"This is a Lifetime, Alltime, Favorite Album Of Mine!! I originally purchased the Original Imperial Vinyl Release when it debuted in 1969. I was only 15 years old then, but I could recognize"true genius" even then, and I listened to it so often that I wore it out by my 20th birthday, and immediately went out and "replaced it Again". Make no doubt about it! Just as The Beach Boys;"Pet Sounds", was a "Conceptual Masterpiece", also 60's, "era-related", so is THIS ONE!! And I believe, every bit as good!! Sometimes I think THIS ONE,is even better!!This is one of the Absolutely MOST beautifully-crafted, and "fluently wrought", "Pieces of Art",that there EVER has been! Introspective, and Creativlely "Put-Together", from the sounds of the "lapping waves against the shore", beginning of the First Song, "Hey Joe", eerily beautiful,and haunting, to "Look To your Soul", (fave of mine), and also; "The Way We Live";Lyric-Laden, and sumptuous, leading right into the gorgeous, "Summer Rain", and haughtingly-rendered, "Whiter Shade Of Pale", it seamlessly flows. And THAT is only THe First Side! >> Side Two, "kicks off" with," Brother, Where Are You", into another gem-laden, ballad- "Something Strange", followed by the "qwesting, "What's The Difference". The quietly, positive-sounding, "Going Back To Big Sur", rounds into the Final Cut, "Positively 4rth Street",as only Bob Dylan "wished he could sing only 1/2 as well,as Johnny Rivers, interpretaion of it!! What more can I say to convince of THIS ONE's EXCELLANCE?Nancy L. Norris"
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Boy,what memories this one brings back. I know it had to be late 68 or early 69 I saw Johnny when he was on tour plugging this album. I was in the Army stationed at Ft Ord and went to a concert in Monterey,is opening act was a guy named James Hendrix,not Jimi. This is right after the Jim Webb album i recall and is by far the best he ever done. I know I have lost this album and am very pleased to see it on CD. I am now 50 and I can put this CD on and I am "going back to Big Sur,this time I might just say,going back to straighten out my head just south of Monterey." I rember shipping this album home just before I was shipped to Viet Nam,after my tour I bought another copy in Hawaii and God only knows what happened to that one. My thanks to Amazon for a CD i promise to hold on to forever."
RIVERS GOES WEST!
Patrick Earley | Edmond, Oklahoma USA | 03/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For a guy who was born in New York and raised in Louisiana, Rivers does a fine job of depicting the lives and sounds of Southern California in the late 60's. Truth is, Rivers had lived in California since the early 60's as a producer/singer. After hanging around all of the high profile west coast musicians and bands from his Whiskey-A-Go Go days, it's my guess that he was probably itchin' bad to make an album like this. The result here is fantastic. This album is all over the place as far as covering the whole spectrum of the west coast sound. He opens the album with "HEY JOE", probably the hardest rockin' song of his career. A song Jimi Hendrix later made a hit out of. But after that he settles down into more of a folk rock sound with his two hits "LOOK TO YOUR SOUL" and the wonderful "SUMMER RAIN" which was Rivers last top forty hit for over a decade to come. The other favorite of mine here is "THE WAY WE LIVE". This song reminds me so much of Quicksilver Messenger Service when Dino Valenti sings. Compare the voices of Valenti and Rivers sometime. There eerily similar to one another. I also liked Rivers version of Procol Harum's "A WHITER SHADE OF PALE". This is a great version. Probably the truest and closest I've heard to the original. I hate to call Rivers a singing chameleon, but here again his singing is very similar to Harum's Gary Brooker, and with almost the exact same pitch in their voices, it's hard to distinguish between the two at times during this song. Rivers has one of those types of familiar voices that might sound a little like some others, but original enough for you to know immediatly who it is when he comes at you through the radio with one of his classic tunes. And as far as albums go, "Realization" is a classic Rivers record. The release of this cd coincided with the 30th anniversary original release of this album. Now if the record company would just go the anniversary route and release the rest of his criminally out of print catalog, I'd be a happy camper. Meanwhile I'm going to enjoy this true classic for many years to come."
Is it worth the money?
BluesFan | High desert Arizona | 06/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you don't know the album there are other reviews, which do a fine job of explaining this classic album.
Now that this remastered edition of this album is OOP, it's price has climbed significantly (I paid $100 for a new copy). That begs the question - is it worth $40+ for a used copy or $100+ for a new copy?
The answer is a resounding YES! I have Harbeth speakers, Creek amp, Cayin tube SACD/CD player and Audioquest interconnects - not a bad system. And this album sounds absolutely stunning on it. I A/B'd this against the old CD version I have and the difference is night and day. This edition sets a wider and much deeper soundstage, has crystal clear sound, and makes you feel as though Johnny were performing right in front of you. Kudos to whoever remastered this - no credit given on the liner notes.
I'll leave you to make up your own mind as to whether this album is worth that kind of money to you. I've always loved this album and it is worth it to me."
The re-mix is tremendous
Patrick Earley | 02/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Forget the 70's....this album seems new in all respects. The music is richer and fuller than the vinyl. Buy it today for total enjoyment. Interesting from start to finish."