With A Little Help From My Friends (5:14)

Cover of Greatest Hits

From Greatest Hits and 185 other releases

“With a Little Help from My Friends” (originally titled A Little Help from My Friends) is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, released on The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967. The song was written for and sung by Beatles drummer Ringo Starr as the character “Billy Shears”; it is ranked #304 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Joe Cocker’s version was a radical re-arrangement of the original, in a slower, 6/8 meter, in a different key, using different chords in the middle eight, and a lengthy instrumental introduction (featuring drums by Procol Harum’s B.J. Wilson and guitar lines from Jimmy Page). It was used as the opening theme song of the American television series The Wonder Years and is one of Joe Cocker’s most famous songs. Cocker can be seen performing the song at Woodstock in 1969 and can be seen in the related documentary film, “3 Days of Peace and Music”. The cover was ranked #2 in UpVenue’s top 10 best music covers of all time in 2009.[4]

The version heard in the film Across the Universe segues from the original to Joe Cocker’s arrangement at the end of the song.


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