Over Joe Cocker
After the initial 1960s success of now-classics like Joe Cocker! and Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Joe Cocker's stock rose and fell in the '70s, '80s and '90s due to the ravages of alcohol on his voice and a lack of inspiring material. Despite the less than stellar moments of his career, Cocker's reputation remains secure as one of rock's greatest interpreters. His trademark antic gesticulations must have caused titters at first, but soon became an invaluable asset of his stage performance. Flailing like a man aflame, Cocker exuded the intensity of a soul possessed by the song. That Cocker managed to transform the Beatles' "With a Little Help from My Friends" into a Gospel-esque romp is one of the minor miracles of rock 'n' roll. Though he may sound like he just smoked an entire carton of cigarettes and forgot to blow out the smoke, Cocker possesses the lungs of a whale, and with his powerful voice he brought the energy and spectacle of Tom Jones to the Woodstock nation. Cocker never just sings his songs; the man testifies.