Cocker, Joe / Mad Dogs & Englishmen
Artist Cocker, Joe
Title Mad Dogs & Englishmen
Format CD
Released 1999
Label A&m Records
Tracks
1. Introduction / Joe Cocker (0:44)
2. Honky Tonk Women / Joe Cocker (3:47)
(Keith Richards/Mick Jaggar, Keith Richards/Mick Jagger)
3. Introduction / Joe Cocker (0:17)
4. Sticks And Stones / Joe Cocker (2:37)
(Henry Glover/Titus Turner/Titus Turner, Henry Glover)
5. Cry Me a River / Joe Cocker (4:00)
(Arthur Hamilton)
6. Bird on the Wire / Joe Cocker (6:34)
(Leonard Cohen)
7. Feelin' Alright / Joe Cocker (5:47)
(Dave Mason)
8. Superstar / Joe Cocker (5:02)
(Bonnie Bramlett/Leon Russel/Leon Russell/Leon Russell, Bonnie Bramlett)
9. Introduction / Joe Cocker (0:16)
10. Let's Go Get Stoned / Joe Cocker (7:30)
(Joseph Armstead/Nickolas Ashford/Valerie Simpson/Valerie Simpson, Nickolas Ashford, Joseph Armstead)
11. Blue Medley: I'll Drown in My Own Tears/When Something is Wrong With My Baby/I've Been Loving You Too Long / Joe Cocker (12:46)
(David Porter/Henry Glover/Hayes, Isaac/Isaac Hayes, David Porter/Jerry Butler/Otis Redding/Otis Redding, Jerry Butler)
12. Introduction / Joe Cocker (0:21)
13. Girl From the North Country / Joe Cocker (2:32)
(Bob Dylan)
14. Give Peace a Chance / Joe Cocker (4:25)
(Bonnie Bramlett/Leon Russel/Leon Russell/Leon Russell, Bonnie Bramlett)
15. Introduction / Joe Cocker (0:41)
16. She Came in Through the Bathroom Window / Joe Cocker (3:01)
(John Lennon/John Lennon, Paul McCartney/Paul Mccartney/[Paul McCartney])
17. Space Captain / Joe Cocker (5:15)
(Matthew Moore)
18. The Letter / Joe Cocker (4:46)
(Wayne Carson Thompson)
19. Delta Lady / Joe Cocker (5:41)
(Leon Russel/Leon Russell)
Notes Mad Dogs and Englishmen is Joe Cocker's 1970 live album, featuring a fusion of rock and soul. Mostly this album is made up of covers, drawing equally from rock (the Rolling Stones, Traffic, Bob Dylan, the Beatles) and soul (Ray Charles, Sam And Dave, Otis Redding). Accompanying Cocker is an enormous choir, a two-piece horn section and several drummers. According to the liner notes: "All elements of the Truth" are included here. In 2005, Mad Dogs and Englishmen was released as a two-disc Deluxe edition through Universal Records to commemorate the album's thirty-fifth anniversary. Listening to this CD brings back a lot of memories. Mad Dogs & Englishmen was just about the most elaborate album that A&M Records had ever released, back in 1971, a double LP in a three-panel, fold-out, gatefold sleeve, with almost 80 minutes of music inside and a ton of photos, graphics, and annotation wrapping around it. A live recording done in tandem with a killer documentary film of the same U.S. tour, it was recorded at the Fillmore East, where the movie was a cross-country affair, and the two were, thus, completely separate entities also, as people couldn't "buy" the film in those days, the double LP has lingered longer in the memory, by virtue of its being on shelves, and also being taken off those shelves to be played. Unlike a lot of other "coffee table"-type rock releases of the era, such as Woodstock and The Concert for Bangladesh, people actually listened to Mad Dogs & Englishmen most of its content was exciting, and its sound, a veritable definition of big-band rock with three dozen players working behind the singer, was unique. The CD offers a seriously good sound, whether it's just Joe Cocker and a pianist and organist in the opening of "Bird on a Wire," or the entire band going full-tilt on "Cry Me a River"; the remastering was set at a high volume level and there was a decent amount of care taken to get the detail right, so you can appreciate the presence of the multiple drummers, and the legion of guitarists and singers, plus the multiple keyboard players. The lead guitar and solo piano on "Feelin' Alright," for example, come through, but so do the 34 other players and singers behind the lead. This record was also just as much a showcase for Leon Russell as it was for Joe Cocker, which A&M probably didn't mind a bit, as Russell was selling millions of records at the time. As is now known, and it's recounted in the new notes, the tour from which this album was drawn all but wiped out Joe Cocker on a psychic level because the music was presented on such a vast scale (and there is a moment in the movie where he mentions breaking up his former backing group, the Grease Band, with a hint of regret in his voice) and his own contribution was so muted by Russell's work as arranger and bandleader. He may well have been the "victim" of a "hijacking" of sorts, but the musical results, apart from the dubious "Give Peace a Chance," are difficult to argue about upon hearing this record anew, decades after the fact it's almost all bracing and beautiful.