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

Sucking, The Beatles version sounds like a middle school marching band goofing off.


Joe Cocker. RIP.

The man was awesome. A friend of mine was close with Joe and went to events set up to benefit his Kids Foundation. A great performer and wonderful man.

Cocker. Might be overwrought but he owns it. As mentioned, the Beatles version sounds like a way to fill a track.

Don’t care greatly for either one of them. I just don’t regard it as all that great a song.

But I admit to getting a kick out of this :slight_smile:

I love the Beatles, and generally would never vote against them, but Joe Cocker’s interpretation is amazing. Maybe over the top, but i’ve heard the song my whole life and I was probably in univeristy before I connected that the two were the same song. (My Dad detested the Beatles, if it weren’t for my Walman type clone I would barely have known the Beatles)

I had believed until he died last fall that Joe Cocker had cerebral palsy. My ex husband has cerebral palsy and always kind of identified Joe as “his brother,” That added an extra layer of poignancy not shmaltz to it. I guess that added dimension is unwaranteed, but too late.

The Beatles are my favorite band of all time, but I voted for Cocker on this one.

Which is one of the charms of everything he did. It’s hard not to get caught up in his song because he himself was so into it he seemed to forget himself and just became the music.

Joe Cocker, definitely. That man had soul. And, as others have noted, much better heard than seen. All that jerking and twitching kinda puts me off.

I first became familiar with it in the Joe Cocker version, it was the title track to some TV show (was it The Wonder Years)? So this doesn’t hold true for me

Joe Cocker overwrought? Isn’t that kind of the point? Good grief. I am amazed at how many votes the Beatles’ bland little version got. I mean. I like Ringo a lot, but come on. Go listen to both versions again and then vote.

Incredible. It’s so myopic to dis the beatles version of their own song. Did you same people like Sgt Pepper at all? It’s of a piece. Produced (by George Martin) and performed just as well, not an outlier, and done in the way its authors intended. With subtlety. It’s a very important song, being the only one announced and sung in the putative Pepper concert.

Whenever I hear Joes version it sounds like he’s trying to squeeze something out that isn’t there. Ringo had plenty of soul. This was his greatest moment as a vocal Beatle too. Sheesh, where you guys been the last 45 years, in classic rock purgatory?

PS If a song is bland it’s worse when redone and overdone. If a song is good, that’s it period. This was a good one.

Exactly the word I was looking for. The song begins with the singer worrying about the audience walking out and worrying about singing out of key. These are not lines that Cocker apparently ever comprehended. Cocker’s version should be called “A Big Fat Loud Bunch of Help from my Friends.”

Maybe I’m crazy but I’ve always thought the song was somewhat about masturbation. A little help, what do you see when you turn off the light,. I can’t tell you but I know it’s mine…" Done Cocker’s way his father would be rattling the door, saying “What are you doing in there!?!”

ETA: The appropriateness of Joe’s name just hit me.

I hve listene to both versions many times. Joe Cocker’s version is hammy, overproduced, and overwrought. It’s as if Norma Desmond had performed the song.

Yep. Beatles by a mile. The song is meant to be “music hallish!”

Cocker’s version is edged out by Aerosmith’s version of “Come Together”, though. Ugh.

I was thinking of those arias where the soprano proclaims that she is dying without an ounce of energy left - at the top of her lungs for maybe ten minutes. Cocker’s version is about the singer, not the song.

Definitely Joe Cocker. That guy sounded like he really needed a little help.

I have a half-baked theory that, in general, music fans can be divided into two groups: those whose love is for the music itself, and those whose love is for the performers. For the first group, the job of the performer (singer or band) is to do the song justice. For the second group, the purpose of the song is to give the performer an opportunity to show what they can do.

There are many comments I agree with in this thread, but I agree with this one the mostest. I did see Cocker do this song on the Ronnie Lane benefit concert tour, and it felt interminable.