We will be playing The 2-disc Deluxe Edition expanded and resequenced the order of the original album. Introductions from the original album were combined with their corresponding songs and the Deluxe Edition added about an hour of extra content, including songs by Leon Russell, Don Preston, and Claudia Lennear. The new edition also added other famous Joe Cocker covers such as “The Weight”, “Something”, and “With A Little Help From My Friends”, all of which were absent from the original release.
Original 1970 double album liner notes
“Music From The Original Sound Track”
MAD DOGS & ENGLISHMEN
Including, for your delight, Cosmic Kiddies, English Roadies, Children with the Answers, Cooking Italians, Presidents of Recording Companies, Acrobatics and Displays, The Odd Sane Dog, The Space Choir, Assorted Sound Freaks, and All Elements of the Truth.
The Mad Dog Diary
11th March 1970. Joe Cocker flies into Los Angeles with the intentions of recuperating from grueling months on the road and forming a new band to perform with during the coming summer.
12th March 1970. Dee Anthony (of Bandana Management) flies into Los Angeles bearing the tidings that a seven-week Joe Cocker tour, to begin eight days later in Detroit, has been negotiated and advises Joe that the Musician’s Union, immigration authorities, and promoters involved should be mightily chagrined (to the point of barring him from performing in America henceforth) should he fail to go through with it.
13th March 1970. Leon Russell, hearing of Joe’s plight, offers his services in forming and playing in a band for Joe to take with him on his tour. So great is his prowess on the telephone that, by day’s end, ten musicians have been assembled and rehearsals begun.
14th March 1970. Some three hundred people turn out to watch the new band (which now includes eleven singers as well as ten players) rehearse for twelve hours on the A&M sound-stage.
15th March 1970. Another twelve-hour rehearsal is held and a private airplane is hired.
16th March 1970. Eleven more rehearsal hours are put under the collective belt.
17th March 1970. Yet another marathon rehearsal is staged, this one recorded in its entirety, with “The Letter”/“Space Captain” single resulting. The entourage, henceforth known as Mad Dogs & Englishmen, now numbers thirty-six, including the musicians, three sound men, two secretaries, three roadies, managers, wives, lovers, assorted children, and other animals.
18th March 1970. Someone proposes that the whole tour be filmed. Another, bigger, airplane is ordered to accommodate the five-man-film-crew supplemented entourage, which now numbers forty-three.
19th March 1970. These forty-three crowd into the new Super Constellation and wing to Detroit, where their first live performance occurs the next day.
27th and 28th March 1970. Four appearances later Joe Cocker, Mad Dogs & Englishmen arrive at the Fillmore East, wherein this album was recorded in its entirety, the lion’s share coming from the Friday evening shows.
-Mad Dogs & Englishmen Tour-Photographer: Linda Wolf
16th May 1970. After playing their last show together (in San Bernardino, California) and then kissing, embracing, flashing back sentimentally, and crying the odd tear, Joe Cocker, Mad Dogs & Englishmen go their separate ways, but not before having bestowed upon each of us who saw them or have heard this album or will see the film of their adventures a generous dose of joy.
– John Mendelsohn
Vendor of the Cosmic Comma
HONKY TONK WOMEN 3:35
(Mick Jagger-Keith Richard) Gideon Music Inc. BMI
STICKS AND STONES 2:30
(Titus Turner-Henry Glover) Tangerine Music Inc. BMI
CRY ME A RIVER 3:50
(Arthur Hamilton) Saunders Publications Inc. ASCAP
BIRD ON THE WIRE 6:15
(Leonard Cohen Stranger Music Inc. BMI
FEELIN’ ALRIGHT 5:30
(Dave Mason) Irving Music Inc. BMI
(Leon Russell-Bonnie Bramlett) Skyhill Publishing Co., Inc./Delbon Publishing BMI
LET’S GO GET STONED 7:15
(V. Simpson-N. Ashford-J. Armstead) Baby Monica Music/Reneigh Music BMI
BLUE MEDLEY 12:47
I’LL DROWN IN MY OWN TEARS
(Henry Glover) Jay & Cee Music BMI
WHEN SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH MY BABY
(Isaac Hayes-David Porter) East/Memphis Music Corp. BMI
I’VE BEEN LOVING YOU TOO LONG
(Otis Redding-Jerry Butler) East/Memphis Music Corp./Time Music Corp. BMI
GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY 2:30
(Bob Dylan) M. Witmark & Sons ASCAP
GIVE PEACE A CHANCE 4:20
(Leon Russell-Bonnie Bramlett) Skyhill Publishing Co., Inc./Delbon Publishing BMI
SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW 2:50
(John Lennon-Paul McCartney) Maclen Music Inc. BMI
SPACE CAPTAIN 4:55
(Matthew Moore) Skyhill Publishing Co., Inc. BMI
THE LETTER 4:20
(Wayne Carson Thompson) Earl Barton Music Inc. BMI
DELTA LADY 5:35
(Leon Russell) Skyhill Music Co., Inc. BMI
Musical Arrangements: Leon Russell, Chris Stainton
DON PRESTON / RITA COOLIDGE (The Delta Lady) / CLAUDIA LINNEAR (Stellar Gypsy) / DANIEL MOORE / DONNA WEISS / PAMELA POLLAND / MATTHEW MOORE / DONNA WASHBURN (Lady Madonna) / NICOLE BARCLAY / BOBBY JONES
PRODUCED BY DENNY CORDELL (Lunar Tea Cake Snake Man) and LEON RUSSELL for Tarantula Productions
Recorded on March 27-28, 1970 at Fillmore East, New York
Location Engineer: Edwin Kramer
Mixdown and Master Engineer: Glyn Johns, M.B.E.
