One of the better Speakers Corner releases. We haven’t played a copy of this record in years, but back in the day we liked it, so let’s call it a “B” with the caveat that the older the review, the more likely we are to have changed our minds. Not sure if we would still agree with what we wrote back in the ’90s when this record came out, but here it is anyway.
“Speakers corner knocks one out of the park with this wonderful reissue! Those conga drums and the back-up singers sound so much better than I remember them! If you”re going to own one Joe Cocker album make it this one. It’s a man-size serving of English Soul.”
A killer 2-pack, with Triple Plus (A+++) sound, or close to it, from first note to last – they don’t get much better than this!
Here it is – the energy, space, and full, rich, Tubey Magical sound this music needs to work
You get Triple Plus sound for some of his best tracks here: Dear Landlord, Bird on the Wire, She Came in Through the Bathroom Window, and Hitchcock Railway
“Cocker mixed elements of late-’60s English blues revival recordings (John Mayall, et al.) with the more contemporary sounds of soul and pop; a sound fused in no small part by producer and arranger Leon Russell, whose gumbo mix figures prominently on this eponymous release and the infamous Mad Dogs & Englishmen live set.” – 4 Stars
This is a surprisingly good recording. Cocker and his band — with more than a little help from Leon Russell — run through a collection of songs from the likes of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and the Beatles, and when you hear it on a White Hot Stamper copy it’s hard to deny the appeal of this timeless music.(more…)
An outstanding copy with all four sides earning Double Plus (A++) grades
The overall sound is rich and tubey, with driving energy and most of the top end and clarity that’s missing from many we played
What it most reminds me of is Ray Charles doing a choice set of modern pop classics, mixing it up by off-handedly throwing in a few hits of his own
“… its content was exciting, and its sound, a veritable definition of big-band rock with three dozen players working behind the singer, was unique.” – 4 1/2 Stars
One thing we learned from our shootout was the how important TRANSPARENCY is to the enjoyment of this music. Of course this has to be a multi-miked, multi-tracked, overdubbed pop record — they don’t make them any other way — but it doesn’t have to FEEL like one.
The Feeling of Reality
When you get a good copy it feels like all these guys and gals are live on stage. They may have their own mics, and are certainly being placed artificially in the soundfield to suit the needs of the track (singers here, drummer there), but the transparency of the better pressings makes them sound like they are all on the same stage singing and playing together. You hear their grunts and laughter way back in the mix, just as if you were at the concert.(more…)
We just finished our first shootout in over FIVE years for the album and were SHOCKED by how amazing the best copies can sound, even better than we remember them from last time around. Turn this one up good and loud and you’ll have Joe Cocker in all his raspy glory belting out With A Little Help From My Friends right in your very own listening room!