On Jan. 11, 1975, Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful” entered the Billboard Hot 100 at #85 (it was the highest ranking debut for a single on the week’s chart).
The song is from Cocker’s fourth album, 1974’s I Can Stand a Little Rain. I love the LP’s opening track “Put Out the Light,” but it was a short song on Side 2 that caught the ear of America and rose to #5 on the US singles charts.
“You Are So Beautiful” was written by Billy Preston and his longtime collaborator Bruce Fisher (a biographer for Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys wrote that Dennis claimed to have helped Preston with the lyrics at a party … whatever … the song uses less than 30 words).
Although the lyrics and melody are exquisite, it is this version’s slower-tempo arrangement and heartfelt, raspy vocal that has allowed the song to belong to Joe Cocker.
“Put Out the Light” (live from 1980) — written by Daniel Moore, who also wrote “Shambala”