Joe Cocker has still got it. I was 14 years old when With A Little Help From My Friends came out and stood me on my ear, and I thought at the time that Cocker's throat would be in shreds by the end of the song, never mind 44 years later. But no - all the power and emotion is still there in the vocals on this album and he shows that he is a truly great and enduring rock and blues singer. The band is excellent - punchy and empathetic with some fine guitar work, solid bass and prominent drums - and the production is very good. The production is rich with fine backing vocals which aren't over-done and you know that you are listening to a classy product.
The one problem with the album is some of the material, in my view. Much of it is excellent - the title track is a belter, for example, but some tracks like I'll Be your Doctor don't really add up to much. Cocker and the band give it everything, of course, but in the end fine performances can't really compensate for a weak song.
This album isn't an undiluted classic but is still well worth getting for the good stuff, of which there is a lot and which I've played and enjoyed repeatedly. Recommended to anyone who likes Joe Cocker's work or just enjoys fine, bluesey rock which is well produced and very well performed.
Addendum, 22 December 2014: Thanks for everything, Joe. You are beyond our help now, but your friends will miss you. Go well.
Genuinely one of the best blues, rock, soul albums I've ever heard. Fantastic songwriting with sublime musicianship coupled with one of the most honest, heartfelt and grittiest vocal performances you are ever likely to hear adds up to a massive success for Joe Cocker. If the press reports are accurate then this album is scheduled to be Cocker's swan song. If this is true he will have finished at the top of his game with probably his finest album ever! Truly fantastic Joe!