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Sam Cooke — A Change is Gonna Come
Album: Ain't That Good News
Avg rating:
8.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1115









Released: 1964
Length: 3:09
Plays (last 30 days): 0
I was born by the river in a little tent
Ohh and just like the river I've been running ev'r since
It's been a long time, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

It's been too hard living, but I'm afraid to die
'Cause I don't know what's up there, beyond the sky
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

I go to the movie and I go downtown
Somebody keep tellin' me don't hang around
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

Then I go to my brother
And I say brother help me please
But he winds up knockin' me
Back down on my knees, ohh

There have been times that I thought I couldn't last for long
But now I think I'm able to carry on
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will
Comments (155)add comment
What a voice.
10+
 marklaw wrote:
Change will come.  It's slow, it's painful, but right and morality will out.  #Resist

 
Race relations went backwards 30 years with Mr Hope and Change.  You maybe should have resisted that...
Change will come.  It's slow, it's painful, but right and morality will out.  #Resist
A truly beautiful piece of music!  Thank you RP
PSD from the post TH David Byrne to this. Like going from leftovers to the full Christmas dinner.  
 Cynaera wrote:
His voice gives me chills - so pure and true. I love this song.

 
yes

yes
Going up, 9 > 10  that is an awesome piece.
An absolute classic. 
 westslope wrote:
Sweet.

So for the benefit of those of us who require mental crutches to see forward, in what category does this song fall?  R&B?  Soul?   

 
Cooke is regarded as The Father Of Soul Music, for example his first hit "You Send Me" in 1957 you can hear how he sweetened up the R&B and Do-Wop of the '50's that started Soul Music, all the singers that followed Cooke in the 1960's credit him as inspiration and an idol.
To answer your question, if I had to hang a label on it I'd say Soul Music but that is what my ears hear.
This song "A Change Is Gonna Come" I get a little jazzy and Gospel feel to it but Cooke put his signature on it and made it soulful
Sweet.

So for the benefit of those of us who require mental crutches to see forward, in what category does this song fall?  R&B?  Soul?   
you'd think with an 8.8 rating RP would be playing tons of Sam Cooke

Pure.

Freakin'.

Gold.

 


 mfcrowe wrote:
Check out the his album Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963. It is awesome and so different from his pop recordings. This guy could rock. King Curtis is unbelievable in the sax and if you haven't heard his music, you should. In fact Bill, I am surprised that he isn't played on RP.

Check out King Curtis -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI8d36w_ijw  

 A terrific version of Twisting the Night Away on that album

 


A firm 9. The only reason I can't give it a 10 is because I have to leave room for Aaron Neville's rendition, which is even better. Chilling.
I want an 11 for this.
Been a long time since I heard this. Gave me chills. His phrasing is phenomenal.
 Cynaera wrote:
His voice gives me chills - so pure and true. I love this song.

 
Absolutely.
Check out the his album Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963. It is awesome and so different from his pop recordings. This guy could rock. King Curtis is unbelievable in the sax and if you haven't heard his music, you should. In fact Bill, I am surprised that he isn't played on RP.

Check out King Curtis -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FI8d36w_ijw  

 
Sublime
 ottovonb wrote:
There's never been a better singing voice on this planet and I doubt there ever will be.
Good, great as he is....Mr. Sam Cooke will have to chat with Rev  Al Green.


 ottovonb wrote:
There's never been a better singing voice on this planet and I doubt there ever will be.

  Objectively-speaking, there are probably 'better' voices. But there is something about his voice that just crushes it, something very rare indeed. Marvin Gaye had it. Patsy Cline had it. Something in their voices conveys intense emotions. I do not disagree with your statement though: Mr. Cooke's voice is without equal.


{#Sunny}
needs some Bonzo, Peart or Moon on drums.{#Mrgreen}
now there is a 10 if ever I heard one!
There's never been a better singing voice on this planet and I doubt there ever will be.
{#Heartkiss} G O D L I K E + + +
and it flat do not get better than this, EVER, NO WAY, NO HOW..........
 siloco wrote:
A true classic.

Terence Trent D'arby did a great version in the nineties, which is well worth checking out...
 
