Johnny Rivers

Wild Night

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Although technically a "new" Johnny Rivers album in 1976, Wild Night was actually more of a compilation, assembled by United Artists. The singer had actually left UA two years before, and in the midst of releasing new records on Epic, his former label issued this collection from its vaults. Amazingly, the album holds up astonishingly well. In addition to his soulful cover of the title track, a 1971 Van Morrison hit, the highlights include Rivers' rendition of the New Orleans-spawned "Something You Got" and a New Orleans-styled "Brown Eyed Handsome Man," the rocking "Georgia Peach" and "Get It Up for Love," and the introspective "Rain Song." Plus there's a version of "Louisiana Man," and the closer, a jaunty, virtuoso showcase Rivers-authored instrumental, "Reggae Walk." This was the first Rivers album that failed to chart, but the reasons for the latter had nothing to do with the music contained herein. It's as good as anything else he ever did for UA, and well worth tracking down.

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