With A Little Help From My Friends - you prefer the Beatles, or Joe Cocker?

Pick your favorite version of With A Little Help From My Friends.

Joe Cocker or the Beatles.

It’s not even close imho. Joe Cocker’s version is an musical anthem for my Generation.

The Beatles version is so detached and oddly emotionless. Never understood why they weren’t feeling the powerful words they were singing. How could they have missed that in their own song? I often wondered what Paul’s reaction was to Joe Cocker’s version. Did Paul and John feel like they missed an opportunity on this song?

btw, Joe reworked the crap out of Little Help. Changed the time signature. Changed the Chords. A total rework and it turned out spectacular. imho


What about John Belushi’s version, which even Joe Crocker said he thought it was originally John lip syncing to his own song?
But of the two, I’d have to go with Joe Cocker.

I’d forgotten about John Belushi’s impersonation of Joe Cocker. He nailed it. Incredible talent.

The Beatle’s version sounds like a little placeholder they put between tracks in Sgt. Pepper while they were looking for a whole song.

Cocker made it a whole song.

I’ve seen songwriter’s performing their songs and they weren’t nearly as good as the star that made it a hit. The songwriter just didn’t fully see the potential of what could be done. That’s why a lot of great songwriters never make it to the big time as performers.

But the Beatles were amazingly talented performers. I guess Paul and John didn’t put enough thought into the production since this song was for Ringo. They had their hands full with all the other great songs on Sgt Pepper.

Joe Cocker is one of my favorites. I prefer the Beattles version of this song, however.

Cocker’s version is overwrought. The Beatles knew very well what they were doing with their version.

The Beatles version is quite good. I hear it whenever I play my Sgt Pepper album. I rarely hear the Beatle’s Little Help as a stand alone song unless my oldies station plays it.

If Cocker had never covered it the Beatles version would be ok. Much like No Where Man and Norwegian Wood. Good songs that I enjoy, but they aren’t Beatles songs I play very often. They are best savored occasionally on special days.

Joe’s version is good, but it is a little painful. Some real sorrow in that song.

Ringo makes it kind of fun and sincere. Vapid, but fun.

This song is about loneliness as is the whole Pepper album. To have Ringo, the homely one sing it was genius. The Backing vocals illustrating the theme, the “turn out the lights” line, all perfect. It fits in well as the second cut on one of the great works of recorded sound: How could Joes version compare? Love Joe, but it’s overwrought, not as catchy, lacks context, and is not his own work. That’s it for me.

I agree.

Yeah, Cocker’s version is over-wroght, over-sentimental, whatever, but I love it. I’ll go for Cocker’s interpretation on this one.

I think the Beatles version is better, more sincere in a way because of the understated low key quality of the song, having Ringo sing it just worked perfect for this song. Cocker’s version is good too but his ostentatious singing for some reason just seems like a virtuoso guitar player showing off or something, tone it down a bit.

I prefer the version that doesn’t sound like it’s being sung by a drunk, maudlin hobo in an alley (this is also how i feel about Johnny Cash’s version of Hurt). Cocker’s version sounds like the friends in question are Mr Bottle and Mr Needle. Ringo sounds like he actually has friends.

I hate Joe Cocker. Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh.

You really can’t compare them…they are two totally different songs, that just happen to have the same words (but none of the same emotions).

Joe Cocker sounds like he cares about…something.
The Beatles sound like they just needed to add 3 minutes onto an album

But for me, what ruins Cocker’s version isn’t his voice–it’s the visuals. In the movie of Woodstock,
the guy jerks his body around in such weird, uncontrollable spasms. It looks so disturbing you forget about the music.

Joe Cocker…by a mile. I love the Beatles, but their version of the song was rather music hall-ish, whereas Cocker put his heart and soul into it. Over the top? Yeah, probably. But such passion!

I can’t help wondering how many people are voting for the version they first became familiar with. For me, very often (though not always) when I hear more than one version of the same song, the one I heard first is the one that sticks in my mind as the way the song’s supposed to sound.

I probably heard Cocker’s version first. It got a lot of radio play in the early 70’s. He was on the great tv shows like Midnight Special and Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. The Beatles had already shifted to the oldies stations when I was in high school in 1977-80. I almost never heard the Beatles until several years after college and I switched my dial to the oldies stations. Couldn’t stand New Wave and gave up on Top 40 radio.