Johnny Rivers is a unique figure in the history of rock music. On the most obvious level, he was a rock star of the 1960s and a true rarity as a white American singer/guitarist who made a name for himself as a straight-ahead rock & roller during the middle of that decade. Just as important behind the scenes, his recordings and their success led to the launching, directly and indirectly, of at least three record labels and a dozen other careers whose influence extended into the 1970s, 1980s, and beyond. Rivers was very much a kindred spirit to figures like Buddy Holly and Ronnie Hawkins, with all of the verve and spirit of members of that first wave of rock & rollers. He had the misfortune of having been born a little too late to catch that wave, however, and ... Read More...
01 - Memphis02 - It Wouldn't Happen With Me03 - Oh Lonesome Me04 - Lawdy Miss Clawdy05 - Whisky A Go Go06 - Walkin' The Dog07 - Brown Eyed Handsome Man08 - You Can Have Her (I Don't Want Her)09 - Multiplication10 - La Bamba11 - Twist And Shout12 - Dang Me13 - Hello Josephine14 - Hi-Heel Sneakers15 - Can't Buy Me Love16 - I Got A Woman17 - Baby What You Want Me To Do18 - Midnight Special19 - Roll Over Beethoven20 - Walk Myself On Home21 - Johnny B. Goode22 - Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On
Johnny Rivers' two 1965 albums have been released together in a double-disc package. Though neither Meanwhile Back at the Whisky A Go Go or Rockin' the Folk were commercial disappointments, they weren't the singer's most popular records, either. Rivers' first album was also recorded live at the Whisky, so Meanwhile represents something of a homecoming. Since Rivers is essentially an interpretive singer, a live album suits his talents well — it features a set list that isn't plagued by filler and a tight, energetic backing band. Because of this, Meanwhile is the better record of the pair. Rockin' the Folk has its moments, but many of these folk songs aren't as compelling as Rivers' rock and pop covers. It does have its moments — such as the minor hit "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" — but there are too many weak moments to make the record interesting for anyone but dedicated fans. Then again, only dedicated fans will have the need to purchase this double-disc set.