Sharing the stage with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana at Woodstock, a young up and coming British R&B singer named Joe Cocker stunned the crowd with an emotional rendition of the Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends”. If you’re a lot younger, you remember the opening credits of TV’s “The Wonder Years” used Joe’s version as the perfect song to capture the era. Remember Kim Basinger’s strip tease in “9 1/2 Weeks” – Joe’s “Leave Your Hat On”? Remember the movie “An Officer And A Gentleman”? That’s Joe’s “Up Where We Belong”.
My favorite Joe Cocker memory is an early episode of Saturday Night Live when John Belushi shared the stage with Joe. Dressed as twins, John traded verses with Joe on “Feelin’ Alright” complete with a brilliant imitation of Joe’s signature spasmodic body movements. Joe Cocker passed away on Monday at the age of 70 after a battle with lung caner. His brilliant career was most notable for one of the greatest blues voice of all-time and his inate ability to cover a song like no one else. Let’s countdown The Top 10 Joe Cocker Songs of All-Time. Honorable Mention: His cover of Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers To Cross”, “Now That The Magic Has Gone”, and showing he’s still got it, “Weight Of The World” from his recent Fire It Up CD.
10. “LEAVE YOUR HAT ON (click for link)”
9. “UNCHAIN MY HEART”
8. “FEELS LIKE FOREVER”
7. “WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS”
6. “UP WHERE WE BELONG” (With Jennifer Warnes)
5. “FEELIN’ ALRIGHT”
4. “HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME”
3. “WHEN THE NIGHT COMES”
2. “YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL”
1. “SORRY SEEMS TO BE THE HARDEST WORD”