John's Track of the Week: "With A Little Help From My Friends"

Song: With A Little Help From My Friends
Artist: Joe Cocker
Album: With A Little Help From My Friends
Year: 1969

Going back to older material, this week's Track of the Week is Joe Cocker's cover of The Beatles "With A Little Help From My Friends".  I'm rarely a fan of Beatles covers, but well, this one is an exception.  It's the complete reworking of the song- not just singing it like The Beatles did- that makes it endearing.  It goes from a shortish, fun song to a long and epic jam session, complete with gospel choir.  Plus, for those who may remember the hit show The Wonder Years (one of my all-time favorites), this is the theme song.  It's also the reason the show's not out on DVD yet (damn you, Michael Jackson).

Why is Joe Cocker so good at covers overall?  Like I said, it's the reworking- basic rewriting of it- that makes it standout, and makes people pay attention.  There are so many covers out there, yet very few good ones, and very few good cover artists.  With that in mind, Joe Cocker's one of only a handful who's quite good at his craft, and this song may be his best work.  Enjoy, while having flashbacks to images of Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper.

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