Johnny Rivers …And I Know You Wanna Dance (1966)

FrontCover1.jpg…And I Know You Wanna Dance was Johnny Rivers’s sixth official album, and was his 4th live album . It was recorded live at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles, California. The album reached #52 on the Billboard Charts and included the most famous recording of “Secret Agent Man” which peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. (by wikipedia)

One of the most underrated rockers of the 1960s, Johnny Rivers was a guy who served up the big beat strong and simple — on most of his best records, he set up at the Whisky A Go-Go in L.A. with a crack rhythm section and rolled tape as he let rip on a set of classic R&B tunes and pop hits, with his sturdy but passionate voice and no-nonsense guitar work doing the talking. And I Know You Wanna Dance was Rivers’ fourth live album, and if it sometimes sounds like the work of a bar band, in this context that’s a compliment — Rivers was a guy who played to rock the party, and if he’s playing what the audience wants to hear on this disc, he also did it very well indeed, and his covers of “Uptight (Everything’s Alright),” “Every Day I Have to Cry,” “Respect,” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” are potent blue-eyed soul with lots of feeling and no unnecessary fuss.

Johnny Rivers 1966.jpg

Rivers could also dig deeper into the blues bag when he felt like it, and while “The Snake” and “Foolkiller” are uptempo rockers, their tough roots shine through bright and clear. Rivers’ sharp, efficient lead guitar is on point throughout the album, and his bandmembers — including Mickey Jones on drums and Larry Knechtel on keys — are tight and tasty without getting in the way. Johnny Rivers may not have been the hippest guy on the charts, but he played real-deal rock & roll the way it was meant to sound, and And I Know You Wanna Dance is a lot more fun to listen to than a lot of other albums with much higher hipster cred. (by Mark Deming)


Chuck Day (guitar, bass)
Mickey Jones (drums)
Larry Knechtel -(organ)
Joe Osborn (guitar, bass)
Johnny Rivers (vocals, guitar)


01. The Snake (Brown, Jr.) 3.04
02. I Can’t Help Myself (Holland/Dozier/Holland 3.05
03. You Must Believe (Mayfield) 3.20
04. Uptight (Everything’s Alright) (Wonder/Moy/Cosby 3.07
05. Respect (Redding) 1.47
06. In The Midnight Hour Wilson (Pickett/Cropper) 2.32
07. Secret Agent Man (Barri/Sloan) 3.07
08. Every Day I Have To Cry(Alexander) 2.43
09. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (Mann/Spector/Weil) 5.59
10. Foolkiller (Allison) 3.24
11. Run For Your Life (Lennon/McCartney) 2.29
12. You Dig (***) (Day/Jones) 2.10


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