Joe Cocker's Influence

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Joe Cocker’s cover of a not as well known song by a mega popular band (popularity and well known status of the Beatles), combined with the timing of the world (counterculture, experimentation, not so rigid roles) and his own talent and personal twist on “With a Little Help from My Friends” (everything he changed about the song), helped Joe Cocker rise to success that he might otherwise not have found without the indirect help from the Beatles.
The Beatles are an iconic English rock band and are widely regarded as the “foremost and most influential act of the rock era” (Unterberg). Formed in Liverpool in 1960, the Beatles were comprised of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, with Stuart Sutcliffe on bass guitar in January and Pete …show more content…

During the course of his career, Cocker was a part of several bands: The Cavaliers, Vance Arnold and the Avengers, the Grease Band, and Mad Dogs and Englishmen. During his time with the Cavaliers he was a drummer, and his Vance Arnold stage name was a “combination of Vince Everett, Elvis Presley’s character in Jailhouse Rock (which Cocker misheard as Vance); and country singer Eddy Arnold” (Bean 16). During his United states tour, Cocker and the Grease Band were booked for Woodstock Festival in New York in 1969. His rendition of Beatles’ song, “With a Little Help from My Friends, helped propel Cocker to fame and popularity. The popularity in his cover of the song has not waned over time, in fact in 2010, a Youtube search for “Joe cocker’s ‘A Little Help From My Friends’ show[ed] up with 3,229,953 views” and his cover can be seen in a documentary made about Woodstock (Valkanova, 11). Joe Cocker’s rendition of the song impressed even the Beatles themselves, which lead to Cocker obtaining their permission for him to cover two more of their songs on his subsequent album, Joe Cocker!. His debut album is named “With a Little Help from My Friends” and the title track is a cover of the Beatles Song. His version eventually became the theme song to 80’s and 90’s television series, The Wonder …show more content…

They were physically attacked in Japan and their records were burnt in the Bible Belt after John Lennon made a passing comment, that “Christianity was in decline and the Beatles were ‘more popular than Jesus’”. The Beatles ' lack of interest in public live performances resulted in them being focused on studio recordings and cease all touring. “With a little help from my friends” is from Beatles’ counterculture album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was released in June 1967. Now a studio only band, the Beatles were free to experiment with sounds, ideas, instruments, and style. This album was a game changer- the counter culture album was a precursor to psychedelic rock. Drug references, Indian music, and layered studio effects contributed to the different nature of the album. The album was a concept album that set up the idea of community- the opening song was Sargent pepper acknowledging the listener to come take a part of this experience. The album was conceived as a performance, even though the Beatles did not intend to play live again. The sound experimentalism had no rules of melody or harmony and used sounds of nature, instruments, and voices on the tracks. The song itself was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney specifically for Ringo Starr to sing. Due to Starr’s nasally limited vocal range, the song is a simple tune with a limited range. John Lennon and

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