Musical palate cleanser, up where he belongs edition

Joe Cocker, R.I.P.:

His early tours — particularly “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” in 1970, which was documented in a live album and film of the same name — were rowdy affairs, awash in both drugs and the artistic excesses of the era. The sprawling “Mad Dogs” entourage included not only more than 30 musicians, among them the keyboardist and songwriter Leon Russell and the drummer Jim Keltner, but also spouses, babies and pets.

At the same time, Mr. Cocker’s onstage contortions had, for better or worse, become his signature. John Belushi performed a sendup on “Saturday Night Live” in 1975 that ended with his convulsing on the floor; the next year Mr. Cocker performed Traffic’s “Feelin’ Alright” on the show, joined by Mr. Belushi in imitation.

Asked about his mannerisms in an interview last year with The Guardian, Mr. Cocker said that they “came with my frustration at having never played guitar or piano.” He added: “It’s just a way of trying to get feeling out. I get excited, and it all comes through my body.”

I can’t think of any better example of all that than this version of “Cry Me A River”, which converted a slow, sultry tune into… well, something very different.

This death shit’s for the birds, by the way.  Sigh.


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12 responses to “Musical palate cleanser, up where he belongs edition

  1. Tronan

    Cocker was kind of a white Bobby Bland. They both let the sputum fly – and I mean that as a compliment.


  2. Scorpio Jones, III

    I am sure Das Mayor and his coterie of playcallers will disagree, but Sheffield Steel, in my opinion, is one of the great rock and roll albums of all time.


    RIP Joe


  3. Amen. Absent from the body present with The LORD. Joe, you serenaded me thru some difficult times🎋


  4. Will Trane

    Joe Cocker. His sounds live on. He made a great contribution to music and to our entertainment.
    Hope Bob Seger keeps rolling on.
    Sad to see him leave this world.


  5. roterhalsdawg

    Saw him in Atlanta 8 or 10 years ago, he was the real deal.
    This death shit’s for the birds, indeed…….