You Can Leave Your Hat On – Joe Cocker | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: DNC

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Who could have guessed that a Woodstock rock ‘n’ roll star would end up recording romantic ballads, yet, that’s just what happened to Joe Cocker. His rough-hewn voice also graced covers of the Beatles (She Came In Through The Bathroom Window) and the Box Tops (The Letter).

A switch to a softer sound gave Joe a #5 hit in 1975 with You Are So Beautiful, and his first #1 in 1982 on a duet with Jennifer Warnes, Up Where We Belong, the love theme from An Officer And A Gentleman. Other movie related releases followed, including You Can Leave Your Hat On.

The erotically charged tune dated back to 1972 when its composer, Randy Newman, recorded it for his album, Sail Away. In 1975 Three Dog Night covered it on their next-to-last album, and there Hat lay until the rather infamous – and plotless – Mickey Rourke/Kim Basinger steamer from 1986, 9 ½ Weeks.

The movie deservedly disappeared, survived by it’s sole redeeming virtue, Joe Cocker’s You Can Leave Your Hat On.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Richie Zito

Lyrics Written by:

  • Randy Newman