Joe Cocker, a singer possessed of the sort of rough, gritty voice that could sandpaper any song he got his hands on into a bluesy classic, has died aged 70. A Sheffield lad who grew up in the 40s, Cocker first came to fame with a cover of a Beatles song at the tail end of the Sixties, and his classic 1970 live album 'Mad Dogs & Englishmen' featured his versions of everything from rock and folk classics by The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen through to soul staples by Ray Charles, Sam and Dave and Otis Redding.
Move aside, Mariah! Scram, Wham! Spare a thought this festive break for the following lesser-known but genuinely awesome Christmas songs that are cruelly overlooked every time December rolls around.
Now 2014 is almost at an end, how well do you remember the year's maddest music quotes? From big-mouth newcomers to the usual suspects - Noel Gallagher, Morrissey and the likes - it's been another vintage year for rockstar soundbite gold. Reckon you can tell the real witticisms, put downs and interview faux pas' from the fakes?
This year, over a million vinyl records were sold for the first time in the last two decades. Meanwhile, HMV posted a £17 million profit just a year after going into liquidation. In other news, up is down. Black is white. Cats and dogs are living together. It’s been a mixed-up year for anyone trying to make sense of the music biz, and a nightmare for anyone trying to predict the future.