The Beatles Cover of the Day- “With A Little Help From My Friends”- Joe Cocker. Certainly Joe Cocker’s version of “With A Little Help From My Friends” has to be in the running for the best cover ever of a Beatles song. I am a big fan of the original by The Beatles on Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” which was written for Ringo to sing by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. I’d have to give it the vote of the best song Ringo sang as a Beatles. It was perfect for him. Any of the other Beatles singing that song couldn’t have matched Ringo’s version because that was a prefect fit for Ringo.
Joe Cocker’s version of “With A Little Help From My Friends” was from his first album-which carried that title- released in 1969. While it failed to crack the Top 40 in the United States-#68- it was a number 1 in the United Kingdom. As with the best Beatles covers- it is a radical re-arrangement from the original. Jimmy Page plays guitar on the song. After they had recorded it Cocker and producer Danny Cordell took it to Paul McCartney to get his opinion and Paul said “”it was just mind blowing, totally turned the song into a soul anthem and I was forever grateful for him for doing that.” Cocker would play the song during his performance at Woodstock. A couple decades later it would be the theme song for the television show “The Wonder Years.”- Heck, Joe Cocker’s version of “With A Little Help From My Friends” may not only be the best Beatles cover but the best cover of any rock song ever. The only competition that comes to mind is Jimi Hendrix “All Along The Watchtower.”
Joe Cocker at Woodstock.