Design: Tom Wilkes
Photography: Jim McCrary, Cosmina Andee Cohen
Packaging Concept: Craig Braun
Illustration: Ron Wolin
Leon Russell appears with love from Shelter Records
Don Preston courtesy of Stax Records
Write for a free, full-color catalogue.
A&M RECORDS & TAPES A&M Records, 1416 N. La Brea, Hollywood, California 90028. Mfg’d. by Sound Packaging Corp. Printed in U.S.A.
Good Bye Your Music Lives on….
Joe Cocker, who has died aged 70, was a Sheffield-born singer who came to be considered one of the greatest white blues and soul vocalists. With a voice that could rage, bellow, rasp, screech or – if circumstance demanded – be unexpectedly yearning and vulnerable, he was capable of taking any song and making it his own.
Cocker proved this conclusively with his first and biggest hit, a cover of the Beatles’ With a Little Help From My Friends. Replacing the Fab Four’s cheerful, music-hall arrangement with his own tortured reading, Cocker topped the charts and so stunned Woodstock the following year that he established himself as rock’s most incendiary white soul singer.
It was a role for which he was perfectly suited. Honing his voice on a bottle of bourbon and 80 cigarettes a day, Cocker spent much of the Seventies in an alcohol and drug-fuelled haze. He reached the bottom in 1974 when the curtain was lowered on a performance in Los Angeles in which, having appeared in a vomit-encrusted jacket and cast-off jeans, he curled into the foetal position and was unable to continue.
But he was a survivor, for whom hair, sideboards, beard and stomach might come and go while his voice, if occasionally croaky, never let him down. Returning to the charts in 1982 with the Oscar-winning ballad Up Where We Belong, the theme to the hit movie An Officer and a Gentleman, Cocker enjoyed an Indian summer of sell-out tours and renewed chart success.
Cocker lived the stereotypical life of the blues. A wild man who earned – and paid for – his headlines, his career would have ended but for the majesty of his voice. He rarely wrote songs, but had no need. He had his own constituency. As Life magazine observed, he was “the voice of the blind criers and crazy beggars and maimed men who summon up the strength to bawl out their souls in the streets”.
John Robert Cocker was born in Sheffield on May 20 1944. He left Sheffield Central Technical School at 15 to work as a gas fitter and perform as Vance Arnold, in which guise he supported the Rolling Stones and the Hollies at Sheffield City Hall.
As Joe Cocker’s Big Blues he recorded the Beatles’ I’ll Cry Instead, but the record failed to register. After a tour of GI bases in France and another stint with the Gas Board he teamed up with the keyboards player and bass guitarist Chris Stainton, and formed the Grease Band, whose first single, Marjorine, dented the foot of the charts.
It was the release of With a Little Help From My Friends that propelled Cocker into the big time. Claiming that he had worked out the arrangement in the outside loo of his father’s house, his trembling, tumultuous performance invested the song with such poignancy that the Beatles took out full-page advertisements in the music press praising his version.
But Cocker’s signature was not confined to his voice. His onstage mannerisms – legs bolted to the floor while his hands, arms and upper body convulsed – caused him to be likened to “a dancer in a wheelchair”. When he appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show some members of the audience found it so distasteful that the singer was largely obscured by dancers.
Despite this, America embraced his furnace-like roar. His first album, With a Little Help From My Friends (1969), consisted mainly of covers bent on the anvil of his voice into personal and definitive readings. Throughout 1969 he toured extensively, appearing at all the major rock festivals, including Woodstock, at which he gave a towering performance, cementing his reputation as one of the biggest voices and most compelling acts around.
Joe Cocker! (1969), which included a turbulent rendition of Leon Russell’s Delta Lady, proved the valedictory outing for the Grease Band, who had become little more than a background to his vocals.
But without a band, and with a touring contract to fulfil, Cocker assembled 21 musicians, wives, hangers-on, managers, roadies, children, a film crew, a spotted dog and a bus driver and set out across the States on the chaotic “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” tour, performing 65 concerts in 57 days.
