Mad Dogs & Englishmen [Deluxe Edition]

Mad Dogs & Englishmen [Deluxe Edition]

5.0 2
by Joe Cocker
     
 

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Listening to this CD brings back a lot of memories. Mad Dogs & Englishmen was just about the most elaborate album that A&M Records had ever released, back in 1971, a double LP in a three-panel, fold-out, gatefold sleeve, with almost 80 minutes of music inside and a ton of photos, graphics, and annotation wrapping around it. A live recording done in tandem with

Overview

Listening to this CD brings back a lot of memories. Mad Dogs & Englishmen was just about the most elaborate album that A&M Records had ever released, back in 1971, a double LP in a three-panel, fold-out, gatefold sleeve, with almost 80 minutes of music inside and a ton of photos, graphics, and annotation wrapping around it. A live recording done in tandem with a killer documentary film of the same U.S. tour, it was recorded at the Fillmore East, where the movie was a cross-country affair, and the two were, thus, completely separate entities -- also, as people couldn't "buy" the film in those days, the double LP has lingered longer in the memory, by virtue of its being on shelves, and also being taken off those shelves to be played. Unlike a lot of other "coffee table"-type rock releases of the era, such as Woodstock and The Concert for Bangladesh, people actually listened to Mad Dogs & Englishmen -- most of its content was exciting, and its sound, a veritable definition of big-band rock with three dozen players working behind the singer, was unique. The CD offers a seriously good sound, whether it's just Joe Cocker and a pianist and organist in the opening of "Bird on a Wire," or the entire band going full-tilt on "Cry Me a River"; the remastering was set at a high volume level and there was a decent amount of care taken to get the detail right, so you can appreciate the presence of the multiple drummers, and the legion of guitarists and singers, plus the multiple keyboard players. The lead guitar and solo piano on "Feelin' Alright," for example, come through, but so do the 34 other players and singers behind the lead. This record was also just as much a showcase for Leon Russell as it was for Joe Cocker, which A&M probably didn't mind a bit, as Russell was selling millions of records at the time. As is now known, and it's recounted in the new notes, the tour from which this album was drawn all but wiped out Joe Cocker -- on a psychic level -- because the music was presented on such a vast scale (and there is a moment in the movie where he mentions breaking up his former backing group, the Grease Band, with a hint of regret in his voice) and his own contribution was so muted by Russell's work as arranger and bandleader. He may well have been the "victim" of a "hijacking" of sorts, but the musical results, apart from the dubious "Give Peace a Chance," are difficult to argue about upon hearing this record anew, decades after the fact -- it's almost all bracing and beautiful. [In 2005 Mad Dogs & Englishmen was reissued in a two-CD deluxe edition with eight previously unreleased live performances inserted throughout the discs and four rare studio recordings tacked onto the end. The new live performances are longer and looser and Russell plays an even bigger role. They're excellent, as are the stereo studio mixes of "The Letter" and "Space Captain," available for the first time here.]

Product Details

Release Date:
10/18/2005
Label:
A&M
UPC:
0602498860069
catalogNumber:
000553102
Rank:
9775

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Honky Tonk Woman
  2. She Came in Through the Bathroom Window
  3. The Weight
  4. Sticks and Stones
  5. Bird on a Wire
  6. Cry Me a River
  7. Superstar
  8. Feelin' Alright
  9. Something
  10. Darling Be Home Soon
  11. Let It Be
  12. Further on Up the Road

Disc 2

  1. Let's Go Get Stoned
  2. Space Captain
  3. Hummingbird
  4. Dixie Lullaby
  5. The Letter
  6. Delta Lady
  7. Give Peace a Chance
  8. Blue Medley: I'll Drown in My Own Tears/When Something Is Wrong ...
  9. With a Little Help from My Friends
  10. Girl from the North Country
  11. Warm-Up Jam: Under My Thumb
  12. The Letter
  13. Space Captain
  14. The Ballad of Mad Dogs and Englishmen

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joe Cocker   Primary Artist,Vocals
Rita Coolidge   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Leon Russell   Guitar,Piano
Nickey Barclay   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Claudia Lennear   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Pamela Polland   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Jim Price   Trumpet
Jim Keltner   Drums
Jim Gordon   Drums
Chuck Blackwell   Percussion,Drums
Bobby Keys   Tenor Saxophone
Sanford Konikoff   Percussion
Daniel Moore   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Matthew Moore   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Don Preston   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Choir, Chorus
Carl Radle   Bass
Chris Stainton   Organ,Piano
Bobby Torres   Conga
Donna Washburn   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Donna Weiss   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Bobby Lee Jones   Choir, Chorus
Bobby Jones   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Leonard Cohen   Composer
Jerry Butler   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
George Harrison   Composer
Mick Jagger   Composer
John Lennon   Composer
Dave Mason   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Otis Redding   Composer
Robbie Robertson   Composer
Leon Russell   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Audio Production
John Sebastian   Composer
Titus Turner   Composer
Bonnie Bramlett   Composer
Nick Ashford   Composer
Denny Cordell   Producer,Audio Production
Nick DeCaro   String Arrangements
Henry Glover   Composer
Glyn Johns   Producer
Isaac Hayes   Composer
Arthur Hamilton   Composer
Edwin H. Kramer   Engineer
Richard Marx   Composer
John Mendelsohn   Liner Notes
Matthew Moore   Composer
David Porter   Composer
Keith Richards   Composer
Don Robey   Composer
Valerie Simpson   Composer
Chris Stainton   Arranger,Composer
Ron Wolin   Illustrations
Craig Braun   Package Concept
Wayne Carson Thompson   Composer
Joseph Armstead   Composer
Joe Veasey   Composer

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Mad Dogs & Englishmen 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
JohnQ More than 1 year ago
This is a beautiful version of the Great Mad Dogs concerts. This is a true classic. One you ought to own. This album is great, but dont bother with the DVD movie, just stick with this CD.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago