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Joe Cocker: Mad Dogs & Englishmen

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone (p.98) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "When Cocker scores in the late shows with the Beatles's 'With a Little Help From My Friends,' it is with the grateful howl of a man who knows how lucky he is."

Q (4/97, p.142) - 5 Stars (out of 5) - "...there's an organised abandonment and sense of spiritual pilgrimage in this set that remains virtually unrivalled."

Q (4/97, p.142) - 5 Stars (out of 5) - "...there's an organised abandonment and sense of spiritual pilgrimage in this set that remains virtually unrivalled."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.146) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "MAD DOGS finds a heroically knackered Cocker rising to the occasion; by turns stenorian and vulnerable -- often both -- against the swaggering rock big band."

Album Notes

Ultradiscs are mastered from the original master tapes using Mobile Fidelity's proprietary mastering technique, then plated with 24 karat gold and housed in a stress-resistant lift-lock jewel box. Previously released as a 2-CD set.

Personnel: Joe Cocker (vocals); Leon Russell (guitar, piano); Don Preston (guitar, background vocals); Bobby Keys (tenor saxophone); Jim Price (trumpet); Chris Stainton (piano, organ); Carl Radle (bass); Chuck Blackwell (drums, percussion); Jim Gordon, Jim Keltner (drums); Bobby Torres (congas); Sandy Konikoff (percussion); Rita Coolidge, Claudia Linnear, Daniel Moore, Donna Wiess, Pamela Polland, Matthew Moore, Donna Washburn, Nicole Barclay, Bobby Jones (background vocals).

Recorded live at The Fillmore East, New York, New York on March 27 & 28, 1970. Includes liner notes by John Mendelsohn.

One of the first classic post-Woodstock albums, MAD DOGS AND ENGLISHMEN was recorded at precisely the moment that Cocker and his bandleader Leon Russell found themselves, however briefly, at the epicenter of the rock & roll universe. The big hits here--the juiced-up version of Traffic's "Feelin' Alright," the Memphis soul revamp of the Box Tops "The Letter"--have been ubiquitous for years, and remain as potent as ever.

Some of the less familiar tracks are equally rewarding though, particularly the Cocker/Russell duet on Dylan's "Girl From the North Country" (with the composer in attendance), and the obscure early Ray Charles raver "Sticks and Stones." This one shot ensemble (including veteran British musicians and the cream of then current L.A. sessioneers) was a great band, however unwieldy (twenty-one members!) and we're lucky to have this document of its only tour.



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