The best album of JC's fantastic career!
Tim Huguet | AMSTERDAM Holland | 08/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The year is 1994. A great year for Joe. He sings with more passion, intensity and feeling on this album than any other. With all the great stuff he has made, this album is simply in a class of it's own. I had the opportunity to see him live in the fall of that year, and it was one of the best nights of my life. Joe was completely overcome with emotion by the end of the night he could only breath "God bless you" into the mike as the place (Brabanthalle, Den Bosch, Holland) went absolutely crazy. It was moving beyond belief. When Joe did his traditional jump at the end of With a little help..., the whole building shook as he landed on the stage again.
But back to the album...I have kept coming back to this album since it's release. I loved it then and I love it now. Even more. Definitely Top 5 deserted-island material. Here's a song-by-song review:
1)Let the healing begin- let the magic start. "I've kept it inside much too long". You get the feeling JC is making the album he wanted to make his whole career, and he is serious about it too. The stage is set for what is too follow.
2)Have a Little Faith in Me- THE definitive version of this song. Unfortunately, not the one we get to hear on the radio time and time again.
3)The Simple Things- "Happiness, joy and love in my life" ...so very simple indeed. A code to live by. The first verse is so powerful. Twisting and turning... wanting more...caught up in the race...about losing one's soul due to all these unimportant things. Until one find's that the best things in life are the simple things.
4)Summer in the City- Don't matter where you are. New York, Melbourne, Amsterdam, Vancouver, Honolulu, Frankfurt...there ain't nothing like summer nights in the city. A feel-good song. Pure joy and adrenaline. Joe's scream WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH at the end says it all. Again, the definitive version.
5)The Great Divide- Joe growls his way through another masterpiece. Great keyboard work from longtime bud/collaborator Chris Stainton.
6)Highway Highway - So powerful. Joe is almost crying in this one. It sounds personal..."Give me wings to fly....."
7)Too Cool- I remember distinctly Joe singing this one live. It got a great reaction, especially after the solo when he came back just in time to sing "I'm all right...I'll soon be better"
Gives me spine-tingles just thinking of it.
8)Soul Time- Song about keeping the fires burning in a long term
relationship. Again the albums' theme comes through loud & clear: "Let's love life and live it, stop fighting and crying....reaching and trying this time."
9)Out of the Blue- Again, I know it sounds repetitive, but this songs takes one to places the original couldn't come close to doing. (much as I love The Band/R.Robertson)
10)Angeline- What would a Joe album be like without a true rocker. Great guitar here.
11)Hell or High Water - Another classic, in true Cocker-rocker fashion. Humour as well: me and an ex-colleague used to laugh about the "sometimes I don't feel right" scream.
12)Standing Knee Deep in a River- The calm after the storm. Now it gets right down to the heart of the matter. Friends and sweethearts that have come and gone. The ways he sings "now where they are I wish I knew..." is tear-jerking, and makes me shudder with realization. I guess we never learn....
13)Take Me Home- The Grand Finale. And what a way to go. One of the most moving and rousing singalongs I can remember. "There's a bridge over the water. I can see it like a rainbow. If you love me, I'll be waiting. Take me home to the Other Side". JC completes the mission be indeed taking you to the other side.
This unbelievable piece of work will never be forgotten. It will be with me till my last day, as guide and companion.
Thank you Joe."
One of his best...
Bradly Briggs | 10/03/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The song "Have a little faith" is so inspiring to me and it means holding on and keep kicking."
"TOO COOL FOR WORDS" ~ COCKER TOUR-DE-FORCE!!!
Bradly Briggs | TOLUCA LAKE, CALIFORNIA | 04/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Truly an overlooked MASTERPIECE, this awesome collection of peerless soulful performances starts with a haunting and masterful classic "LET THE HEALING BEGIN" which starts this amazing journey that covers all musical bases with incredible brilliance..."HAVE A LITTLE FAITH IN ME" is a riveting gospel infused masterpiece that is deeply moving and one listening and experiencing this athem would hope that along the way this classic won a deserved GRAMMY AWARD..."THE SIMPLE THINGS" is another passionate athem that is exciting and exhurberant and this collection has to be one of the greatest ever from any male vocalist...no Joe Cocker set would be complete without a cooking rocker and "SUMMER IN THE CITY" is given a new twist that clearly makes this the definitive version and in concert at THE WILTERN THEATRE IN MARCH OF 2005 this hot rocker had everyone out of their seats...a deeply soulful and heartfelt vocal makes "THE GREAT DIVIDE" another great standout in a collection full of unbelievably great heartfelt vocals that are peerless and beyond compare...this guy can sing unlike anyone alive today and "HIGHWAY HIGHWAY" is full of longing and emotional depth that is nowhere found in music today except for what is here in this brilliant collection of incredibly moving performances that catch a brilliant singer at his absolute emotional and artistic peak..."TOO COOL" is a performance that is guaranteed to wear out the repeat mode as this is a truly amazing performance that could have been the title song of this masterful set of soul-deep performances, and "TOO COOL" will thrill anyone who loves a GREAT singer at the peak of his remarkable powers..."SOUL TIME" is another great rocker and "OUT OF THE BLUE" is a gorgeous and deeply moving ballad that contains another superb vocal. Back to his rocking roots, "ANGELINE" is a hot rocker that cooks and contains another great Joe Cocker vocal that is one of his best ever!!! "STANDING KNEE DEEP IN A RIVER" is CLASSIC Joe giving a moving performance that is one of his deepest and most heartfelt...and "TAKE ME HOME" is another great Cocker vocal that gets so inside of the lyrics that they come to life and move the listener in a way that is rare...this classic set is a must have for anyone who loves a great singer in peak form...THANK YOU JOE COCKER for the musical experience of a lifetime and DO NOT MISS this stunning collection!"