Saturday, December 17, 2016

Songoftheday 12/17/16 - So take me down a lonesome road point me east and let me go, that suitcase weighs me down with memories...


"When The Night Comes" - Joe Cocker
from the album One Night Of Sin (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #11 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 11

Today's song of the day is from British soul/rock singer Joe Cocker, who had taken his raspy voice all the way to #1 in 1982 with "Up Where We Belong", his duet with Jennifer Warnes from the movie An Officer and a Gentleman. However, even though releasing albums through the rest of the decade, he was having a lack of commercial success, save for a few singles from other movies that reached the Adult Contemporary chart in Billboard (like "Love Lives On" from Harry and the Hendersons at #14 in 1987). He also had three singles just miss the top ten (at #11) on the Mainstream Rock radio chart, including a cover of "Unchain My Heart" (made popular by Ray Charles), which also stalled under the top-40 in the UK at #46. That single was produced by Charlie Midnight, who took the reins for Joe's final studio set of the 80s, One Night Of Sin. The first release from the set was written by Canadian pop/rock powerhouse Bryan Adams and his writing partner Jim Vallance along with "song doctor" Diane Warren. "When The Night Comes" had the right kind of production sheen and Seger-esque piano flourishes to attract mainstream radio enamored with Michael Bolton to give it a chance...


"When The Night Comes" peaked right below the American pop top ten in January of 1989. The single also climbed to #6 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, and crossed over to #12 on their Adult Contemporary (or "easy listening") list. Internationally, the record went to #7 in Switzerland, #9 in Austria, #25 in Germany, and #29 in the Netherlands. In his native UK, the track stalled out at #65, and re-entering the chart in 1992 at #61.

The song would be nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal, losing out to Don Henley's End Of The Innocence album.

Cocker continued to tour and record, and although his age and style may have left pop radio behind, he still was doing decently. In 1990, another Diane Warren track, "What Are You Doing With A Fool Like Me?", gave Joe his last minor pop hit in the U.S. at #96 (and #44 Rock). Two years later, Joe returned to the top-40 in England for the first time in a decade with "Feels Like Forever" (UK #25), from yet another movie, The Cutting Edge. His first studio set since One Night Of Sin, 1992's Night Calls, gave Cocker a top-ten rock radio hit in the States with a cover of Gary Wright's pop nugget from 1976, "Love Is Alive". He had international success in 1994 with another remake, this time the Lovin' Spoonfuls' "Summer In The City". His last album in 2012, Fire It Up, made the top 20 in Britain. Sadly, Joe passed away from lung cancer in 2014, mere months after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's Joe appearing on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show...


...and again live in concert in 1992 (this man knew how to perform live and have the right band)...


Finally, I'll include a clip of Cocker performing at Woodstock '94. He was one of the highlights of the original concert at Woodstock...


Up tomorrow: A royal pop god and his Scottish muse head for the stars.

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