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Album Review

1979's The Jukes was an unsuccessful effort to dress up Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes and make their music a bit more radio friendly; the album didn't sell especially better than its predecessors, and thankfully the band was left to their own devices on 1980's Love Is a Sacrifice. This time, vocalist Johnny Lyon and guitarist Billy Rush produced the sessions, and the results were a lot closer to the Jersey shore R&B that always marked their best work, and if it wasn't a masterpiece like Hearts of Stone, it certainly plays to their strengths — the sharp punch of the horns, the snap of the rhythm section, the soaring melodies and Lyon's tough blues-shot vocals. Billy Rush wrote the songs this time out (except for two numbers he co-wrote with Lyon), and if his skills as a tunesmith weren't up to his abilities as a guitarist, they mark a step up from his work on The Jukes, leaning less towards clichés and giving the players more space to show their stuff. "Goodbye Love," "Why," and the title cut show that the Jukes still had plenty to say and no confusion about how to say it after the upsets of the previous few years. Love Is a Sacrifice isn't an especially flashy or innovative record — it's just no-nonsense, meat and potatoes barroom R&B, and that's always what Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes did best, with this album capturing them in their element.

Customer Reviews

One of his best!

This is a great addition to i-tunes. I am a big Southside fan and have always felt this was one of his best overall albums. Every tune is great - get it and you will be glad ya did!

Summer 1980

I can't believe iTunes finally got this record! This album, Heartland by the Michael Stanley Band, and Back On the Streets by Donnie Iris & the Cruisers, provided the soundtrack for the summer of 1980 in Northeast Ohio. Ah, the memories of a carefree summer right before the beginning of high school .... Southside delivers on all levels here, and this album should have broken the Jukes into massive Big Time. Too bad it didn't - then again, I can keep them (and the others mentioned above) all to myself - and with a wide grin for all the great times I had to this music, thanking that some corporation isn't killing the buzz I still get by using these songs for a car commercial or a laxative.

Summer 1908

I got this vinyl just before I saw Southside at Freehold Racetrack! The lineup was Willie Nile, and "The South" opening for Hall and Oates! July 5th - What a day. Great rockin' all afternoon. Yes, this was one of his best, the culmination of collaborations with Bruce, and all the Jukes' other songs. Unfortunately it went downhill from here, but this is Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes at their best! Well worth the coin for this one!

Love Is a Sacrifice, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
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Customer Ratings