Monday, 7 January 2019

Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes - The Jukes (1979)


Released in 1979

After three superb albums featuring songs by Steven Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny changed record labels from Epic to Mercury and let various band members, particularly guitarist Billy Rush, write the songs. Although not as strong as those previous classic albums, the result was actually a good album as it happens, with a lot of the romantic, horn-powered classic Asbury Park sound of those first three albums still present here. I always really liked this album.


1. All I Want Is Everything
2. I'm So Anxious
3. Paris
4. Security
5. Living In The Real World
6. Your Reply
7. The Time
8. I Remember Last Night
9. Wait In Vain
10. Vertigo                                                          

"All I Want Is Everything" is a lively, rocking number to kick off the album and "I'm So Anxious" has a totally addictive drum sound and brass parts. "Paris" is a typically Asbury Park ballad with a great saxophone solo. "Security" is a bluesy, slow paced rocker, still driven along by those muscular horns. There is some excellent, intricate guitar on here too, something new from previous albums. Johnny's voice is impressive on here too. It has echoes of the material that featured on the band's debut album.

"Living in The Real World" is an energetic and melodic number with great saxophone and a singalong chorus. Check out that wonderful sax intro, then Southside's yearning, charismatic vocal. I loved this back in 1980 and I still do.

"Your Reply" has a bass line to die for, that I had forgotten about and some killer guitar too. At the time I didn't pay this track much attention, now I appreciate its bluesy thump a lot more. "The Time" has another good bass line and some jazzy saxophone. Southside's vocal is jazzily confident and a bit like that he used to such great effect on 1976's "The Fever". "I Remember Last Night" is an irrespressibly strident corker of a rocker, while "Wait In Vain" is a classic soulful Southside ballad. "Vertigo" is a guitar-driven, quirky rocker. This album was a lot better than many expected it to be without Van Zandt's input. Well worth a listen.


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