Mad Dogs & Englishmen (Live 1970 Fillmore East) [Deluxe Edition] by Joe Cocker on Apple Music

26 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

At the time of its initial release in 1970, Mad Dogs & Englishmen was a multi-format assault. In the pre-DVD age, the concert film could only be viewed in theaters, so the double gatefold live album was the only available souvenir for this British soul singer who was enjoying critical and commercial success as a master interpreter of other people’s music. The Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women” is good fun, but Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country” turns the ageless folk song into a tough soul shout. The Box Tops’ “The Letter” is equally infused with blue-eyed soul and some fierce horns. And that’s how it is throughout. Years of heavy drinking and hard living would damage Cocker’s voice and career and he would eventually settle into the mellower reaches of adult-contemporary, but these recordings are scary in their passion and rewarding in their artistic scope. Whether he’s tearing through “Cry Me a River” or “Let’s Go Get Stoned” or settling into Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on the Wire,” Cocker has both the virtuosity to make a grand statement and the grit to make it sound believable. The expanded edition includes eight previously unreleased live performances — including a definitive cover of the Band’s “The Weight” — and several studio recordings to make this even more of a landmark in Cocker’s career.

EDITORS’ NOTES

At the time of its initial release in 1970, Mad Dogs & Englishmen was a multi-format assault. In the pre-DVD age, the concert film could only be viewed in theaters, so the double gatefold live album was the only available souvenir for this British soul singer who was enjoying critical and commercial success as a master interpreter of other people’s music. The Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women” is good fun, but Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country” turns the ageless folk song into a tough soul shout. The Box Tops’ “The Letter” is equally infused with blue-eyed soul and some fierce horns. And that’s how it is throughout. Years of heavy drinking and hard living would damage Cocker’s voice and career and he would eventually settle into the mellower reaches of adult-contemporary, but these recordings are scary in their passion and rewarding in their artistic scope. Whether he’s tearing through “Cry Me a River” or “Let’s Go Get Stoned” or settling into Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on the Wire,” Cocker has both the virtuosity to make a grand statement and the grit to make it sound believable. The expanded edition includes eight previously unreleased live performances — including a definitive cover of the Band’s “The Weight” — and several studio recordings to make this even more of a landmark in Cocker’s career.

TITLE TIME
4:57
3:17
5:57
2:46
6:31
4:05
4:59
5:47
5:33
5:47
3:40
4:00
8:05
5:20
4:08
2:58
4:32
7:03
4:46
12:37
8:40
2:39
5:45
4:10
4:29
3:59

About Joe Cocker

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, Russell was Cocker's musical director) and both of his albums, With a Little Help from My Friends (April 1969) and Joe Cocker! (November 1969), went gold in America. In 1970, his cover of the Box Tops hit "The Letter" became his first U.S. Top Ten. Cocker's first peak of success came when Russell organized the Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour of 1970, featuring Cocker and over 40 others and resulting in a third gold album and a concert film. Subsequent efforts were less popular, and problems with alcohol (both on- and off-stage) reduced Cocker's once-powerful voice to a croaking rasp.

Cocker returned to the U.S. Top Ten in 1975, with the romantic ballad "You Are So Beautiful" and topped the charts in 1982 via a duet with Jennifer Warnes on "Up Where We Belong" (the theme from the film An Officer and a Gentleman). He still charted during the '90s, albeit with less frequency than he did in the '70s and '80s. Across from Midnight arrived in 1997, followed by No Ordinary World two years later. Respect Yourself appeared in 2002, and the covers album Heart & Soul followed in 2004. The European release Hymn for My Soul, which featured cover versions of songs by Stevie Wonder, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, and John Fogerty, was issued on Parlophone in 2007. His complete Live at Woodstock performance was released in 2009. In 2010, Hard Knocks -- his first studio album in three years -- appeared in Europe. Cocker's 23rd studio album, Fire It Up, was issued in November 2012 on Sony. It was produced by Matt Serletic, known for his work with Collective Soul, Rob Thomas, Matchbox Twenty, and numerous others. Slightly over two years later, however, on December 22, 2014, Cocker succumbed to lung cancer. ~ Cub Koda & William Ruhlmann

  • ORIGIN
    Sheffield, Yorkshire, England
  • BORN
    May 20, 1944

Top Songs

Top Albums

Top Music Videos

Listeners Also Played