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Served Three Ways: Three Covers of Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home To Me”

It’s not for nothing that Sam Cooke became known as the King of Soul. He’s widely considered one of the chief pioneers of soul music. Indeed, before his tragic death in 1964 at the age of only 33 years old, he had penned 29 separate Top 40 hits and founded a successful record label building off of his success as a songwriter and performer. Released as a single in 1962, “Bring It On Home To Me” has been described as both “the definitive soul song” and the “founding of soul music” by music historians. It’s no exaggeration to suggest it’s been covered hundreds of times by artists that include everyone from Paul McCartney, John Lennon, R. Kelly, Low Rawls (who provided backing vocals on the original), Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Van Morrison, Otis Redding, Bon Jovi, The Animals, Colin Meloy, She & Him, and Britt Daniel. I’ve included three of the most contemporary takes of the tracks (those by Colin Meloy, Britt Daniel, and She & Him) for you here.

Colin Meloy of The Decemberists – Bring It On Home To Me (Sam Cooke Cover)
Britt Daniel of Spoon – Bring It On Home To Me (Sam Cooke Cover)
She & Him – Bring It On Home To Me (Sam Cooke Cover)

Know of any other good ones? Which one suits you? My all time favorite version is a live version recorded by Cooke himself at the Harlem Square Club in 1963 (only a year before his death).

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Posted by Matthew Hickey

Matthew is the music editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. He’s addicted to vinyl records, pour over coffee, craft beer, small batch bourbon, and pan roasting pork chops.

  • My husband gave me that album for Valentine’s Day a few years ago. Sam Cooke is always the answer. Always.

    A few months back I saw a concert by an indie group out of Williamsburg and they covered this song. It was eh, but I couldn’t help but enjoy it. I mean, this song!

    There was a good American Masters about him on PBS a few years back that I really enjoyed and would recommend.

  • Pamela Doetsch Hohs Dolezal

    Bring it on Home – One of the greatest songs for sure – After listening to the original Sam Cooke, try these versions:
    Lou Rawls for funk. Led Zeppelin for psychedelic rock, Sonny Boy Williamson for Chicago Blues, Aretha Franklin for R&B, and Rita Coolidge for the Smokey Piano Bar version.

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