Hearts of Stone
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iTunes Editors’ Notes
There was always a touch of the underdog about Southside Johnny Lyon — back in the late ‘70s, he played the scrappy middleweight to his hometown buddy Bruce Springsteen’s undisputed champion. Though the top ranks eluded him, Southside was the real deal in those days — and 1978’s Hearts of Stone, his third album, may be his best effort overall. With Miami Steve Van Zandt back as producer, Johnny and his Jukes further refine their classic blend of hard-core R&B and street-level rock. These tracks owe as much to Memphis as South Jersey for inspiration — their molten grooves and soulful guitar licks recall the glory years of Otis Redding and similar Stax Records titans. The Asbury Jukes play with panache, fusing their sprawling horn section into a blistering brass machine. Southside turns in sweaty yet sleek vocal performances, rasping through the upbeat tracks and barely holding back a sob on the ballads. “Take It Inside,” “Got to Be a Better Way Home” and “I Played the Fool” are blazing showstoppers; “Talk to Me” and the title song (both contributed by Springsteen) smolder with Latin-tinged melodrama.
Most overlooked & Under rated album of it's time!
Hearts Of Stone is probably the definitive Southside album of all time, and the one that defines who the Jukes are. Johnny Lyon's vocals are spot on and when teamed with Miami Steve's vocals and smoking hot lead guitar, make for one of the best examples of what the Jersey Shore bar band scene of the 70's was all about. I Played The Fool, Hearts Of Stone, Talk To Me and Trapped Again, all on the same album, are the staples you heard when Southside took the stage at The Pony. Many critics of the time accused Southside of riding Bruce's coat tails out of Asbury. All you have to do is listen to this album, and by the end of third track, "I Played The Fool"; you'll realize that Southside & The Boy's stand strong on their own. This is the album that busted Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes out onto the national scene. Album, eight track, cassette, CD and now iPod, I've owned this album in every mode available, and is a must own if you really want to understand what Asbury Park, Mrs.' Jay's and the Stone Pony of the mid to late 70's was all about.
One of the forgotten albums of the Seventies
This is clearly one of rock's great albums. Incredible songwriting, arrangements and finally some of the best vocals I've ever heard. This is bar band rock at it's most incredile best. Trapped again is one of the best songs ever. Listening to this album today brings me back to those trashy bars on the Jersey shore where I first heard these songs. They sound just as fresh today, over 30 years later.
One of the best of all time
A fantastic album, start to finish. The band is incredibly tight. The songs are melodic and powerful. Johnny's voice is terrific. This is an album you will play over and over again.