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Night Calls

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Album Review

Cocker's rep has always been as a superb interpreter of other people's material. For Night Calls, the Sheffield native peaks with the opening track — a memory-engraving rendition of the Bryan Adams/Diane Warren-penned "Feels Like Forever." It's the higher profile songs that ultimately disappoint on Night Calls. Cocker eventually works up a lather toward the end of "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," but it never reaches the standard of other Beatles classics in his repertoire ("With a Little Help from My Friends," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window"). The biggest let-down is the lack of commitment projected on Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me." Still, even slumming Cocker sounds more real and soulful than, say, Michael Bolton in his wildest dreams.


Born: 20 May 1944 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

After starting out as an unsuccessful pop singer (working under the name Vance Arnold), Joe Cocker found his niche singing rock and soul in the pubs of England with his superb backing group, the Grease Band. He hit number one in the U.K. in November 1968 with his version of the Beatles' "A Little Help from My Friends." His career really took off after he sang that song at Woodstock in August 1969. A second British hit came with a version of Leon Russell's "Delta Lady" in the fall of 1969 (by then,...
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