From sweet and smooth classics, to new names, to old names with new music...the focus here, is to shine a little light on some damn fine music.

I'll find it. You can listen, review, or tell me I wouldn't know good music if it kicked me in the ass. I personally don't give a shit.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Always With A Little Help From His Friends: Joe Cocker

Today we are going to sample a few tasty treats from one of the greatest vocal interpreters of our time.

When he first burst upon the scene in the 60's, no one who saw him sing would have ever thought he would still be alive today. In my mind it was going to be a race between him and Keith Richards, to see who would kick the bucket first. Amazingly and luckily for us...they are both still here.

His facial expressions and wild arm gyrations just made you think, this guy is just gonna OD on stage. And yes, there were many demons. But somehow over the years, he always managed to pull it together and record another great cover song where he would sing his ass off.

John Robert Cocker or as we know him...Joe.

Starting out with covering "With A Little Help From My Friends," the list of songs he has given a new life to, is both extensive and impressive. And yeah, he won a Grammy and an Oscar for "Up Where We Belong," a ballad duet with Jennifer Warnes from the "Officer and a Gentleman" soundtrack, but that wasn't nearly gritty enough for me.

So today, let's taste a few real nice rockers and a ballad or two (can you just imagine at how many weddings "You Are So Beautiful" has been played?), cause the man can sing both. He can make you rock and he can make you weep. There are singers with vocal ranges where you listen and marvel at the talent that god has given them. Then there are singers who take what they have and prove that god has given them a soul.

Joe Cocker sings from his soul.

Listen Up...

"Feelin' Alright" ...the great song by Traffic, live from the Mad Dogs and Englishmen Tour
"Cry Me A River" ...same tour with Leon Russell, Chris Stainton, Rita Coolidge, etc.
"The Letter" ...first a pop hit for The Box Tops, Joe gave it some blues and some balls.
"When the Night Comes" ...great song from Bryan Adams, Diane Warren and Jim Vallance. This is how you cover a song.
"Unchain My Heart" ...a pure and crisp vocal...very satisfying indeed
"You Are So Beautiful" ...a simple song, a simply powerful vocal

And my favorite Joe Cocker tune...
"Hitchcock Railway"  ... if your feet ain't tappin' with this song, baby...well you know. I'm ready for the day.


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