Joe Cocker, whose real name is John Cocker, was an English singer who started his artistic career at the very beginning of the 1960s by creating a first group called The Cavaliers. Adventure that will come to an end.
Under the pseudonym of Vance Arnold, he created a year later in 1961 a new group called Vance Arnold and the Avengers with which he toured mainly in pubs, an adventure which would last 3 three years but which did not lead to anything concrete in the final.
The start of his solo career took place a year later in 1964 when he signed with the Decca label, a label that allowed him to release his first 45 RPM called "I'll cry instead". A first title which will unfortunately go almost unnoticed and which makes him leave Decca as quickly as he did.
New group The Grease Band from 1966 and back in the pubs. New 3-year adventure which, once again, will result in the dissolution of the group. Only positive point, the singer caught the attention of Denny Cordell, renowned producer including groups such as Procol Harum and other Moody Blues.
New collaboration which sees the recording in 1968 of a first title named "Marjorine", title which finally brings the long awaited first success. Shortly followed by "With a little help from my friends", a luxury cover of the Beatles' title dating from 1967. A cover that he will perform at a small festival called Woodstock a year later in 1969. The two go become legendary, both the song and the festival. A title included in the album of the same name which will be released the same year and which will launch the artist's career for good and this time in a shattering way.
Also in the same year, the album "Joe Cocker !", album which confirms the rise of the artist, notably thanks to the flagship title "Delta Lady". A rise in power that is not without its setbacks as the artist begins to drink and a lot.
An alcohol addiction which gained momentum during the year 1970, which did not prevent him from releasing a new live album called "Mad dogs & Englishmen", the best of which was "Cry me a river". The year 1971 saw his physical health, and this time his mental health as well, deteriorate sharply.
Mixed return in 1972 with the release of the album "Joe Cocker", an album which will do less well than the previous opus and which will not produce any major hits. A year which rhymes once again with overflows of all kinds, especially during a tour in Australia where the singer is arrested and then deported for possession of marijuana and multiple fights. A descent into hell that accelerates the following year when he falls into depression and heroin use.
Years of marginalization that he pays at a high price because all the albums that will be released until the end of the decade will only meet average success apart from the album "I can't stand the rain" which will produce the magnificent "You are so beautiful" in 1975.
He will have to wait for the following decade and especially the year 1982 to finally return to a success worthy of the name. And this thanks to the enormous title "Up where we belong" which he interprets in duet with Jennifer Warnes for the soundtrack of the film 'Officer and Gentleman'. But he fails to capitalize on this huge success and falls back into the depths of the Charts.
He will have to wait four more years and a new soundtrack to finally resurface, and in what way ! The track "You can leave your hat on" that he recorded in 1986 for the soundtrack of the film 'Nine ½ weeks' was going to be a real hit and literally ignite all the Dancefloor on the planet.
Planetary success confirmed and amplified the following year in 1987 when the album "Unchain my heart" was released, an album with average success but which would produce the single of the same name. Single which will shatter everything in its path and establish the artist as one of the greatest singers of the decade. An 80s decade which will have been much more successful than the previous one.
The proof with the album "One night of sin" which was released two years later in 1989 and which gave him one of his biggest hits with the enormous "When the night comes".
A great adventure that continued during the 1990s with firstly the success of the album "Night calls" which was released in 1991 and which produced the hit of the same name. New success also on the soundtrack of film in 1992 with this time with the title "(All I know) Feels like forever" for the soundtrack of the film 'The Cutting Edge'.
The year 1994 saw the release of the album "Have a little faith", album which will remain as his highest ranked of all across the Channel. The album will produce no less than 3 top hits with "Let the healing begin", "The simple things" but also, and above all, "Summer in the city" which will remain as the biggest success of the album.
New global top hit in 1996 with the release of the single "Don’t let me be misunderstood", a luxury cover of the original Nina Simone track from 1964 whose best-known remixed version until then was that of Santa Esmeralda. Single from the album "Organic" released the same year.
Another luxury cover one year later in 1997 with the cover this time of the cult "Could you be loved" by Bob Marley dating from 1980. Shortly followed by the title "Never forget". Both extracts from the album "Across from midnight" also released in 1997.
The end of the decade is once again ending in style with the title "Different roads", the flagship single from the album "No Ordinary world" and which offers the artist a new global success, one more.
He will have gone through the 1960s, then the 1970s, then the 1980s, then the 1990s and here he proudly begins the next. With new successes such as "You can have my heart" in 2002, then "Hymn 4 my soul" in 2007. Of course, the level of success will be lower, but the artist resists and resists rather well.
He even enjoyed a last notorious success in 2012 with the track "Fire it up" from the album of the same name.
