Kickass rock/blues belter Joe Cocker has died at age 70 — lung cancer.
He had pretty much fallen off my radar for the last few decades, but his first two solo albums (1970, give or take a year) were un-fuckin'-real. He didn't sound like anybody else. Yes he was heavily influenced by Ray Charles, but he covered a lot of uncharted territory as well. And it didn't hurt that he had Jimmy Page and Steve Winwood — among others — backing him up.
I usually don't like cover versions of songs I'm already familiar with, but he sure pumped some life into “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window,” compared to the Beatles' bland original versions. And he did a wicked version of “Unchain My Heart” that even surpasses Ray Charles' version, IMHO.
The only cover song of his I can think of that I disliked was “Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood.” Sorry, but the Animals' version ruled. Accept no substitutes.
A few years ago there was a YouTube video of Joe Cocker singing “With A Little Help From My Friends,” captioned with “misheard” lyrics.
Check it out.
Labels: Joe Cocker