Nathaniel Rateliff: Five Essential Albums

Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats (photo by Malia James, PR)
by Kara Manning | 12/14/2015 | 11:18am

Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats (photo by Malia James, PR)

Nathaniel Rateliff has had a very good year. The Missouri-bred, Denver-based singer, songwriter and ringleader of his band, the Night Sweats, has a big hit on his hands with the rousing, raucous, yet sobering "S.O.B.," a track that prominently figures in FUV's Best of 2015 staff and listener polls.

The affable Rateliff, who did an FUV Live Session with us earlier this year, is also the first to point out that his bold breakout can hardly be considered an overnight success. He's been recording music for over a decade and released three solo, folk-leaning albums and another with the combo The Wheel before unleashing his thundering soul-rock transformation on this year's Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, out now on Stax Records/Concord Music.

Rateliff and his bandmates have been touring this fall, but he took a break, somewhere on the road in North America, to send on his Five Essential Albums to WFUV, especially focusing on those classic records that inspired the songs or mood on Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats:

Nathaniel Rateliff's Five Essential Albums:

Leonard Cohen, Songs Of Love and Hate
Cohen is one of the most consistently great songwriters there is. He has a lot of amazing records, so it's hard to pick a favorite. This record is a great introduction to his work.

Ray Charles, Live at Newport
This is a band favorite. We've listened to it together more than any other record and we take a lot of inspiration from these players for our live show.

Sam Cooke, The Man Who Invented Soul
As far as compilations go, this is the best. It spans his entire career minus his early gospel stuff with Specialty Records. His voice and compositions are timeless.

The Band, The Band
I think we all grew up hearing this record a lot, and it really brought our musical styles together for the Night Sweats stuff. Every member of The Band is so good and they're even better all together.

Van Morrison, Astral Weeks
Van's voice is untouchable, and this album is a great showcase for it. The looseness of the instrumentation and composition is a perfect platform for stories of his home in Belfast.

Read more of FUV's Five Essential Albums here.

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