The experience, in addition to the cavalier range of substances Cocker ingested, so exhausted the singer that he was forced to return to Sheffield to recuperate. As the album Mad Dogs and Englishmen (1970) and its accompanying single, Cry Me a River, stormed the American charts, a desolate Cocker was dividing his time between his parents’ house and the pub, lamenting “the three o’clock break – that’s the endless gap between lunchtime and the pub opening again at six o’clock”.
His only appearance, as he wrestled with his demons and life-threatening addictions to whisky and heroin, was a supposedly triumphant homecoming at Sheffield City Hall. But, singing alongside the Mad Dogs veteran Rita Coolidge, his performance merely confirmed that his recuperation remained incomplete, and 1971 passed in a haze. On one occasion he met Princess Anne in a nightclub and, temporarily confused, thought she was his girlfriend. It took a pair of policemen to convince him otherwise.
He found the strength to resuscitate his career after seeing Ray Charles interviewed on television. When Charles was asked: “Who are the greatest living blues singers?” he answered: “Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Joe Cocker.” Inspired, Cocker returned to the stage. He toured America and Europe, but was forced to leave Australia overnight with six of his band members to avoid 18 charges, including assault, having already been fined A$1,200 for drug offences.
Rarely uninfluenced by hard-core addictions, and suffering memory lapses, Cocker relocated to Los Angeles in 1973 and – when he could make it to the studio – continued to enjoy periodic chart success. By now completely incapable of writing his own songs, he remained such an idiosyncratic interpreter of other songwriters’ material that the omission was scarcely relevant.
Despite his “foetal” performance before the press in LA in early 1974, Cocker’s voice ensured that the curtain never quite came down on his career. The tumult in his life may even have helped, both in the increasingly ravaged grandeur of his singing and in attracting songwriters keen to benefit from such a uniquely rough-edged, wounded instrument. If his behaviour tested the patience of his record companies beyond endurance, a series of albums – I Can Stand A Little Rain (1974), Jamaica Say You Will (1975), Stingray (1976), Luxury You Can Afford (1978), Standing Tall (1981) – performed creditably, as did the singles culled from them.
And for all his troubles Cocker retained the affection of his industry. When he sang the Crusaders’ I’m So Glad I’m Still Standing Here Today – a song specifically written for him – at the 1982 Grammy Awards, he received a standing ovation and renewed record company interest. It proved a turning point. Up Where We Belong, his duet with Leonard Cohen’s long-time backing singer Jennifer Warnes, was propelled by the success of the Richard Gere/Debra Winger film An Officer and a Gentleman to become his first American No 1. It also won the Oscar for Best Film Song.
On the back of this success he filled large arenas in the US and Europe, especially Germany, where his popularity had never waned. He enjoyed a triumphant return to Sheffield almost 10 years to the day after his last drug-fuelled appearance there.
Joe Cocker at the London Palladium in 1987 (ITV/REX)
Attracting higher quality songwriters, such as Jeff Lyne and Bryan Adams, he enjoyed greater success. Civilised Man (1984), Cocker (1986), Unchain My Heart (1987), One Night Of Sin (1989), Night Calls (1992), Have a Little Faith (1994) and his last album, Fire It Up (2012), all achieved platinum sales.
He also recorded songs for movies, including You Can Leave Your Hat On for Adrian Lyne’s 9½ Weeks, in which he turned Randy Newman’s sly voyeurism into a tidal wave of restrained lust. The singer observed: “I suddenly made a lot of friends. They kept coming over and wanting to see the director’s cut of Kim Basinger stripping for Mickey Rourke.”
Renewed success brought a relative harmony to the singer’s personal life. Supported by his new wife, Pam, whom he had met at Jane Fonda’s house while he was living in Santa Barbara, he rejected heroin, forsook spirits for beer and, after a long struggle, overcame his nicotine addiction. He rejoiced in less turbulent times and bought a ranch in Colorado that he rechristened the “Mad Dog Ranch”. There he raised animals, grew his own food, opened a café and indulged his passion for fly-fishing.
By now bearded, balding and portly, the singer was one of the music industry’s most celebrated survivors and was accorded the appropriate respect. He released occasional albums of “new” material, regular “greatest hits” and “live” collections and even covered his own covers. Capable of filling Old Trafford, he also performed for the Prince’s Trust and the usual flotilla of charity fundraisers.
These included such occasions as Nelson Mandela’s 70th Birthday Concert, the Concert for Berlin after the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, the inauguration of President Bush and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. But however civilised the setting, Cocker’s voice remained defiantly and magnificently un-housetrained, and his movements on stage as pained as ever.
He is survived by his wife Pam, whom he married in 1987, and by a stepdaughter. His brother, Victor, was chief executive of Severn Trent.
Joe Cocker, born May 20 1944, died December 22 2014