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Clapton, Beck Join Cocker

Guitar giants lend a hand to veteran vocalist

August 24, 2004 12:00 AM ET
Guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter (Steely Dan, Doobie Brothers) and Steve Lukather (Boz Scaggs, Alice Cooper) all play on Joe Cocker's Heart and Soul. Due January 29th, the album was recorded last winter at Capitol Studios in Hollywood and features Cocker's takes on rock, blues and soul favorites.

"It's tricky territory," Cocker told Rolling Stone. "I'm doing a version of 'What's Goin' On' by Marvin Gaye and having a crack at 'Maybe I'm Amazed' by Paul McCartney, in a slightly lower key -- you understand why -- and 'Jealous Guy' by John Lennon."

In forty years of recording Cocker has covered everyone from the Beatles to Randy Newman, frequently succeeding in creating more recognizable versions than the originals.

"To know when to put your own stamp on something is very delicate," Cocker said. "Sometimes I miss. But once in a while you can make a tune your own . . . and it becomes something special."

Heart and Soul track listing:

What's Goin' On
I Put a Spell on You
Chain of Fools
Every Kind of People
One
Love Don't Live Here
I Who Have Nothing
Don't Let Me Be Lonely
Maybe I'm Amazed
Jealous Guy
I Keep Forgetting
Everybody Hurts

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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