Joe Cocker: Mad Dog with Soul

2017

Action / Documentary

3
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 56%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 56%
IMDb Rating 7.2/10 10 827 827

Director

Top cast

Michael Lang as Self
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
828.22 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
Seeds 18
1.66 GB
1920*1080
English 5.1
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
Seeds 31

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by pacolopezpersonal 8 / 10

More than a Legend

Impressive document on the life and career of Joe Cocker. Successes and failures, addictions and much more revolve around him like a merry-go-round,the whole thing make up a fascinating life, perhaps they are missing in the documentary more performances and maybe the opinions of the guests should be shorter.Thank you Joe wherever you are.

Reviewed by classicsoncall 8 / 10

"This guy is at the heart of what he sings." - Jimmy Webb

If you're a Joe Cocker fan, and maybe even if you're not, this is a well organized and unflinching look at the energetic blues/rock singer who's interpretations and covers of other musicians made him legendary in his own time. Everyone knows about his breakout at the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival in 1969 with that mesmerizing performance of the Beatles classic, "With a Little Help From My Friends". The thing is, Cocker's performance and soulful expression of the song almost makes the Beatles version irrelevant. Which one do you think of when you hear the title?

The downside of the Cocker story comes into play following Woodstock, and his emergence on the American music scene when he began touring the States. Under Leon Russell's leadership, the Cocker entourage grew upwards of forty or fifty performers backing him when he appeared in concert. It's incomprehensible but at the same time logical to believe that the cost of touring with so many people and so much equipment left Cocker with no money and no place to live, winding up for a time left to sleep on the floor at the home of Denny Cordell, the producer of his first album.

With the Seventies, Cocker took up alcohol and drugs in a big way, forcing him to abandon touring for a period of two years. But even with a major comeback, it wasn't unusual for Joe to drink heavily, and one of the running gags was how many buckets he would use while breaking in the middle of a performance to hurl his guts. It got so bad that eventually, his wife Pam gave Joe the ultimatum. After two years of sobriety, Pam states in the documentary that she got mad over how easily he was able to do it going cold turkey, questioning why he couldn't have done it fifteen years sooner.

The documentary is peppered with reminiscences from folks close to the singer over the years, people like singer/songwriter Jimmy Webb, Rita Coolidge, Woodstock organizer Michael Lang, Joe's long time keyboard man Chris Stainton, and as mentioned earlier, wife Pam Cocker. Brother Vic had an amusing comment regarding Joe's sartorial preferences - "Joe and elegance always had a bit of a dispute". If you've seen him early in his career, you'll know exactly what that was all about.

The only downside for me with the documentary was the omission of any single performance from beginning to end; that would have been welcome for this fan of the singer. A clip of Joe and John Belushi from that notorious 'Saturday Night Live' guest spot would have been an amusing inclusion as well. It might not have been a bad idea either to mention Cocker's return to the site of the original Woodstock Festival for a concert performance on August 4th, 2012. I was at that one, and the guy could still belt it out. Rest in peace, Joe.

Reviewed by Lejink 7 / 10

A regular Joe

My wife and I regularly play a double CD compilation of Joe Cocker's best material. Never a prolific or even regular songwriter, he was instead, rather like the more feted and certainly more commercially successful Rod Stewart, an interpreter of other writers' songs covering everyone from the Beatles to Leonard Cohen, Bob Marley to Elton John. His biggest musical hero was Ray Charles and it's good to see the clip here of master and pupil together reminding us that the first recording Joe ever made was of the Genius's "Georgia On My Mind".

Elsewhere the film takes us back to his Sheffield roots with some fascinating footage of the time in the late 60's when the now local-boy-makes-good returns to his hometown to escape the distractions of the music business. There's no doubt however that the man had his demons, the usual dysfunctional duo of drink and drugs and while they unquestionably affected his behaviour and treatment of those around him, the picture emerges of a softer, gentler man than his wild man image might have you think. Even people he abruptly stopped seeing appear to have forgiven him, although it just may be no one wants to speak ill of the recently dead.

There are excerpts from many of his famous songs with his talismanic debut smash "With A Little Help From My Friends" omnipresent on the soundtrack. Among the admirers paying generous tributes to him are Randy Newman, Billy Joel and Jimmy Webb, three of the best piano-writers you could ever hear.

I was glad that by the end of his life, Cocker appeared to have found lasting love with his wife and peace in their mountain retreat in Colorado. From the footage of one of his last recorded concerts in Germany, where he was massively popular, he still had the voice too, up until the end.

How this hellraiser got all the way to 70 before dying would probably be a mystery to him too. This respectful tribute will hopefully encourage devotees and more casual fans like me to deeper explore his musical legacy. As they might have said in his native Yorkshire, he were a right good singer.

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