portrait of this blog's author - by Stephen Blackman 2008

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

and yup you got it . . . . .  not entirely sure whether I bought this first or the titular 'Joe Cocker' but 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen' the year after was a blinder that was never off the turntable when it came out. I was influenced by a local bass player who turned me on to Joe's 'With a Little Help . . . . . ' [thanks Bill!] but the covers of Dave Mason's 'Feelin' Alright' and finding him cover a John Sebastian (of The Lovin' Spoonful) The Box tops 'The Letter' et al meant he was godlike to me then 

We loved Joe with his Sheffield builder hod carrying stance and his wild air guitar gesticulations and his awesome gravel full soulful voice and I think I must have bought the first three albums but not sure where they are now . . . . . .didn't really check in again with him until '9 1/2 Weeks' came out and Randy Newman's 'You Can Leave Your Hat On' broke big time with its naughtiness which every red blooded heterosexual male will always associate with Kim Basinger . . . . . ahem, cough cough!

On this day in music history: April 23, 1969 - “With A Little Help From My Friends”, the debut album by Joe Cocker is released. Produced by Denny Cordell, it is recorded at Olympic and Trident Studios in London circa early 1968. The first album by the Sheffield, UK born rock vocalist features musical support from musicians such as Jimmy Page, Steve Winwood, Albert Lee, Henry McCullough, as well as L.A. studio veterans like Carol Kaye, Paul Humphrey and vocalists Merry Clayton, Madeline Bell and Brenda & Patrice Holloway. It spins off two singles including a cover of the Dave Mason penned “Feelin’ Alright” (#69 Pop) and the title track (#68 Pop). The latter’s striking rearrangement provides Cocker with his commercial breakthrough. The single release of “With A Little Help From My Friends” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2001. The song is also used as the theme song for the long running series “The Wonder Years”. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 1999, with two additional bonus tracks added. It is remastered again and reissued as a hybrid SACD disc in 2015. “With A Little Help From My Friends” peaks at number thirty five on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold In the US by the RIAA.
thanks to the most excellent Jeff Harris' blog 'Behind The Grooves

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