Last but not least is The Wonderful World of Sam Cooke that of course includes (What A) Wonderful World, as well as Summertime (Part I), There I’ve Said It Again and three bonus tracks.

For more information about the remastered Keen Collection, please contact us.

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