In the early 70s I have worked in my school holidays in a factory to have at disposal a little money. It was a heavy job, because I had to work with a colleague on a press to produce India rubber products which the society has made as automotive supplier for the automobile industry. We have stood every day at 6 o'clock in the morning to the pressing and have worked a high chord. After half an hour were completely sweaty and have lost a lot of body liquid. But I got a very good money and most of it I spent driving through Europe by trail. But I also spent a bit of this money on buying records. One of them I bought at this time was the first record by Joe Cocker. Since the first time I listened to his songs I got shiver on my skin. There was an a working man from Sheffield who sung after work in a band. His voice was very rough and you could her in it the pints and the whiskey he drunk. But it wasn't only his voice - he sung the soul out of himself. Sometimes you could hear him being happy about his love - but most of the times he sung about a love that wasted. I could feel the emotions that he shouted out in his songs. And everyone understood what distress he went through.
I remember the time very well when the boyfriend of my best mate's sister introduced me to the music of Joe Cocker. I were in this time as young boy into glam rock like T.Rex, Slade, The Sweet, Mud and all this stuff. Then I listened to this guy who grabbed out maybe the best songs of this decade to interpret in the way he was able to. Joe Cocker was the one who thought me listen to originals of real black music like Ray Charles and the other singers which got soul in their voices. This album might be his masterpiece (if we let go in front once the records outside which he has taken up in the time when it was a wreck in Jamaica). And with a little help from his friends meant that some of the best musicians at this time played on his first record: Jimmy Page, Albert Lee, Chris Stainton, Steve Winwood and on vocal Madeline Bell. I love this record because he had a superb choice of songs that fits to him and his way to sing them.
If you want you can get more of his career on Wiki. I don't agree in most of the songs he did the last 20 years. Some of them are superb, others don't need to be named. But for me he was an artist that lead me into another kind of musical genres. I wouldn't say that he was the one that guided me into soul but he was one of the few that grabbed MY soul while listening to his songs (the other one was Rod Steward - but this will be another story told throughout this series). Someone might name my choice as BOF-music but I stick to Mr. Cocker. He had more downs than ups in his career and I'm glad that he can earn the success to him is entitled. I get sentimental right now while I listen to his songs - so let's finish for today and maybe you can enjoy some of the song I present to you right now. It's one of the few record that accompanied me for long decades and I will never get tired to listening to. What I also love with Joe Cocker, he is which essential questions he throws in the round. For example the simple question: Do I still figure in your live If I still mean to you something in your life.
So let's raise our glasses to one of the best white singers throughout the last 40 years (knowing that he's got rid of this drug).
Stand the rest of the working week mates - Weekend is soon ahead.
Joe Cocker - Bird On A Wire
Joe Cocker - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Joe Cocker - I Shall Be Released
Joe Cocker - With A Little Help From My Friends
Joe Cocker - Bye Bye Blackbird
And that's what my beloved comedian John Belushi did when he covered Joe Cocker: