Joe Cocker is 70

The Cocker version sounds sexy, whereas Randy Newman, who wrote it, makes it sound a tad sordid.

Joe_Cocker_-_The_EssentialNeed to note the significant birthday of Joe Cocker, great UK interpreter of other people’s songs in an R&B style. He’s #97 on the 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.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

8 thoughts on “Joe Cocker is 70”

  1. It’s Cher’s birthday too. She’s 68, if I recall correctly. Much more important than Joe “Help me I’m constipated” Cocker. Come on, Roger! 🙂

  2. 70 is more important than 68, Greg. Oh, and happy birthday to YOU! Tell you what: I’ll do Cher’s birthday in two years if you remind me a week ahead of time. She’s coming to Albany this summer or fall.

  3. Cher is still alive? I used to detest her until I heard her tell an interviewer that she considered herself a cartoon character. After that I realized that she was a human being. As for Joe Cocker, man what a voice. What a set of lungs.

  4. Joe Cocker, Woodstock, I still covet the blue boots with the stars; agree, love You Can Leave Your Hat On, and even though we’re honoring JC today, also enjoyed Tom Jones’ cover for The Full Monty, such a little gem of a movie especially that final scene I never tire of. But now I’m inspired to watch 9 1/2 Weeks again, seen so long ago, jeez! Very nice shout out to Joe, Roget…

  5. Thanks, Carol. I remember sitting through Woodstock TWICE in a row! Were you there?

  6. Fantastic list; Joe Cocker’s two 1969 albums and Mad Dogs are some of my favorites. I have With a Little Help from My Friends on vinyl, because I have all of my Mom’s old records. It wasn’t on your list (I wouldn’t put it on mine), but his “When the Night Comes” was all over the radio for a while in 1989. Or at least it seemed like it, because my Dad LOVED that song and would turn it up whenever it came on. It actually makes me feel sick because it literally only reminds me of the divorce. How songs come to stand for things in our lives…

    On the other hand, I used to do that John Belushi impression of Cocker, and that always made me Dad laugh, so that’s a good memory, too.

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