Joe Cocker - vocals; Cornell Dupree - guitar; Gordon Edwards - bass; Steve Gadd - drums; Eric Gale - guitar; Richard Tee - keyboards; "Three Texan Ladies" - backing vocals
This 1976 performance in Tulsa, Oklahoma shows both the dynamism of Joe Cocker's live band as well as some of the then-new, reggae-tinged material that would appear on his Stingray LP the following month. Six years prior, his live double album, Mad Dogs & Englishmen, had popularly established his reputation both in his native England and abroad in the USA as an energetic, compelling live performer. He had recently scored a #5 hit on the Billboard pop charts with the piano ballad "You Are So Beautiful," a tune originally penned by Billy Preston and Bruce Fisher that is prominently featured towards the end of this King Biscuit Flower Hour show.
Preston is also quoted in the opening instrumental, which lifts its first passages from "Nothing From Nothing." This nearly nine-minute instrumental eventually leads into "Feelin' Alright," the hit Cocker cover of a Traffic tune written by fellow pop/rock-smith Dave Mason. The majority of the show, as well as Cocker's repertoire, are covers, several of which have gone on to be greater hits than their original versions thanks to Cocker's vocal performances. More than a few of his calling-cards appear here: "You Are So Beautiful," "Feelin' Alright," and the tune Cocker is perhaps best known for: His cover of the Beatles' "With A Little Help From My Friends," which receives a super-extended 10-minute rendition at the very end with backing vocals from "three Texan ladies" whose names he doesn't specify in the band intros following "Guilty."
"The Jealous Kind" is one of the more overtly reggae cuts featured this night, moving along at a leisurely up-stroke rhythm, but most of the songs featured here are of the rousing and impassioned variety, as in "I Broke Down," a soulful, rollicking groove that is likewise featured on Stingray. "A Song For You," a cover of one of Leon Russell's best tunes, gets one of the best audience responses of the night with its subtle guitar work and deeply emotional lyrics. "High Time We Went" is a Cocker original and show highlight, and would make an appearance on the Live in LA disc two months later.
Cocker continues to write, record, and perform, and his most recent release his 2007's Hymn for My Soul.
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