I have that version too, the only source I ever found was a PBS production called 'The Promised Land'.

 https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0124081/
 yofitofu wrote:
Seems like a song about Khadaffi - "I was born in a little tent.....a change is gonna come"?

 

and look what happened to him..........................
SHOT  to death in a sleazy motel room, his wallet was never found, the cops didn't care, hooker and murdering pimp walked away. American justice.
50 years old and still riveting.
 Hinkamp wrote:
you should follow this with a moment of silence because anything else sort of spoils the mood. "Porcupine Trees"!?!
 
I was just thinking this is an awfully hard song to immediately follow with another song. Tracy Chapman's Crossroads is on now. Decent tune but after Sam Cooke? Silence is golden. Shame he passed away so soon. 
 Toke wrote:


well said ... its just a beautiful song sung from the soul and heart.

 
This just reminds me of the beauty of RP. I listen to "Music Choice" on Comcast (at another place not set up like home) cause its easier than trying to stream the web and the 60s music features lots of Cooke, but it is not the depth that I ALWAYS get here. I'm just glad someone(s) is paying attention!
The strings are saccharine, but the singing is righteous. 8.
 atthetone wrote:
black soul, motown....call it what you will. sweet it is, sweet it is..
 

well said ... its just a beautiful song sung from the soul and heart.
black soul, motown....call it what you will. sweet it is, sweet it is..
Not sure how accurate this story is, but I thought I heard an interview about the writing of this song. Supposedly he wrote it in the car on the way to a gig: they needed another song for their set list and wanted something gospel-sounding but not TOO gospel-sounding. I don't know if there's really such a thing as divine inspiration, but this song would be pretty good proof.

Edit: Wiki set me straight. Written in his tour bus after visiting with demonstrators. Doesn't change the quality of the song though.
Seamless and true.
Its all just gospel to me.
  This is in my top 5 of all time. It might just be number 1
 ottovonb wrote:
Some voices - very few - are so utterly amazing it almost doesn't matter what they sing, it's stunning. That's Sam. Fortunately he sang plenty of great songs. But his voice is so extraordinary it's actually difficult to assess the song itself. What an amazing gift to be able to bring joy to so many people so long after you've passed from this earth.
 
Right on...
Some voices - very few - are so utterly amazing it almost doesn't matter what they sing, it's stunning. That's Sam. Fortunately he sang plenty of great songs. But his voice is so extraordinary it's actually difficult to assess the song itself. What an amazing gift to be able to bring joy to so many people so long after you've passed from this earth.
perfect.
 gosvimmink wrote:
sam cooke is perfection
 
yes.
sam cooke is perfection
i think it's truly difficult to comprehend or figure out exactly what a huge and profound influence he, otis redding and smokey robinson were on the early '60's music scene in america.  the beatles, of course, were obliterating everything north, east, south and west at the very same time but those three did what they did best....black american soul, the very root of rock n' roll.  perhaps, if i may be so bold as to add, saving the american pop music at the same time.  there was, in fact, no real american answer for the beatles.  they sprang from the roots of the fifties (buddy holly, little richard, everly bros. etc) but those three were all american originals.  
viva sam  otis and smokey
And a second believe it or not, Joshua Ledett does magic with this on American Idol
Oh, Lord, what a voice.
10, 10, 10, 10. I should go back and change all my other 10s to 9s. It just doesn't get any better.

Believe it or not, Terence Trent d'Arby did a wonderful cover of this for a PBS (?) special called 'The Promised Land'. Nothing can top Sam Cooke of course, but that version is very, very good.
So smooth and sweet, brother bring it! {#Mrgreen}
Hmm, this song does not appear to be on this album
aaahhhhhhhhh......life is good; thank you RP!!! 
Next time you are at a wedding, ask the band to play anything from Sam Cooke.  You'll get an admiring glance from the band and the dance floor will be packed in seconds.  Never fails.  People know the music, but not the Man's name.  Amazing music.

His voice gives me chills - so pure and true. I love this song.

Wow. This song just gave me chills. I can't remember the last time that happened.