Unfortunately, the great adventure came to an end two years later in 2014, when he died of lung cancer at the age of 70. The end of an extraordinary adventure for an extraordinary singer, whose gestures and facial expressions are recognizable among all and who will have profoundly marked the musical history of the end of the twentieth century by his unique style and voice.
To discover or rediscover.
Discography (among others ...) :
I’ll cry instead 1964
With a little help from my friends 1968
Delta lady 1969
She came in through the bathroom window 1969
The letter 1970
High time we went 1971
Woman to woman 1973
Pardon me sir 1973
You are so beautiful 1975
Lady put out the lights 1978
I'm So Glad I'm Standing Here Today 1981
Ruby Lee 1982
Sweet little woman 1982
Up where we belong 1982
Threw it away 1983
Civilized man 1984
There goes my baby 1984
Edge of a dream 1984
Shelter me 1985
Don't You Love Me Anymore 1986
You can leave your hat on 1986
Heart of the matter 1986
Now that you're gone 1986
Love lives on 1987
Unchain my heart 1987
A woman loves a man 1987
When the Night Comes 1989
I will live for you 1989
What Are You Doing with a Fool Like Me 1990
Living in the promise land 1990
Night calls 1991
I can hear the river 1991
(All I Know) Feels Like Forever 1992
Now that the magic has gone 1992
Summer in the city 1994
The simple things 1994
Take me home 1994
Let the healing begin 1994
Highway highway 1995
Don't let me be misunderstood 1996
Could you be loved 1997
N'oubliez jamais 1997
What do I tell my heart 1998
What becomes of the broken hearted 1998
That's all I need to know 1998
Different roads 1999
No ordinary world 1999
On my way home 1999
You can have my heart 2002
Never tear us apart 2002
Hymn 4 my soul 2007
Hard knocks 2010
Fire it up 2012
I come in peace 2013
1964 ... the beginnings of one of the most incredible careers of the coming 40 years. But at this point, nobody knows anything about it yet ...
1968 ... after a first title which was in truth a cover of the Beatles title dating from 1964, the young singer really began his career with this title, and above all, this first success
1968 ... then THIS title comes ! The title that will literally explode its notoriety and raise him One Shot to the rank of planetary star. Here he simply signs one of the most emblematic pieces of his career and of the end of the 1960s. MAS-TER-FUL !
1969 ... how to compete with the previous gem, mission almost impossible. Anyway, the singer is now in orbit and all that remains is to unroll. And to unroll, it will unroll !
1969 ... a nice title which, paradoxically, was only very successful after all. A career start with a - very high - and a few lows. But nothing to worry about considering what is looming on the horizon ...
1969 ... for the big takeoff, it will still have to wait a few years. After a startling to say the least, the artist is doing a bit of on the spot. Patience, patience ...
1970 ... a decade of 70 which begins as the previous one ended, namely in half-tone. There is success, of course, but the artist cannot find the way to the stars ...
1971 ... a Joe Cocker style that takes shape slowly but surely. With this hoarse voice, unique in its kind and which will forever remain his trademark
1973 ... after a year 1972 when not much will happen, here he is back in 1973 in a form that we will qualify as average. We will still have to be patient ...
1973 ... what is certain is that we cannot say that his songs lack liveliness, that's clear. See even too much ...
1975 ... just like 1972, 1974 will not have been a Grand Cru. The singer goes from one extreme to another and it is true that for the moment, he offers us more of the whole coming than the brilliant one unfortunately. Then comes this title. A sumptuous ballad that is not his (originally written and performed by Billy Preston) but that he will interpret so well that it will stay in history as the best-known version. MA-GIC !
1978 ... after a big air hole that will last 3 years, the singer comes back to us in great shape and gives us a beautiful Intimist track. Beautiful title that will not even be classified, go figure ...
1981 ... then a new 3 years air gap. The singer's career is getting somewhat chaotic, to say the least. Anyway, he started the 80s in the best possible way with a first success that would appeal to many others and not the least !
1982 ... the restart is slow and laborious but quality is essential. No reason to worry, especially when you see what to expect next ...
1982 ... yet another unranked title which would have really deserved to be. The singer has perfectly understood the measure of this new decade and what he now offers is quite trendy. There is a time when it will pay off, of course !
1982 ... after the end of the 1970s which left him somewhat moribund, the 1980s brought him back to the fore in a spectacular fashion thanks to this title on the soundtrack of the film "Officer and gentleman". A title that will become one of the biggest Ultimate Slow of the decade, and of the end of the twentieth century, just that. MAS-TER-FUL !
1983 ... after a year1982 full in terms of titles, 1983 will seem somewhat pale with only 1 title on the clock. Better quality than quantity as they say ...