Joe Cocker <> Joe Cocker!
"One Of The Great Classic Rock Albums."
The year was 1969, and Joe Cocker was a hot ticket in the circles of rock 'n' roll. Cocker skyrocket following his powerful debut album and his fame was cemented as a result of his legendary performance at Woodstock. The follow-up album, Joe Cocker! proved to be even better than his debut album. The recording features a number of high quality and distinctive covers of songs originally performed by Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Leonard Cohen and Leon Russell. Critically acclaimed by almost every rock journalist alive, the album became one of the big sellers of the year.
You can instantly feel the driving power in the voice of Joe Cocker in his absolute prime. Tunes like Lloyd Price's Rhythm 'n' Blues classic "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," the Abbey Road gem "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window" and "Delta Lady" are bare bones late 1960's hard rock done to perfection. The album also has a soul and gospel feel that is unmatched by any white classic rocker of that generation. The gospel choir sound on such tunes as soulful as Leonard Cohen's "Bird On A Wire," the Lovin' Spoonful's "Darling Be Home Soon," "Hello Little Friend" and "Hitchcock Railway" are simply phenomenal. His cover of George Harrison's masterpiece "Something" is arguably the best rock interpretation of that song ever recorded. His painful and emotional version of the song turns the Beatle classic into his own musical statement, that to this day remains the definitive alternate take on the song.
Cocker's all star backing group was his own Grease Band consisting of Chris Stainton, Henry McCullough, Bruce Rowland, Alan Spenner, Paul Humphries and Leon Russell is in their too (keyboards) with Milt Holland on drums. The assembled choir included Bonnie Bramlett, Rita Coolidge and Merry Clayton. "Friends" at the sessions were two from The Byrds - Sneaky Pete Kleinow and Clarence White.
Joe Cocker ranks up there with Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin as the great performers of the 60s - singing is the main attraction of course, along with his raucous gospel/R&B sensibilities and his ability to turn a good song into a great one. "Joe Cocker!" was and continues to be one of the greatest albums of all time.
"Oh man, this is a hit, this is a real hit".