Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Johnny Rivers Anthology, 1964-1977 [2-CD Set]
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock
In his '60s heyday, there was never any doubt that Johnny Rivers (nee Ramistella) was an energetic performer with a good ear for hit material. In retrospect, though, Rivers's numerous AM radio hits boasted an emotional hon... more »
In his '60s heyday, there was never any doubt that Johnny Rivers (nee Ramistella) was an energetic performer with a good ear for hit material. In retrospect, though, Rivers's numerous AM radio hits boasted an emotional honesty that belied his commercial image. That point is made repeatedly on this 2 CD, 36-song set, which contains all of his hits and demonstrates the singer-guitarist's ease with a variety of styles, from spare '50s-style rock & roll("Memphis," "Mountain of Love"), bluesy party rock ("Secret Agent Man," "The Seventh Son"), bittersweet balladry ("Poor Side of Town," "The Tracks of My Tears"), gentle folk-rock ("Summer Rain," "Into the Mystic"), and smooth middle-of-the-road pop ("Swayin' to the Music"). --Scott Schinder
Similarly Requested CDs
One Of Rock Music's Great Interpreters
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 07/09/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Known more as as interpreter of other artists' songs, JohnnyRivers placed 17 songs in the Top 40 over the 13-year span covered onthis collection. His first two singles (recorded live at LA's Whiskey A Go Go) were covers of Chuck Berry's "Memphis" and "Maybelline." His next single was a cover of Harold Dorman's "Mountain of Love," which Rivers took to No. 9. His string of Sixties hits included "Seventh Son," "Secret Agent Man," "Baby I Need Your Lovin'" and The Tracks of My Tears." Surprisingly, his biggest hit of the Sixties--and his only No. 1--was the only single he had a hand in writing, the lovely "Poor Side of Town." In addition to having a knack for selecting excellent material, Rivers used ace musicians in the studio--frequently using Hal Blaine, Larry Knechtel and James Burton. After 1967's "Summer Rain," Rivers' singles couldn't crack the Top 40 until 1972's "Rockin' Pneumonia - Boogie Woogie Flu." The song's rocking arrangement was reminiscent of his earlier Sixties singles and it became the biggest single of his career, selling over a million copies. He was not as successful with his next two covers--Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" and the Beach Boys' "Help Me Rhonda." Even with Brian Wilson on board to provide harmonies, the song stalled at No. 22. in 1975. Just when critics (and most fans) were ready to write him off again, Rivers surprised everyone with his second million-seller, "Swayin' to the Music (Slow Dancin')" in 1977. Two decades later, it's unlikely that Rivers will make a third comeback, but this is an excellent two-disc overview of his classic songs, minor hits and key album tracks. As usual, the folks at Rhino have put together an informative booklet, excellent sound, and a generous sampling of Rivers' peak years. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED END"
Common Name, Uncommon Artist
adang621 | New York United States | 12/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I loved this CD. Everyone has a favorite Johnny Rivers song. Problem is that, for most people, their particular recollection of one song often ignores the others. For example, when I think Johnny Rivers, I think Secret Agent Man, someone else might think Summer Rain, another might say, Seventh Son, and another sings Mountain of Love, others Midnight Special or Poor Side of Town. Well they are all his and they are all on this great sounding anthology. Also included are the many covers Rivers has recorded over the years, including Sea Cruise, Do You Want to Dance?, and Sam Cooke's classic, Cupid. And his greatest cover of all, Chuck Berry's, Memphis. And for those musicians out there, Rivers' steel guitar remains his signature on every cut. Pop, rock, blues or country music fan, you'll enjoy this CD; it really does justice to a artist most people can't quite place until they hear the songs and then they become amazed that all those fondly remembered records actually came from the same unassuming guy."
An American Original
jbesanko | Crofton, MD United States | 01/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the first LPs I ever bought with my own money was a United Artists album entitled The Very Best Of Johnny Rivers, which I must have picked up around 1974 or so--and I have been a Rivers fan ever since. As other reviewers have noted, Johnny Rivers, though essentially a "cover artist," was much more than that--like many great interpreters (Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris come to mind), he had an ability to take most any song and make it his own, regardless of genre. Starting out as a Chuck Berry rock-and-roller with his "a-go-go" sound ("Memphis," "Maybelline") he made forays into folk-rock ("Where Have All The Flowers Gone?"), Motown ("The Tracks Of My Tears," "Baby, I Need Your Lovin'"), blues ("Parchman Farm," "Seventh Son"), R&B ("Sea Cruise," "Rockin' Pneumonia"), country (Buck Owens' "Under Your Spell Again"), pop ("By The Time I get To Phoenix") and even progressive rock ("Whiter Shade Of Pale," "Into The Mystic"). Whatever he did, though, it was undeniably American music, as befits a man who grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While the hits are all here--and they're all great--some of the real gems in this collection are the ones you may never have heard: "It's Too Late," "These Are Not My People," "City Ways" and "Muddy River" are particular favorites of mine. Overall, an underappreciated artist and an American original. Essential listening."