By: Kyle Kreig
Album: Mad Dogs & Englishmen
Artist: Joe Cocker
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Every year the music community loses people that have helped mold it into what it is today. Yesterday we had the displeasure of having yet another, culture-defining individual leave us.
The mighty Joe Cocker.
I did plan on writing another Time Capsule Tuesday
article until hearing about Cocker’s death, as soon as I heard he had passed, I knew I to change gears and review one of his finest albums, Mad Dogs & Englishmen.
As soon as I got home from work, I cranked up the album and the feeling was bittersweet. Immediately I was reminded of Cocker’s piercing vocals and monstrous stage presence.At the same time, I came to the realization that no one will ever again have the opportunity to witness one of his live performances. His gritty, tobacco stained voice is something honest and should never be mimicked.
The album Mad Dogs & Englishmen (Deluxe Edition) is one of Cocker’s essential live albums that is required listening for anyone that appreciates good rock and roll during it’s pinnacle. Although the album only includes 4 of Cocker’s original songs, his talent is in no way under-showcased. In fact, his true style comes through in the songs he covers, the most famous being“With a little help from my friends” which actually turned out to be more popular than the original which was written and performed by The Beatles. He manages to put a bluesy, soul infused twist on everything he does, and this very style is what became is trademark sound.
Cocker’s vocals are mind blowing, we know this. But the energy he brought to his shows would not have been as potent if it weren’t for his powerhouse of a backing band which consisted or 20 members. Back-up singers, lead guitars, rhythm guitars, drums, percussion, horns, bass and several types of keyboards all of which played a vital role in creating massive walls of a music that made people move.
Do yourself and your earholes a favor, get this album, preferably the Deluxe Edition and enjoy Mr. Joe Cocker’s amazing voice and the legacy he left for us and generations to come.
With a Little Help from my Friends