Sam Cooke

Bring It on Home to Me

Composed by Sam Cooke

Song Review by

Sam Cooke could be as smooth as silk, popping out chart-topping hits with a light, sophisticated pop touch. But he could also return to his gospel roots -- where he was already a star singer with the legendary Soul Stirrers -- and churn out a slow-burning soul ballad like "Bring It on Home to Me."

Sung as a duet/two-part harmony with then-relatively unknown Lou Rawls, the song is stripped-down and pretty raw by Cooke's secular pop standards -- even with the light string orchestration. The bulk of the 1961 recording is dominated by Ernie Freeman's piano, drums, a little sax riffing, and, above all, the vocal harmonies of Cooke and Rawls. The two compliment each other perfectly, with the baritone Rawls taking the low harmony to Cooke's tenor melody. The two men, singing the part of the narrator together, beseech a woman to come back, acknowledging a grievous error in letting her leave: "I know I laughed when you left/But now I know I only hurt myself/Baby, bring it to me/Bring your sweet loving/Bring it home to me." Still, the narrator can't help but get a dig in during the final verse, an explanation and justification of sorts: "You know I tried/To treat you right/But you stay out, stay out all night/But I forgive you, bring it to me/Bring your sweet loving/Bring it on home to me."

The song -- a Top 20 single in 1962 -- came out two years after musical maverick Cooke formed his own independent SAR label, as well as publishing and management companies, thus becoming influential in the music business as an African-American artist taking control over record marketing, promotion, and sales. It was also in 1960 that Cooke left the Keen label, moving to the powerhouse major RCA. Ironically, it was the move to the major that coincided with Cooke's decided turn back to his gospel roots musically. His management company was responsible for Rawls, whose association with Cooke went back to high school and who also had gospel roots. Notable covers of the oft-recorded "Bring It on Home to Me" include recordings by such Cooke disciples as Rod Stewart (Smiler [1974]), Otis Redding -- with Carla Thomas on King & Queen (1967) -- and Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee (Sonny and Terry[1976]).

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Best of Sam Cooke [RCA] 1962 RCA Legacy 2:44
The Late & Great Sam Cooke 1969 RCA
No Image 196? TRIP 3:03
No Image 1970 RCA
No Image 1976 RCA
No Image 1981 RCA
One Night Stand: Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club 1963 1985 RCA / RCA/Legacy 4:08
The Man and His Music 1986 RCA 2:41
The Rock 'N' Roll Era: 1962 - Still Rockin' 1988
Various Artists
Greatest Hits 1998 RCA/Legacy 2:45
Great Soul Ballads 1998
Various Artists
Goldies 2:41
The Great Sam Cooke 1999 Goldies 2:42
No Image 2000 Sony Music 3:04
No Image 2000 Castle Music Ltd. 2:41
Hits! 2001 BMG International 2:45
The Best of Sam Cooke [Paradiso] 2002 Paradiso 2:45
Portrait of a Legend 1951-1964 2003 ABKCO Records 2:45
That's Soul [Golden Stars] 2006
Various Artists
Golden Stars 2:40
Wonderful World: The Very Best of Sam Cooke 1957-60 2011 RCA
Night Beat/One Night Stand! Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club 2011 Legacy / RCA 4:08
The RCA Albums Collection 2011 RCA / Sony Music 4:08
The  Best of Sam Cooke [APO] 2012 Analogue Productions / APO (Analogue Production Originals) 2:44
Twistin the Night Away/Swing Low 2013 Soul Jam 2:42
I Put The Bomp: Great R&R Answer Discs 2013
Various Artists
Great Voices of the Century / Highnote Records, Inc. 2:44
Original Album Classics 2014 RCA
The Complete Solo Singles, As & Bs, 1957-62 2016 Acrobat 2:34
Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix, Vol. 2 2017
Various Artists
Hollywood 2:43
50 Shades of Music For Her
Various Artists
Golden Stars / Goldies 2:40
No Image
Various Artists
No Image
Various Artists
Rare Jazz Music Ltd 2:41
Golden Oldies Hit Series, Vol. 42
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 2:41
Playlist: The Very Best of Sam Cooke Legacy / Playlist / RCA 2:44
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:35
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