Joe Cocker performs in Portugal

news: Joe Cocker performs in Portugal

JOE COCKER started out with The Avengers, singing soul and rock in the rough pubs of Sheffield, England.

One of the truly great rock voices of all time, Cocker was born in 1944, hitting the UK’s number one spot in November 1968, with his version of Beatles hit, A Little Help From My Friends. His band, Joe Cocker Big Blues, built up a large following in the north of England and ventured to France for a two month stint playing at American airbases. With Chris Stainton, the man Joe called the greatest musician in the world, they formed The Grease Band and started out to break the US.

America loved Joe, Life magazine called him “the voice of all those blind criers, crazy beggars and maimed men who summon up a strength we’ll never know, to bawl out their souls in the streets”. However, Joe wasn’t singing in the streets, he was singing at all the major rock festivals of that 1969 summer, culminating in the triumph of Woodstock.

His albums, With A Little Help from My Friends (April 1969) and Joe Cocker! (November 1969) went gold in America, and in 1970, his cover of the Box Topshit, The Letter, became his first US top ten hit. Problems with alcohol reduced Cocker’s once-powerful voice to almost a rasp, but the romantic ballads, You Are So Beautiful, 1975 and duet, Up Where We Belong, made him popular once again.

Joe has gone from strength to strength, touring extensively and to great acclaim. He still charted hits into the 90s, albeit with less frequency than he did in the ‘70s and ‘80s. No Ordinary World was his first release since 1997 and Across from Midnight and Respect Yourself appeared in 2002.

Joe Cocker is a survivor, a star and a rock legend. He has had hit records in the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s. Success has brought with it a gruelling schedule of recording and touring but, after more than 25 years on the road, he has no plans to take it easy. “As long as being on stage is fun, as long as I enjoy that part and still get a buzz out of performing, then I’ll keep going out there’. Joe is playing at the Vilar de Mouros festival on July 30, for ticket information see our What’s on pages.