Seems like a song about Khadaffi - "I was born in a little tent.....a change is gonna come"?
This is a great example of an artist taking control of his career. Cooke heard Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind," and wanted to make that kind of statement. Not many guys can do this, but he wrote A Change Is Gonna Come and made a drastic shift away from the lighter songs he was doing to that point.

i must admit that the first rendition of this song i got to hear, and wholeheartedly fell in love with was the baby huey cover version of this track, it would be great to hear it...although it clocks at some 9 minutes ;)
Could be sacrlege to say, but I was reading an interview with Steve Perry of Journey, and he cites Sam Cooke as a favourite. And then I listened to Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'and heard it right away. Sam's influence even spread into 1970s AOR! Who would have thunk it? ThePoose wrote:
And how about Marvin, Otis and Rev. Al? Sad that legal wrangling kept this recording from being released to all humanity until the latest millennium. Credit Bob's Blowin' in the Wind for Sam's inspiration to write this.
What an amazing piece of music. One of the few that has rightly earned a rating of 10.
damn... 9 -> 10
damn, damn sad ... a change has not come.
siloco wrote:
A true classic. Terence Trent D'arby did a great version in the nineties, which is well worth checking out...
The only other version that starts to come close to this is the Neville Brothers. I saw a version filmed at the Montreal Jazz Festival that was absolutely riveting. Aaron Neville's delivery was an amazing mixture of menace and hope.
Whoa. The goosebumps I got the minute this came on tells me my rating must go up from a 9 to a 10.
drtjdel wrote:
Now I know where Robert Cray gets his vocal phrasing.
And how about Marvin, Otis and Rev. Al? Sad that legal wrangling kept this recording from being released to all humanity until the latest millennium. Credit Bob's Blowin' in the Wind for Sam's inspiration to write this.
There are a few people in my mind that define "soul" and Sam Cooke is one of them. And may I say he is on top of that list.
WOW.....worth a million goosebumps! :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:
this song brings tears to the eyes...beautiful. the whole cd is worth purchasing.
:notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy:
This is a masterpiece.
I highly recommend the recent compilation, "Portrait Of A Legend". Knockout sound. Insanely good track selection. And the skin-prickling closing hidden track from some interview, wherein the interviewer asks Sam to describe, in about 8 bars, "what Soul means to you." Sam hums a quick, perfect melody (more like 6 bars), and the interviewer says: "Sam Cooke's yours; he'll never grow old."
Taylor Hicks used this as his audition song- Did a nice version for the 20 seconds he was given... What a great song!
The BEST version I've ever heard of this song is from Aretha Franklin, play it! play it!
you should follow this with a moment of silence because anything else sort of spoils the mood. "Porcupine Trees"!?!
Phantomrider wrote:
WOW! Is there a better voice out there? Nat King Cole? maybe.
Amen to that! His vocal on "Cupid" is one of the greatest ever recorded. The voice of an angel indeed!!!
I'm crying.
A true classic. Terence Trent D'arby did a great version in the nineties, which is well worth checking out...
:sunny:
Truly moving. A wonderfully great song. Thanks so much.
cattgirl813 wrote:
One of the few works of art in any format that can bring a tear to my eye. An absolutely beautiful song.
This song stops me cold in my tracks and makes me listen to every note. 10
Now I know where Robert Cray gets his vocal phrasing.
Gee, I wonder who influenced one Rod Stewart?(whom I do enjoy as well)
Phantomrider wrote:
WOW! Is there a better voice out there? Nat King Cole? maybe.
Yup... Sam Cooke is one of the best!
goosepimply
One of the few works of art in any format that can bring a tear to my eye. An absolutely beautiful song.
I think The Band does a cover of this, which I've always liked a lot. But this... this is something very exceptional. Very nice.
I heard this for the first time and it struck me, the moment it came on. A 10. No an 11! :yes:
Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come": This song sears my soul when I hear it. Nothing else to say.
I recommend getting Potrait of a Legend over the above best of https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00009N1ZV/qid=1148593720/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-1391315-3388748?s=music&v=glance&n=5174 The sound quality is great. And the SACD is amazing.
WOW! Is there a better voice out there? Nat King Cole? maybe.
