August 23, 2005
Beat Goes On

Album Review

BGO's issuing of Johnny Rivers' two forgotten recordings, L.A. Reggae and Blue Suede Shoes offer listeners an opportunity to reacquaint themselves with one of rock & roll's most seminal performers and singers. It also concludes their fine series of two-fer reissues of his work. L.A. Reggae, released in 1972, scored Rivers a hit in his version of Huey "Piano" Smith's "Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu." And it also contained fine versions of tracks like Paul Simon's "Mother and Child Reunion," and J.J. Cale's "Crazy Mama." There are also some excellent originals on the set such as "On the Borderline," "Stories to a Child," and "Use the Power." Blue Suede Shoes is a rock & roll revival album that's spins out rock & roll nuggets without a hint of nostalgia. In fact, Rivers is so passionate in his delivery, and so skilled at working with the crack studio musicians he employs on both of these records, nothing seems overblown, overproduced or sterile. There is real fire in both of these albums and those coming to Rivers for the first time should really check them out.
Thom Jurek, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Rockin' Pneumonia - Boogie Woogie Flu
  2. Knock on Wood
  3. Brown Eyed Girl
  4. Memphis '72
  5. On the Borderline
  6. Come Home America
  7. Stories to a Child
  8. Mother and Child Reunion
  9. Crazy Mama
  10. New York City Dues
  11. Life Is a Game
  12. Use the Power
  13. Blue Suede Shoes
  14. Medley: Searching/So Fine/It's All Right/Hang on Sloopy/I'll Feel ...
  15. Over the Line
  16. Willie and the Hand Jive
  17. Got My Mojo Working
  18. Turn on Your Lovelight
  19. [Untitled Track]
  20. [Untitled Track]
  21. [Untitled Track]
  22. [Untitled Track]