Johnny Rivers – Realization

Artist: Johnny Rivers
Genre: Rock, Psychedelic rock
Title: Realization
Released: 1968
Label: Imperial
Format: Vinyl
Musicians:Johnny Rivers – vocals, James Hendricks-rhythm guitar, Marty Paich – strings & horns, Hal Blaine-drums & Percussion, Joe Osborne – electric bass & guitar, Larry Knectchel – keyboards, James Burton – guitar
Producer:Johnny Rivers & Lou Adler
Engineer: Armin Steiner

This is another one of those “oh what the hell for a dollar” LPs I pick up on occasion. Very little is known about this one. Note though that “The Wrecking Crew” are on it and it was co-produced by Lou Adler.

One may think this is a full psychedelic rock LP, but there is really only one song on here that would comfortably fall into that slot. The rest is either contemporary pop or ballads. There is a mix of covers and originals on this LP.

Side One:
1 Hey Joe written by – William Roberts*, Johnny Rivers – This song was not written by Johnny Rivers in any part, but actually rearranged by him for this LP. Yes, this is the same “hey Joe” made famous by Jimmy Hendrix. This psychedelic flavored version is interesting, but I prefer the Hendrix version.
2 Look To Your Soul – Written-By – James Hendricks – No this is not that Jimmy Hendrix (different spelling anyway). This song is more of a pop-ballad and has an interesting bass line. Not bad.
3 The Way We Live – Written-By – Johnny Rivers – This ok song is more of a down-tempo pop song.
4 Summer Rain – Written-By – James Hendricks – Standard pop song, nothing to write home about.
5 Whiter Shade Of Pale – Written-By – Gary Brooke*, Keith Reid – This is a cover of the hit by Procal Harum. Not my favorite song overall, but I like the original better.

Side Two
1 Brother Where Are You – Written-By – Oscar Brown Jr. – This song is more of a soul style.
2 Something Strange – Written-By – James Hendricks, Johnny Rivers – This ballad is one of my least favorite tracks on this LP
3 What’s The Difference – Written-By – Scott McKenzie – Having not heard the original of this song, I can’t compare this cover, but I can say that this track is not one of my favorites.
4 Going Back To Big Sur – Written-By – Johnny Rivers – This ballad has a bass line and sound that is very similar to The Mamas & Papas as well it should be because the wrecking crew were the studio band for them.
5 Positively 4th Street – Written-By – Bob Dylan – This cover of this Bob Dylan song is ok, but I prefer the original.


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