Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Sam Cooke: One Night Stand--Live at the Harlem Square Club [RCA/Legacy, 2005]
Recorded at a Miami venue that catered to a black audience, Cooke takes his hits fast and rough. Mythmakers claim this is the real inventor of soul, which the crossover-conscious icon would have denied. But it's an impressive document whose rousing climax suggests what might have ensued if he hadn't died two years later. [Blender: 4]