Album:The Best of Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes attempted to ride the late 70s Bruce Springsteen wave to success. But they never got that hit single to put them over the top. Their music is worth checking out. Johnny Lyon was part of the early 70s New Jersey bar band scene along with Steve "Little Steven" Van Zandt, Springsteen, Garry Tallent, David Sancious, Bobby Williams, Vini Lopez, Kevin Kavanagh and others. A lot of these guys wound up in Springsteen's E Street Band when John Hammond signed Springsteen to Columbia Records. Meanwhile Lyon and Van Zandt led the Blackberry Booze Band until Van Zandt joined Springsteen in 1975. Lyon changed the band name to Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. Van Zandt got them a deal with Epic Records and he produced the 1976 album I Don't Want To Go Home. Kavanagh was still playing keyboards. Other members were Billy Rush on guitar, Alan Berger on bass, Kenny "Popeye" Penifallo on drums, Carlo Novi on tenor sax and the Miami Horns. Van Zandt wrote some songs for the album including I Don't Want to Go Home. The Fever is a Springsteen song that he recorded and performed but it was never on one of his albums. It was only sent to radio stations as a demo. That recording is on the 1999 Springsteen rarities CD 18 Tracks. The Southside Johnny recording is probably the best known version of The Fever. The Pointer Sisters also recorded it. Southside Johnny's music was great but the band was never able to score a hit single and Epic dropped them after three albums. This budget comp covers those recordings. Then they signed with Mercury Records. They recorded three albums. The first one was produced by Barry Beckett at Muscle Shoals. Rush took over as co-leader of the band. Lyon recorded a couple of solo albums in the late 80s. Lyon still leads a version of the Asbury Jukes. But obviously things would have been different if they had got that big hit single. Here's Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes performing The Fever on the Old Grey Whistle Test Apr. 5, 1977.