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Joe Cocker

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Joe Cocker, Can Stand A Little Rain, A&M SP-3633. Joe is a really good interpretive singer; he has a unique and inimitable style, and little (if any) writing ability himself. His strength lies in what he can do with other people's material. That is why his first albums were so successful, and why the long-awaited Joe Cocker was such a bomb, relying on vapid originĂ¡is like "Woman to Woman." On Can Stand A Little Rain, Joe has come back with a flair. I can honestly swear that he has never shown more vocal control. His (and producer Jim Price's) choice of material is uniformly excellent, and the overall effect is a good time was had by all. The new songs come from rock and its fringes, and contain many possible hits. There is humour here, a lot of keyboard talent behind him (including Nicky Hopkins, Randy Newman and Jimmy Webb), good background horns and vocals, and a number by Webb called "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" which is Joe's loveliest singing to date. And, of course, there's rock and roll. What more could one ask?