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Joe Cocker

After starting out as an unsuccessful pop singer (working under the name Vance Arnold), Joe Cocker found his niche singing rock and soul in the pubs of England with his superb backing group, the Grease Band. He hit number one in the U.K. in November 1968 with his version of the Beatles' "A Little Help from My Friends." His career really took off after he sang that song at the Woodstock festival in August 1969. A second British hit came with a version of Leon Russell's "Delta Lady" in the fall of 1969 (by then, Russell was Cocker's musical director) and both of his albums, With a Little Help from My Friends (April 1969) and Joe Cocker! (November 1969), went gold in America. In 1970, his cover of the Box Tops hit "The Letter" became his first U.S. Top Ten. Cocker's first peak of success came when Russell organized the "Mad Dogs & Englishmen" tour of 1970, featuring Cocker and over 40 others and resulting in a third gold album and a concert film. Subsequent efforts were less popular, and problems with alcohol (both on- and off-stage) reduced Cocker's once-powerful voice to a croaking rasp. But he returned to the U.S. Top Ten with the romantic ballad "You Are So Beautiful" in 1975 and topped the charts in a duet with Jennifer Warnes on "Up Where We Belong," the theme from the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman. He still charted during the '90s, albeit with less frequency than he did in the '70s and '80s, and has also continued to work throughout the new millennium. Across from Midnight arrived in 1997, followed by No Ordinary World two years later. Respect Yourself appeared in 2002, and the covers album Heart & Soul followed in 2004. The European release Hymn for My Soul, which features cover versions of songs by Stevie Wonder, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, and John Fogerty, was issued on Parlophone in 2007. His complete Live at Woodstock performance was released on CD in 2009. In 2010, Hard Knocks -- his first studio album in three years -- was released in Europe. Cocker's 23rd studio album, Fire It Up, was issued in November 2012 on Sony. It was produced by Matt Serletic, known for his work with Collective Soul, Rob Thomas, Matchbox Twenty and numerous others. ~ Cub Koda & William Ruhlmann, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

I usually prefer the original to the cover; Joe Cocker's one of the few artists who could rearrange a song and make it better.
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Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you have started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
Tired of this classic
mbieschke716
One of the few people who's version of any song was better than the original.
9 years old or10, first rock concert movie
Eleven years old, listening to Joe some..... LSD... it changed my life...
chiefscholl
A cold beer, Mobile bay sunset, and Into The Mystic repeated season after season Thanks,Joe
Unique talent..
although John Belushi does a better Joe Cocker than Joe Cocker does...great SNL skit
Love Joe Cocker, got to see him 2 years ago at the backyard in Austin, was an awesome concert
milosdad
One chance I got to see him he turned up way too drunk. San Antonio in 1976 or 77. He came out and promptly threw up. Didn't even get my money back.
Been listening to Joe for 45 years.....He ' s like a fine wine....
I remember seeing him on the original Saturday night Live , he is so awesome..in 99 saw him in Vegas, he opened for Tina Turner, he had no fancy props , he just sat at the piano and ROCKED it he was soaking wet with sweat, he puts his all in his performances ,
Met him and Leon in a strip joint in Vegas in 1975. They had done a concert that night that was so righteous and then there they were getting tanked with me when I was a pre med student. Too cool.
great cover of Randy Newman!
For all you a/ h that can't get it f/u he is a great person in conversation s with him much less his great persona and dedication to da music
When I heard Joe it was like a revelation, never heard anything like him. He sings with such passion like everything in him is pouring out in his song. Joe can never just sing he feels everything and you feel it along with him I never had the pleasure to see him in concert but boy what I missed There is only one Joe Cocker everyone else is a copy.
First time I got off and realized what being stoned is really like, Joe's With a little help from friends was playing on my buddy's transistor radio. Never will forget it.
krudd3
Amazing artist poet....love this man! Love all of his music, but his later work is the best. Sorry it took alcohol to change his voice, but it makes anything he does instantly recognizable .
kman99573
leon russell on piano????
the man has more talent in his pinkie than I have in my entire body.
Don't read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you have started reading this so don't stop. This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes. When done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works
'Mad Dogs & Englishmen'
In the late 60's a bunch of us went to the Fillmore East as often as we could. One night about ten of us guys got 'ready' before the drive from Connecticut and continued to get 'ready' in the cars on the way.
