Wednesday, March 29, 2023

"When the Night Comes" by Joe Cocker

Song#:  4087
Date:  10/28/1989
Debut:  85
Peak:  11
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Cocker's career got a big boost when his Grammy and Oscar winning duet with Jennifer Warnes "Up Where We Belong" hit #1 in '82. It should have been the beginning of a comeback period, but then Cocker's next three studio albums failed to produce a significant hit and it left Cocker in the same career lull he had before the movie hit. Still, he soldiered on and in '89 he worked again for a second time with producer Charlie Midnight and came out of the studio with One Night of Sin. For this effort it seems someone decided that it might be wise to secure at least one song by current, hit making writers that would have chart potential. This first single would be that track. Written by Diane Warren along with Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, the tune gave Cocker a commercial edge and it ended up paying off pretty well. The song would reach #6 at Rock and #12 AC while nearly cracking the Pop Top 10. It stopped just shy at the dreaded #11 spot. It was Cocker's biggest solo hit since his 1975 #5 "You Are So Beautiful." Unfortunately, it would end up being Cocker's last Pop Top 40 entry. Follow up singles would fail to chart and that left the album stopping at #52.

ReduxReview:  The sound of this single, especially at the beginning, was like something that might have come from Eric Clapton. It also sounded like it could have been used in a beer commercial. It did get used as the closing credit song in the '89 Tom Selleck crime drama An Innocent Man, so it did get picked up for other use. This is a song I completely forgot about, which is too bad. It was a solid, rousing, radio ready track that fit Cocker quite well. It really should have poked into the Top 10. I was never a big Cocker fan, but once in a while he could send out a zinger that make you perk up and this certainly was one. I'd consider it a forgotten gem.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Cocker's next album would be '90's Joe Cocker Live. Although the vast majority of the album contained live performances, the final two tracks were new studio efforts. One of them, the Diane Warren-penned "What Are You Doing with a Fool Like Me" would be issued out as a single. It would get to #44 Rock/#96 Pop. It was Cocker's last single to reach the Pop chart. His '91 album Night Calls would generate his last significant single. Cocker's remake of Gary Wright's 1976 #2 hit "Love Is Alive" would do well at Rock reaching #7. Cocker would continue to record and perform all the way through to his death from lung cancer in 2014.


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