Need to note the significant birthday of Joe Cocker, a great UK interpreter of other people’s songs in an R&B style. He’s #97 on Rolling Stone’s list of Greatest Singers of All Time.
On my Top 10 roster of favorite songs by Cocker are three Beatles tunes. Most of the songs on this list, plus a ton more, are located HERE.
10. Cry Me A River, which you can hear HERE.
Like many of his great songs, it appears on the Mad Dogs & Englishmen album, the only one of his I own on vinyl.
9. You Can Leave Your Hat On – The Cocker version sounds sexy, whereas Randy Newman, who wrote it, makes it sound a tad sordid
8. Darlin’ Be Home Soon – Lovin’ Spoonful cover
7, Many Rivers To Cross – there’s a version that appears on a Coverville cover story at 94:15; the whole Joe Cocker section starts at 40:45.
6. Delta Lady – Leon Russell wrote this about Rita Coolidge; both appear with him on Mad Dogs
5. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window – took a snippet of a Beatles song from the second side of the Abbey Road LP and made it a real song
4. Feelin’ Alright – actually, the first version of this song I heard from Three Dog Night, but the original was by Traffic.
3. With A Little Help From My Friends – when they make lists of greatest covers, songs that are so transformative that you almost forget the original. One must consider this song from Sgt. Pepper, originally sung by Ringo. Like most people, I first became aware of Cocker’s version via the Woodstock movie and soundtrack album. It ranks so (relatively) low on this list from overexposure, including as the theme song to the TV program The Wonder Years.
2. The Letter – letting that Box Tops hit and letting it breathe
1. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away. I LOVE the background singers on this song from the movie Help! Here’s another link.