Very few can move my heart. He is one.
red04star wrote:
I put this up there as one of my favorite songs ever... A true classic... 10 all the way
and mine. Wondrous.
I put this up there as one of my favorite songs ever... A true classic... 10 all the way
Has anyone read that new book about him? I don't remember the title, but the author was on Fresh Air several months ago. Let me know what you think.
Cooke was greatly moved upon hearing Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind in 1963 and was reportedly in awe that such a poignant song about racism in America could come from someone who was white. While on tour in May 1963, and after speaking with sit-in demonstrators in Durham, North Carolina following a concert, Cooke returned to his tour bus and wrote the first draft of what would become "A Change Is Gonna Come." (from wikipedia)
Oh my word. This song, especially because of Sam Cooke's phrasing and beautiful vocal quality, just takes my breath away every time I hear it. It's sublime, pure and simple.
There are a few comments below regarding the ceiling of 10. Listening to this song has prompted me to review my previous song ratings; I've been too quick to rate highly the songs I find agreeable. This recording, along with Beethoven and SRV and very few others, will be my new benchmark for rating calibration.
So soulful, so beautiful. This song was chosen about a week ago by one of the American Idol semi-final contestants, Gideon McKinney, I think, and it caused me to remember this long forgotten song. McKinney, by the way, did an excellent rendition of the song yet got voted off the show soon after. As soon as I heard Bill put it on now, I jumped out of my seat and turned up louder. Thanks so much, Bill. Please remember to play it often - it works especially well with current events/news of the day.
Wonderful song! Thank you.
jadewahoo wrote:
Please, Bill... after this song by Sam Cooke, would you please just have a few moments silence in honor of the world's finest Soul artists singing the finest Soul song ever sung.
today he's wisely followed Sam with an instrumental. appropriate.
There's a timeless quality to Sam Cooke's music. Especially this song. It means a lot with today's trouble in the US and world.
Oh, oh, oooh . . . Sam Cooke. Will the future be able to look back on any of the contemporaries of today with such fondness?
This one brings me to tears. Very moving song.
Few songs have ever blown me away as this one did when I first heard it - still does, too. Heard a few covers by none-too-shabby singers, Ottis Redding and lauryn hill among them, they didn't have a chance, though, compared to this.
CHILL FORMING (UP MY SPINE)
Hah. For quite some time I've been wondering who sang this song, as I heard it here on RP for the first time a while back. But I could never remember who sang it. I just thought about this song a few minutes ago, funny how it just started playing. I really like this song, even if it's totally out of the norm for me. And thanks for uploading this, Stuart.
I only wish this song was longer!
Stuart wrote:
I uploaded this song way back in 2001 and left the album title blank because I got it off the web. My only copy of it was on the CD "The Man and His Music" which is in storage back in the states, thanks to a screw up by the moving company... Anyway, at the time, that disk was the ONLY place you could find the song. Its on a few more compilations and reissues since then, but its still pretty rare.
thank you for sharing this magnificent song
cranking this baby. :music: :cheers:
Breathtaking.
rexi wrote:
Funny, this song isn't listed on the albums above...
I uploaded this song way back in 2001 and left the album title blank because I got it off the web. My only copy of it was on the CD "The Man and His Music" which is in storage back in the states, thanks to a screw up by the moving company... Anyway, at the time, that disk was the ONLY place you could find the song. Its on a few more compilations and reissues since then, but its still pretty rare.
10 (Any Questions?)
This a superb song, especially if you haven't been doing so well of late! Very inspiring, well arranged, beautifully sung. Excellent, excellent.
resonator wrote:
I only gave this song a 9?? Shame on me!
And... I only gave this song a 10? Shame on the ceiling!
I only gave this song a 9?? Shame on me!
Sam Cooke defines soul.
Funny, this song isn't listed on the albums above...
I thought the movie "Ray" was pretty decent. However, I've always thought a biopic on Sam Cooke was the movie that should be made: charismatic singer, incredible voice, sweet playlist, tragic death. Over the years I've heard that efforts to make the movie were blocked by someone w/ control over the estate. Oh well.
By the current scale, I'd rate this about a 28.