[1975] The fifth Beatle helps Joe Cocker get to #5 on the singles chart

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”

About poppaculture

I am a seasoned consumer of modern (and not so modern) culture.
This entry was posted in '70s Music, Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to [1975] The fifth Beatle helps Joe Cocker get to #5 on the singles chart

  1. Mister Geezer says:

    So my favorite Joe Cocker story is one that comes from a web site called The Great Hollywood Hangover. This is a site operated by a woman in Nashville who I think was the first go-go girl in Hollywood to bare her bossom while dancing, go-go style. She worked and hung out at the Whisky-A-Go-Go which would probably’ve been one of my favorite clubs if I’d been in Hollywood during the sixties and been of legal age and everything. It’s hard to know. But, anyway, Cocker used to play the Whisky and he’d get pretty messed up. Drunk and stuff. And one time he was so drunk, he just barfed on the stage and then fell over into it or something. And they thought he was out. But after a moment he started singing again and he got back up on his feet and carried on. I’ve kinda known a few people like that. They can be a lot of fun, sometimes. Other times they’re just a pain in the you know what.

    Anyway, I don’t have time to dig up the exact anecdote to more-or-less prove this story, so I just googled on “joe cocker drunk” along with “site:hollywoodhangover.com” and this is what came back:


    It might be kind of fun to read some of those pages, if you have time sometime.

    Always enjoying your web site, here, Poppio. Put Out the Light — great selection!

    Whoa, I just saw that Amazon is liquidating the DVD that this clip came from. Huh. I think I’ll get it.

    Oh, here it is: “He sang unbelievably well. The only hint anybody got that he was drunk, was when he suddenly stepped back, leaned over and puked in front of the base drum, then he straightened up, grabbed the microphone and started wailing again. Most of the people in the club didn’t even see him do it. It happened very quickly and he was keeping a beat with his arms the whole time. It almost seemed like it was choreographed because he never lost a beat, but maybe he was just experienced at it.” (http://www.hollywoodhangover.com/excerpt_from_book.htm)

    So I stand corrected. It must’ve been Jim Morrison who fell over and passed out in his own puke. My mistake.

    • poppaculture says:

      Mister Geezer, once again I am delighted by your words. You mention the DVD, but I should pick up a second copy of the CD at Amazon’s less-than-$7 price (I haven’t checked to see if the DVD has Cocker’s rendition of Randy Newman’s “Guilty” from the album).

      The Whiskey-A-Go-Go would have been a great scene in which to indulge (I’d even settle for later years at The Troubadour or The Roxy).

      I can only hope to have Cocker’s internal-recovery mechanism of choreographic swiftness for my day-to-day slipups (let alone when I’m inebriated).

      Sir, it is always a pleasure to see your moniker here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s