Sunday, 3 June 2018

Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes - First Three Albums Box Set


   

Released in 1976, 1977 and 1978

This is a remaster that I have been waiting for for a long time indeed. The three first Southside Johnny albums given a makeover, at last. “I Don’t Wanna Go Home”, “This Time It’s For Real” and “Hearts Of Stone”.

It is on the first one that the remastering is most noticeable. It is superb. It is like owning a new album. Crystal clear cymbals, warm audible bass, at last, and, of course, those bright, punchy horns. Wonderful. Long overdue.

However, on the second album, the sound on the title track of This Time Its For Real is still as muddy as it always was, as is Without Love, as if someone has put wet towels on the drums (which I had heard was actually done!). The remaster doesn't appear to have done too much on this one. Maybe it never will, it was just recorded badly in the first place.

“Hearts Of Stone” was always the best sounding one, and the one least in need of a remaster. However, this one has given it even more punch, if that were possible. A bit bassier too.

Even if you already own these albums, you will be pleased with this. If you don’t own them, what are you waiting for? One of the best blues rock voices against a Spectoresque backing. Songs by Steve Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen too. Asbury Park Heaven.

I DON'T WANT TO GO HOME (1976) B

THIS TIME IT'S FOR REAL (1977) B-

HEARTS OF STONE (1978) B+

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