Q (7/00, p.130) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Good...establishing the formula with some majestic blue-eyed soul that swaggers all the way from 'Just Like A Woman' to an unlikely 'Bye Bye Blackbird'.... Reappraisal is long overdue. Now remastered, here's the ideal opportunity.""
Personnel: Joe Cocker (vocals); David Cohen, Tony Visconti, Jimmy Page, Henry McCullough, Albert Lee (guitar); Chris Stainton (piano, organ, bass); Tommy Eyre (piano, organ); Artie Butler (piano); Matthew Fisher, Steve Winwood (organ); Carol Kaye (bass); Paul Humphries, Clem Cattini, Mike Kelly, B.J. Wilson, Kenny (drums); Brenda Holloway, Merry Clayton, Madeline Bell, Sunny Hightower, Rosetta Hightower, Su Wheetman, Sunny Wheetman (background vocals).
Producer: Denny Cordell.
Reissue producer: Bill Levenson.
Principally recorded at Olympic and Trident Studios, London, England in 1968.
Originally released on A&M Records (3109).
Includes liner notes by J.P. Bean.
Audio Mixer: Tony Visconti.
Recording information: A & M Studios, Los Angels (09/1968); Olympic Studios, London (09/1968); Trident Studios, London (09/1968); A & M Studios, Los Angels (1968); Olympic Studios, London (1968); Trident Studios, London (1968).
Joe Cocker's debut built on the promise of the title track, a hit single the previous year, which had introduced the world to the singer's astonishing blues rasp of a voice and remains to this day one of the finest Beatles cover versions committed to vinyl. The vocal pyrotechnics of that song are muted on the rest of the album, with Cocker demonstrating his fine handling of more subtle material such as Bob Dylan's "Just Like A Woman" and "I Shall Be Released." Backed by his own seasoned Grease Band and session players Jimmy Page and Steve Winwood, Cocker sings with a soulful intensity that shone all too briefly during his wayward career.