by Robert Wilkinson
Today we celebrate the 67th birthday of a vocal force majeure, the legendary Joe Cocker. Waving arms, roaring vocals, and a look that could come from a bar brawl rather than a stadium stage, this guy is one for the ages!
He's certainly been blessed with some of the best backing musicians around! Jimmy Page was a contributor to his studio versions of "Marjorine" and "With A Little Help From My Friends," as was Procol Harem's drummer, BJ Wilson. In his touring band he had Henry McCullough, who later went on to play in Paul McCartney's Wings, and by 1969-1971 was part of the rolling party known as "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" with Leon Russell, Rita Coolidge, Jim Keltner, Jim Gordon, Bobby Keys, and a host of other top shelf musicians.
Joe has given us some amazing interpretations of other people's songs, and so without further delay, here's Joe Cocker!
We begin with his 1968 single, set to a still drawing of Joe back when.
From 1969, the studio version set to stills of Leon Russell's "Delta Lady"
Here's the set that introduced the world to his thrashing and flailing on stage! From the 1969 original Woodstock festival, here are live performances of:
And the set closer, "With A Little Help From My Friends."
From 1970, some great live performances at the Fillmore East and other venues by Mad Dogs and Englishmen with occasional montages courtesy of the DVD! And yes, they're in order of the set list.
Here's the band jamming in a bar after the show!
Backstage, "Darlin' Be Home Soon"
More great live performances!
From November 1969, "Something"
"You Are So Beautiful" live at Montreux in 1987.
From nearly unplugged, another version of "You Are So Beautiful"
From The Tour For A.R.M.S, live at Madison Square Garden on 9 December 1983, Eric Clapton and Joe Cocker doing "Worried Life Blues"
From the Best of Joe Cocker Live,
At the Prince's Trust in 1988, "The Letter"
Joe Cocker in Berlin 1992 doing "Feelin' Alright"
Here are more Joe Cocker interpretations set to pictures and videos.
From the Queen's Golden Jubilee in Buckingham Palace Garden on 3 June 2002, an all star line up with Steve Winwood on organ, Pino Palladino on bass, Phil Collins on drums, Bryan May on guitar, and Joe doing vocals on a great version of "With A Little Help From My Friends."
We'll close today's birthday celebration with another song from that show featuring Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker & Eric Clapton doing John Lennon's timeless anthem, "All You Need is Love"
A most happy and merry to you, Mister Cocker. Even after all these years, your voice is amazing!
Copyright © 2011 Robert Wilkinson