Southside Johnny and the Ashbury Jukes- Heart of Stone

If my calculations are correct, this is post #900.  Wish I put a better album out for the event. Well not so much better but one that I liked more.  Don’t get me wrong, it is just there are two categories for New Jersey rock and roll musicians: Springsteen and not Springsteen.  Well,  I got this for the deep Springsteen ties.  It was only $2.

Johnny Lyons, known as Southside Johnny, was born in Neptune in 1948.  He rose out of the Jersey Shore scene that produced The Boss.  Although they have continued to make appearances and put out records, the groups most prolific period was the 70’s, where they released three albums which were met with some level of critical success.  According to Wikipedia, the band did a whole lot of consulting work on various movies.

This record was the groups third, released by Epic in 1978.  As like its predecessors, it was produced by E Street member and future Soprano, Steven Van Zant.  The title track is a cover of a Springsteen number. The rest of the tracks are either written or co-written by Van Zant, who also plays guitar on the album.  He is joined by another E Streeter and ex-Conan bandleader, Max Weinberg.

Pretty decent album all together and it got a very good critical response. One critic called it the best album Bruce Springsteen never recorded, but that may be a bit unfair.  At the heart of if (no pun intended), it is what I imagine, a pretty good representation of Jersey rock.  It also is a good show of the vast array of influences on Van Zant,  “Talk To Me” was the single off this effort. Incidentally, Johnny injured his hand after recording and could not tour in support if this album.  As a result sales were below expectations and the band and Epic parted ways.  Van Zant would also move on to a more full time role with Springsteen.

For a sample, I went with “This Time Baby’s Gone For Good”.

Decent enough record.  Satisfactory.

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