dinsdag 23 december 2014

Joe Cocker (1944 - 2014)

The wild man of rock is no more. Wild because of his voice, wild because of his stage antics. Although from the footage I saw through the years Joe Cocker mainly stood still, his arms and head were moving around the whole time. The Joe Cocker flapping his arms pose is impressive. The photo on the cover of this album sort of tells that all. In trance, enraptured by his own music. Forgetting who or where he is. Giving it his all.

I'm no fan of Joe Cocker in general. He had some great songs, but in my opinion no great albums. 'Sheffield steel' came closest, but the sound of that is so 80s reggae that I can't really listen to that album any more. The rest I've never really tried. Joe Cocker had a voice to be enjoyed in small doses.

The review I wrote on his debut album earlier this year (http://wonomagazine.blogspot.nl/2014/06/with-little-help-from-my-friends-joe.html) tells the story, really. I loved several of his singles. Starting with 'With a little help from my friends' in late 1968. What a sound, what a singer. The 'Woodstock' album took the song to another level again. 'Delta lady', 'Cry me a river', 'High time we went', these soulful, up tempo rocking songs are etched into my mind.

After that it was quiet around Cocker. Stories on alcohol abuse is what I mainly remember. 'Sheffield steel' was released in the early 80s, with the production of Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare. Daring for a singer who dabbed in rock and soul. It gave a push to his career in the 80s which allowed him to keep performing and recording into the new century. In the 80s followed hits like 'Unchain my heart' and 'When the night comes', two other great Joe Cocker singles.

What happened after that was beyond my attention. As I wrote I'm not a Joe Cocker fan, I just loved some of his singles. But what a singles they are. They are travelling with me for the rest of my life.


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