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Joe Cocker / The Life Of A Man: The Ultimate Hits 1968-2013 / 2CD set

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With the first anniversary of Joe Cocker’s death approaching, The Life Of A Man: The Ultimate Hits 1968-2013 – a two-CD, 36-track compilation – celebrates the hits and highlights of his wonderful career… 

Billed as a ‘final and official posthumous’ album, this ‘Best Of’ retrospective showcases the husky-voiced British rock legend’s hits, key album tracks and live highlights from across six decades. Cocker released 22 studio albums, 10 live albums, 68 singles, so there was a wealth of golden material to choose from.

This two-CD set serves up tracks from his debut album, With A Little Help From My Friends – including the title song which went to number one in the UK in 1968, Cocker’s self-penned first single Marjorine, plus his cover of Traffic’s Feelin’ Alright – up to live performances from his 2013 tour. Along the way, enjoy other unmistakably Cocker covers, such as his versions of The Beatles’ She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, Leon Russell’s Delta Lady and George Harrison’s Something, plus, naturally, his smash-hit power ballad with Jennifer Warnes, Up Where We Belong.

Cocker always gave his carefully curated songs his own twist, a fact often publically acknowledged by the original writers. For instance, Paul McCartney said how especially pleased he was when With A Little Help From My Friends was given the Cocker signature stamp: “I remember him and Denny Cordell coming round to the studio in Savile Row and playing me what they’d recorded and it was just mind blowing, totally turned the song into a soul anthem and I was forever grateful to him for doing that.”

SDE’s American readers may be particularly interested by the inclusion in this compilation of the title track to Cocker’s final studio album Fire It Up and a live version of You Are So Beautiful (recorded in Cologne, Germany in February 2013), neither of which have previously been available Stateside. If they’re not enough for you, the Fire It Up album as a whole is also receiving its first-ever US release. A hit across Europe when it was first issued in 2012 – going platinum in Germany – it features songs by the likes of Keith Urban, Joss Stone and Marc Cohn, and includes three bonus tracks: album producer Matt Serletic’s The Last Road, Marc Cohn’s Walk Through the World With Me and Let Love Decide.

Alternatively, the other CD reissue is for Hymn For My Soul, Cocker’s 20th studio album that made the top 10 of the Christian Album chart on first release in 2007. This long player was produced by Ethan Johns, who plays several instruments on the album, and also features the talents of guest musicians such as Benmont Tench from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, guitar legend Albert Lee and drum icons Jim Keltner and James Gadson. The tracklist includes covers of songs by George Harrison (Beware Of The Darkness), Bob Dylan (Ring Them Bells) and Stevie Wonder’s (You Haven’t Done Nothin’). 

The Life Of A Man: The Ultimate Hits 1968-2013 is released on 11 December 2015.

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track_listing

 

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CD1

  1. Feelin’ Alright (4:10)
  2. High Time We Went (4:28)
  3. Marjorine (2:37)
  4. She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (2:37)
  5. I Can Stand A Little Rain (3:32)
  6. Many Rivers To Cross (3:43)
  7. Shelter Me (4:20)
  8. You Can Leave Your Hat On (4:14)
  9. Can’t Find My Way Home (3:27)
  10. Darling Be Home Soon (4:41)
  11. One (4:32)
  12. My Father’s Son (4:29)
  13. Fire It Up (3:51)
  14. Unchain My Heart (5:03)
  15. Delta Lady (2:50)
  16. Cry Me A River (Live At The Fillmore East – 3:56)
  17. The Letter (Live At The Fillmore East – 4:15)
  18. With A Little Help From My Friends – 5:07
  19. You Are So Beautiful (Live At The Lanxess Arena – 4:05)

CD2

  1. When The Night Comes (4:46)
  2. Come Together (4:23)
  3. First We Take Manhattan (3:43)
  4. Summer In The City (3:48)
  5. Up Where We Belong (3:52)
  6. Don’t You Love Me Anymore (5:23)
  7. Unforgiven (4:13)
  8. Have A Little Faith In Me (4:16)
  9. You Are So Beautiful (2:41)
  10. Woman To Woman (4:27)
  11. The Simple Things (4:49)
  12. N’Oubliez Jamais (4:40)
  13. Tonight (4:42)
  14. Night Calls (3:26)
  15. Hard Knocks (3:23)
  16. I Come In Peace (4:18)
  17. Performance (4:38)

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10 responses to Joe Cocker / The Life Of A Man: The Ultimate Hits 1968-2013 / 2CD set

  1. kauwgompie says:

    A double cd? A nice box set would be more appropriate. The man has a huge catalogue.

  2. Randy Otto says:

    Hey Paul! Amazon UK indicates street date of 5 Feb 2016!

  3. Robert Fitzpatrick says:

    picked this up in Australia today. nice cd but as kauwgompie said I too would rather a box set

  4. Roel Glas says:

    Bought the CD today in Australia as well. Glad to see Come Together (from Across The Universe movie) on this compilation. A great cover and fantastic video to go along with it. Check it out on Youtube if you haven’t seen it. The Long Voyage Home box was a great set but seriously needs updating after 20 years so yes, now is the perfect time to honour this legendary artist.

  5. Galley says:

    For those wanting a Joe Cocker boxed set, check out 1995’s 4-CD “The Long Voyage Home”.

  6. Alexander says:

    Hello,
    a question:
    Can anybody say something about the dynamic range (DR) of this 2-CD-set?
    Ist it compressed in comparison to older “best of” editions?
    Does the remastering offer any true benefit?
    Thanks,
    Alexander

  7. Ronald Frank says:

    I do miss Ruby Lee from the Sheffield Steel album. What a pity…

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