Backed by distinguished pianist/producer David Foster, the singer--who recently released a highly regarded album featuring covers of classic R&B songs called Soul--can be seen here covering "If You Don't Know Me By Now" and "A Change Is Gonna Come."
Penned by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, "If You Don't Know Me By Now" first emerged as a Top 10 chart hit by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes in 1972. It later became a hit again for a brand new generation via the version by UK band Simply Red, who reached the Number 1 slot with it back in 1989.
Stripped back to the basics of just voice and piano, the song--and the performers here--really shine.
The next track has an even more distinguished history: Written by R&B legend Sam Cooke in 1963, and filled with deeply personal and political sentiment, "A Change Is Gonna Come" is an all-time classic that first appeared on Cooke's 1964 album Ain't That Good News. Becoming something of an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement of the era, the song has won nearly every accolade imaginable since Cooke first sang it, and in 2007 it was selected by the Library Of Congress for inclusion in the distinguished National Recording Registry.
Whether heard in the context of a full band performance or in just a piano/voice duo, "A Change Is Gonna Come" retains its powerful impact. As you'll see.
Though Seal is largely front-and-center here, let's take a moment here to single out David Foster, and man whose involvement in the music industry has been long and, by any standard, extremely successful.
Those interested in the man's history are therefore directed to check out this vintage clip of Foster in his early '70s incarnation as a member of the band Skylark, running through a version of Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock." He's the man with the delightful haircut playing the organ.
He's in full view at the 2:33 mark, so please do take a look!
- David Foster
- Sam Cooke