on 9 December 2005
Southside's third album is probably his best and one of my all-time favourite albums - an almost flawless collection of soul-tinged RnB with a brass section, Steve Van Zandt on lead guitar and Johnny's voice to cap it off. My favourites are "This time baby's gone for good" and "Light don't shine" but it's all worth a listen - there are two Springsteen-penned tracks ("Talk to me" and "Trapped again") that would be worth the price of the album on their own. Some of Southside's back catalogue is getting hard to find, but this re-release should win him some new fans. He's still recording and touring - check out the band website for details.
Southside Johnny (John Lyon) and the Asbury Jukes have been linked with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band since their inception (around 1976), Miami Steve Van Zandt was initially Southside Johnny's guitar player until he left to join the E Street Band (who can blame him I guess?). Other members of the E Street band (including Bruce) have also toured with Southside, and Bruce (and Miami Steve) have written numerous songs for Johnny.
This album (their 4th released I believe) is the best thing I have heard from Southside Johnny and is an outstanding brass and soul-infused album, the backing being produced by the Miami Horns (a constituent part of the band). The songs are all written by either Steve Van Zandt or Springsteen and there are (as might be expected) no duff songs on the album. The standout for me is probably their version of the Springsteen song Talk To Me, which arguably surpasses the Boss' own version on his recent release The Promise.
But you should not come away with the impression that Southside Johnny are merely 'Springsteen impersonators'. They are a tremendous band in their own right, and Johnny's voice is a real soul singer's voice (more so than Bruce). Remarkably, they are still touring, and if they were anywhere near as good as when I saw them in 1977 supporting Graham Parker and the Rumour, they will be well worth seeing.
on 4 October 2012
Quite simply, the best album of all time! Songs to love to, songs to tear your heart out, songs where you say 'yes, I want that one played at my funeral', songs to bop to; it's all there!
Southside, with some Bruce, a lot of Miami Steve, and the Horns - together, simply amazing!
Come back 1970's - ALL is forgiven!