Review Summary: Classic soul album about coping with a relationship ending.
Sam Cooke’s night beat is a classic soul album from the King of Soul. Released about a year before his death. Sam’s voice and tight group of musicians allows for very intimate record about grief when losing a lover.
The album opens with a wonderfully upbeat tune that quickly turns to a piece about troubled times and his relationship with God, a message that isn’t revisited on much of the rest of the album. Through the next couple of songs the listener will see the grieving process in effect. The songs are about losing his woman, hating the world, coping with loss and finally getting over what happened.
‘Get Yourself Another Fool’ is one of the strongest songs on the record. It’s about accepting that love is over and seeing how you were being used or in his words:
“You said that you love me
I was yours to command
But your kind of love
My heart couldn't stand
Use me for a tool
Get yourself another fool”
The second half of the album is much stronger than the first, which is full of many songs that seem to only repeat what you hear in the title.
The next song “Red Rooster” is more for a laugh than anything, but it does use some cool sound effects to mimic animal sounds. However, the next song is very strong and probably the best on the record. “Laughin’ and Clownin’” is about dealing with loss through lying to others and yourself, by putting on a front of happiness. The song speaks true to some of the worst human emotions, when all you want is one person and you can’t have them.
“I keep on laughin' and clownin'
To take my mind off you”
Trouble blues is the other stand-out on the record. It’s about accepting your own flaws when you are still feeling heartbreak. The lyrics speak more of self-understanding than anything else.
“But I know that someday, someday darling
I won't be trouble no more”
“You Gotta Move” and “Shake Rattle and Roll” are both fun songs, especially the latter. Definitely dance hall style music.
“Fool’s Paradise” is the last excellent song on the album. Talking about woes when being caught up in drinking and gambling, and how our parents are always right.
The musicians on Night Beat were:
Sam Cooke – vocals
René Hall – conducting, guitar
Clifton White – guitar
Barney Kessell – guitar
Cliff Hils – bass guitar
Sharky Hall – drums, tambourine
Hal Blaine – drums
Ray Johnson – piano
Billy Preston – organ
Dave Hassinger – recording engineer