By time we got there we were very ready!
It was one of the most amazing shows I've ever seen.
I was so moved and 'ready' that I actually walked onstage (it wasn't too difficult back then) and performed (clapped my hands) with the Mad Dogs & Englishmen': Jo
My brother bought Mad Dogs & Englishmen when I was a kid and I remember loving the great groove these guys got into on almost every track. Usually I'm not too keen on covers, but Joe is one of the few exceptions. He's that good.
Hey boyd not everyone falls into the catagory of singer/songw r i t e r though many THINK they do. If thats the standard for TALENT then im sure you question many? and favor few. However I feel as do many writing here that there is a catagory for talented SINGERS joe cocker has persevered for MANY years in that catagory as have many others. Much the same as talented musicians his voice is HIS instrument. A very unique one. One I appreciate for whats it is, GREAT ricardo
mcramer8
see him live! amazing performance
boyd1210
I've never heard a song that he wrote? Riding some coat tails?
claire2895
Feeling Alright is one of my altime favorite's. Go Joe, sing it. . . . . . This was one of the songs they had in the Movie, Just the Ticket with Andy Garcia. Fantastic.
claire2895
Saw Joe in concert in the 70's & he was great.
claire2895
Love, She came in THru the Bathroom Window & The Letter. The piano is wild!
The bio neglects to include You Can Leave Your Hat On.
The 60's version of a lounge singer..
A great, great singer channeling Ray Charles all the way to the bank...ze mad dogs, ze Englishmen, and Mr. Joe Cocker! Mad Dogs & Englishemn - one of the greatest live recordings ever made and one hell of a band too! Feelin' alright indeed!
langforde7
Joe Cocker is amazing!
Still a great sounding song - and just as spasmodic as ever....
What was Feelin' Alright, a forgettable B side?
Probably the best version of this song. Joe Cocker is the man!
warren.sims5
It's Annie not Fannie on the weight.
Saw him at woodstock in 94 we had the insulin made it too the front
Lov it very old school!
Think Cocker's "problems" enhanced his charisma! Not many voices like his! Soulful! Can cover a lot of stuff. 'Specially Harrison!
I am also surprised the Joe Cocker cover of 'Come Together' from the Beatles homage ' Across the Universe' is not mentioned in the Pandora bio. WTF ?? One of several excellent reasons to watch the movie. His version of 'A Little Help from My Friends' is not to be missed. Check out the 'Woodstock Live' stuff and, don't miss John Belushi's genius impression of Joe Cocker, Two legendary alcoholics, one who gratefully survived his excess. Kudos to your stamina from a long time fa,
The first time I saw Joe Cocker, it was on TV, maybe Saturday Night Live. He was performing a duet, and the song was a bit of a hit. (Up Where We Belong maybe?). The way he held his body, I would have sworn he was disabled, perhaps a stroke, or maybe even cerebral palsy. I thought, wow that's great! He is overcoming his physical difficulties to perform! A bit of a letdown to find out that no, that's just the way he performs.
Love Joe Cocker, especially after he really embraced the alcohol soaked rasp that came in later years. Surprised the Pandora biography didn't include his performance of "Come Together" in the move Across The Universe. His best cover, imo.
Mad Dogs & Englishmen - One of the Top 10 live albums of all time! Brilliant gathering of musical talent. Is there a documentary film of the tour?
Awesome singer. Teamed up with Leon Russell..... t h e best!
rdhaag1
Saw the Mad Dogs movie waaaay back in the theatre (2 screens). Lots of smokin and groupies! Frickin awesome!!!! Leon Russell wearin a Holy Cross B-Ball jersey and a top hat....I woulda killed for the shirt!
liit1r
going tomorrow to the hard rock (hollywood, fl) can't wait
I got his greatest hits cd at walmart a few years back and the inside cover said Joe Cocker died unexpectedly in the late 90's....? It was one of those white border ones they make of all the greatest singers. Until tonight I actually believed it!
I only became a fan after I saw John Belushi do an incredibly hilarious Cocker imitation on Saturday NIght Live. No one could do it like Belushi. One of a kind.
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