Up Where We Belong – Challenge #174

Joe Cocker was born in 1944 as John Robert Cocker in Sheffield, in South Yorkshire, England. He enjoyed a career that spanned almost six decades and he skyrocketed to fame in the US at the 1969 Woodstock rock festival. He did a great cover of the Beatles’ song ‘With a Little Help from my Friends’ at Woodstock which was seen by almost a half-million people in person and by millions more after the documentary film came out the following year. Cocker became primarily known for covering the hit tunes which were written by other artists and making them very much his own. His renditions often became more popular than the originals, like ‘The Letter’, which was done by The Boxtops and ‘She Came in Through the Bathroom Window’, another tune from the Beatles. Joe Cocker’s voice and onstage presence were so distinct that they almost demanded either imitation or parody, or both. One of the most memorable imitations was done by the late comic John Belushi on Saturday Night Live performing ‘Feelin’ Alright’.

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

This song came from the 1982 movie soundtrack An Officer and a Gentleman and it peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart on October 29, 1982, and it also won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1983.  The music was written by Jack Nitzsche and Buffy Sainte-Marie, the piece of music that plays at the end of the film.  The director Taylor Hackford decided that the movie needed a big end-credits song, so Paramount head of music Joel Sill brought in the songwriter Will Jennings and he wrote the lyrics and this was recorded by Joe Cocker and Jennifer WarnesThe film is known for its closing scene, where Richard Gere, dressed in his Navy uniform, comes into the factory where Debra Winger is working, gets hot and heavy with her, then carries her out as her co-worker’s cheer.  It’s perhaps the most famous “sweeps her off her feet” archetype in film. …

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8 thoughts on “Up Where We Belong – Challenge #174

    1. Great stuff. Besides Leon Russell, the group had a bunch of other well established musicians that included Carl Radle, Jim Gordon, Jim Keltner, Sandy Konikoff, and Bobby Keys all of who I didn’t know very well at the time, but they kept popping up in other songs that I like.


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