His first big hit was the song 'With a Little Help from My Friends,' a cover of the song by The Beatles off the Sgt. Pepper's album, with guitar played by Jimmy Page. The same year he appeared at the Woodstock Music Festival. He had further success covering Beatles tunes with his cover of their song 'She Came In Through the Bathroom Window' off their Abbey Road album. Other early hits included 'Cry Me a River' and 'Feelin' Alright'. In 1970, his live cover of the Box Tops' hit 'The Letter', which appeared on the tour compilation album Mad Dogs & Englishmen, became his first U.S. Top Ten.
Onstage, he often exhibited a physical intensity as he sang, and his unique stage presence was often spoofed by comedian John Belushi (including an impromptu duet when Joe was the guest musician on Saturday Night Live).
In the beginning of 1970s he had problems with drugs including alcohol that had a bad influence on his musical career. He managed, however, to make a comeback in the 1980s and 1990s with several massive chart hits like:
You Are So Beautiful "By Joe Cocker. By Billy Preston and Bruce Fisher. For voice, piano and guitar chords. Piano Vocal. Pop Rock and Soft Rock. Difficulty: medium. Single. Vocal melody, piano accompaniment, lyrics, chord names and guitar chord diagrams. 3 pages. Published by
With a Little Help from My Friends ((from NBC's The Sing-Off)). By Joe Cocker. By John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Arranged by Deke Sharon. SATB DV A Cappella. Pop Choral Series. 12 pages. Published by Hal Leonard
With A Little Help From My Friends "By Joe Cocker, The Beatles, and Across The Universe (Movie). For piano, voice, and guitar (chords only). Film/TV; Pop; Rock. PV. 9 pages. Published by Hal Leonard - Digital Sheet Music"
Up Where We Belong "By Joe Cocker, Jennifer Warnes, and BeBe & CeCe Winans. For piano, voice, and guitar (chords only). Film/TV; Pop; Standards. 4 pages. Published by Hal Leonard - Digital Sheet Music"