“I can stand a little sorrow…
I can stand it till tomorrow.
I can stand a little strife…
Just another taste of life.”
Joe Cocker is one of the most instantly recognizable singers of the modern era, taking his vocal influences from the early blues and R&B singers, most notably Ray Charles. He began his career in the British steeltown of Sheffield and was launched onto the world stage during the psychedelic late 1960s with the A&M Records release “With A Little Help From My Friends”. Produced by Leon Russell cohort Denny Cordell, it was an instant classic. His appearance at the 1969 Woodstock festival cemented his status as a rock legend and the hits continued through the early 1970’s.
The epic “Maddogs and Englishmen” tour was documented in a bestselling album and movie release in 1970. The tour was a hit, but Cocker withdrew from the public eye soon after. He reemerged with “I Can Stand A Little Rain” in 1974, again on A&M Records. The title track, written by producer Jim Price and featuring a stirring piano by Randy Newman, was a true standout but not the smash hit. That came in the form of the Billy Preston-penned “You Are So Beautiful”, considered one of Cocker’s most heartfelt performances. But, ‘I Can Stand A Little Rain’ remains a unheralded classic sometimes overshadowed by this bigger hit.
Cocker toured and recorded throughout the rest of the 1970s without much mainstream success, but emerged from addiction problems in the early 1980’s on a new record label (Capitol) and with a new smash single, “Up Where We Belong” in 1982. Since that time, Cocker has had hit albums (1987’s “Unchain My Heart”, 1989’s “One Night of Sin”) and toured consistantly, always maintaining his persona as an elegant soul ambassador to the world.