Mad Dogs & Englishmen Live is a live album by Joe Cocker.
It was recorded on the 27th and 28th March 1970 at the Fillmore East in New York.
In 2005 an extended version of a double CD was issued. A few songs were recorded at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
The following year a six CD set was issued with the early and late shows from both days at the Fillmore East.
My Rating – Standard Album – 26 out of 30 (8 +10 +8)
My Rating – Deluxe Album – 28 out of 30 (9 + 10 +9)
Average Amazon Customer Rating – %%AVERAGERATING%% Stars
The Songs On Mad Dogs And Englishmen
The original album
2. Honky Tonk Woman
4. Sticks and Stones
5. Cry Me a River
6. Bird on a Wire
7. Feelin’ Alright
10. Let’s Go Get Stoned
11. Blue Medley: I’ll Drown in My Own Tears/When Something Is Wrong …
13. Girl from the North Country
14. Give Peace a Chance
16. She Came in Through the Bathroom Window
17. Space Captain
19. Delta Lady
The extended version includes songs that don’t feature singers other than Joe Cocker.
Honky Tonk Women – 4:57
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window – 3:18
The Weight – 5:57 (new)
Sticks And Stones – 2:46
Bird On A Wire – 6:31
Cry Me A River – 4:05
Superstar – 4:59 (Rita Coolidge)
Feelin’ Alright – 5:47
Something – 5:33 (new)
Darling Be Home Soon – 5:47 (new)
Let It Be – 3:40 (Claudia Lennear) (new)
Further On Up The Road – 4:00 (new)
Let’s Go Get Stoned – 8:05
Space Captain – 5:20
Hummingbird – 4:08 (Leon Russell) (new)
Dixie Lullaby – 2:58 (Leon Russell) (new)
The Letter – 4:33
Delta Lady – 7:03
Give Peace A Chance – 4:46
Blue Medley: I’ll Drown In My Own Tears/ When Something Is Wrong With My Baby/ I’ve Been Loving You Too Long – 12:37
With A Little Help From My Friends – 8:40 (new)
Girl From The North Country – 2:39
Warm-Up Jam Including Under My Thumb – 5:45 (The Shelter People) (new)
The Letter – 4:10 (The Shelter People) (new)
Space Captain – 4:29 (studio single The Shelter People) (new)
The Ballad Of Mad Dogs And Englishmen – 3:59 (Leon Russell) (new)
This is a remarkable live album. In 1969, Cocker had taken the Woodstock festival by storm while playing with the Grease Band and then the Isle Of Wight Festival in the UK in the same year. Unwilling to tour America again, he broke up his backing band without realising that he’d been committed to another tour of the United States in 1970.
With the help of Leon Russell, a new, larger band with about 20 musicians was formed and christened the Mad Dogs and Englishmen, they went on tour and created this bluesy, rocky, soulful masterpiece.
Cocker is a remarkable interpreter of songs written by other people rather someone known for writing his own songs. Too often covers turn into a weak imitation of the original but not with Joe Cocker. I’m giving the original album 8/10 for the set list and adding an extra point for the Deluxe version since it adds in his best known song With A Little Help From My Friends together with others.
The performance is a top notch 10/10 for both. It must have been a great experience to see Cocker and his band in 1970 and the album sucks you in and lifts your spirits. Well it does for me!
There’s not much chatter on the album which I often like because it shows the personality of the band or artist. The deluxe version restores the album to its original first set and second set running order so you get the waves of sound as Cocker intended. Surprisingly the original has moved around quite a lot of tracks although that’s only clear in comparison to the deluxe version. I’m giving the original 8/10 for atmosphere and authenticity and the deluxe version 9/10. The longer version has a couple of single added on the end together with a warm-up jam from another concert and a studio song called Mad Dogs and Englishmen. I’ve moved these away from the end of the concert on my iPod.
The total scores are a very good 26/30 for the original album making it highly recommended whilst the deluxe version has a score of 28/30, just one mark below the highest I’ve given to any live album. I really do believe that this is one of the very best live albums ever released.
Buying Mad Dogs And Englishmen
I didn’t do my research before buying so I bought the original when the deluxe version is the obvious choice unless you’re especially price conscious. I’ve given you the links to both
Standard – Amazon.com – Amazon.co.uk – iTunes – eBay
Deluxe – Amazon.com – Amazon.co.uk – iTunes (special link for the added songs)
I don’t think many of us are going to want the six CD set, no matter how highly we think about this album.
What Do You Think?
Is this the best live album by Joe Cocker?
What Are The Best Live Albums Ever?
Should it do well in the poll? This is quite a hard record to slot into a genre because it’s not classic rock or soul or blues rock but it draws on each of them.
For these hybrid albums, I’ve created an best live early R&B and rock & roll albums poll that makes sense to me at least. There are some superb live albums here
You can get these albums from Amazon.com – Amazon.co.uk.
You can see the complete list of readers polls at Live Album Polls