February 20, 2014

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 46: Joe Cocker ~ Mad Dogs & Englishmen

reel-to-reel tape album cover photo by Jim McCrary
detail photo by Styrous©

I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes in addition to my 20,000 Vinyl LP collection I'm selling (see link below). Interested? Contact me by email please, not by a comment.

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reel-to-reel tape album cover photo by Jim McCrary
photo of album cover by Styrous©

Mad Dogs & Englishmen is a live album by Joe Cocker which featured a fusion of rock and soul. In 1969, an American tour had been booked so Cocker had to quickly form a band in order to fulfill his contractual obligations. It was a large group of more than 30 musicians, including pianist and bandleader Leon Russell, three drummers, and backing vocals by Rita Coolidge and Claudia Lennear. The band was christened Mad Dogs and Englishmen by Denny Cordell after the 1931 Noël Coward song of the same name. The music evolved into a bluesy type of rock, often compared to that of the Rolling Stones.

During the ensuing Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour (later described by drummer Jim Keltner as "a big, wild party"), Cocker toured 48 cities, recorded a live album, and received very positive reviews from Time and Life for his performances. However, the pace of the tour was exhausting. Russell and Cocker had personal problems and Cocker became depressed and began drinking excessively as the tour wound down in May 1970.

reel-to-reel tape album cover back
photo by Styrous©

Cocker enjoyed several chart entries in the US with Cry Me a River and Feelin' Alright by Dave Mason. His cover of the hit song, The Letter, by the Box Tops  appeared on the live album and film, Mad Dogs and Englishmen, and became his first US Top Ten hit. After spending several months in Los Angeles, Cocker returned home to Sheffield where his family became increasingly concerned with his deteriorating physical and mental health.

reel-to-reel tape album cover back detail
detail photo by Styrous©

In October 1972, when Cocker toured Australia, he and six members of his entourage were arrested in Adelaide by police for possession of marijuana. The next day in Melbourne, assault charges were laid after a brawl at the Commodore Chateau Hotel, and Cocker was given 48 hours to leave the country by the Australian Federal Police. This caused huge public outcry in Australia, as Cocker was a high-profile overseas artist and had a strong support base, especially with the baby boomers who were coming of age and able to vote for the first time. It sparked hefty debate about the use and legalisation of marijuana in Australia and gained Cocker the nickname of "the Mad Dog".

album cover back detail
detail photo by Styrous©

photo by Styrous©

Cocker is the recipient of several awards, including a 1983 Grammy Award for his song "Up Where We Belong", a duet which he performed with Jennifer Warnes. In 1993 he was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male, and in 2007 he received an OBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music. To celebrate receiving his award in mid-December, 2007, Cocker played two concerts in London and in his home town of Sheffield. He was ranked #97 on Rolling Stone's 100 greatest singers list.

reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous©

 Track listing:

Side 1: 
  1. "Introduction" – 0:44
  2. "Honky Tonk Women" (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) – 3:47
  3. "Introduction" – 0:17
  4. "Sticks and Stones" (Titus Turner, Henry Glover) – 2:37
  5. "Cry Me a River" (Arthur Hamilton) – 4:00
  6. "Bird on the Wire" (Leonard Cohen) – 6:37
  7. "Feelin' Alright" (Dave Mason) – 5:47
  8. "Superstar" (Leon Russell, Bonnie Bramlett) – 5:02 (lead vocal by Rita Coolidge)
  9. "Introduction" – 0:16
  10. "Let's Go Get Stoned" (Valerie Simpson, Nick Ashford, Joseph Armstead) – 7:30
Side 2:
  1. "Blue Medley" – 12:46
    1. a. "I'll Drown in My Own Tears" (Henry Glover)
    2. b. "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby" (Isaac Hayes, David Porter)
    3. c. "I've Been Loving You Too Long" (Otis Redding, Jerry Butler)
  2. "Introduction" – 0:21
  3. "Girl from the North Country" (Bob Dylan) – 2:32
  4. "Give Peace a Chance" (Leon Russell, Bonnie Bramlett) – 4:14
  5. "Introduction" – 0:41
  6. "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) – 3:01
  7. "Space Captain" (Matthew Moore) – 5:15
  8. "The Letter" (Wayne Carson Thompson) – 4:46
  9. "Delta Lady" (Leon Russell) – 5:40


A&M - OR-6002

Recorded 27-28 March, 1970 at Fillmore East, New York City

reel-to-reel listings on eBay

Styrous® ~ Thursday, February 20, 2014

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