Joe Cocker

Jamaica Say You Will/Cocker Happy

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The comeback that Joe Cocker had achieved with 1974's I Can Stand A Little Rain and its hit single, "You Are So Beautiful" was not sustained by the follow-up, Jamaica Say You Will. The reason was simple: It was that bane of the interpretive singer, a lack of strong material. Jim Price, who arranged and produced, put together a band of studio pros and placed Cocker's craggy voice front and center, often supported by gospel-like female vocals. But the songs Cocker sang were not memorable. When there were exceptions, they tended not to be handled well. Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going To Rain Today," potentially a perfect vehicle for a torn and tender reading in the manner of "You Are So Beautiful," was sped up and overarranged. It was the title track that seemed intended as the "Beautiful" follow-up, however, and though the Jackson Browne song was a strong piece of material, it worked originally because of its restraint, not in the overwrought way Cocker treated it.