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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Edited From the LP
As I see it, there are two ways of approaching this review. On the one hand, this CD is a great deal. Lots of great R&B by a great live band for an insanely low price. They tear through their own hits, as well as a great Sam Cooke medley (although I've always considered medleys a bit of a tease), followed by Cooke's "Bring It On Home" & "Having a Party" in their entirety,...
Published on February 17, 2003 by jekyllnhyde

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Paridise it's not but may have to do!
I love early Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes. And the only way to hear them is LIVE. But not on this album. For a really LIVE experience, purchase Live at the Paradise Theatre Boston, Massachusetts December 23, 1978 [LIVE] a seamless recording of one concert, not a mish-mash of different shows, performances, venues, and nights just slapped together with no cohesion...
Published on April 18, 2005 by Obiburner


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Edited From the LP, February 17, 2003
This review is from: Live: Reach Up & Touch the Sky (Audio CD)
As I see it, there are two ways of approaching this review. On the one hand, this CD is a great deal. Lots of great R&B by a great live band for an insanely low price. They tear through their own hits, as well as a great Sam Cooke medley (although I've always considered medleys a bit of a tease), followed by Cooke's "Bring It On Home" & "Having a Party" in their entirety, & finally Chuck Berry's "Back in the USA". On the other hand, as I looked at the set list, I thought I remembered "Stagger Lee" being on the original LP version. How they could edit out "Stagger Lee" (of all tunes), especially a 7+ minute version, is beyond me. As far as I'm concerned, this easily warrants taking a full point off. Bottom Line; If you like great live R&B, you can't go wrong with this. But it could've been so much better!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reach Up & Touch the Sky: Live [LIVE], June 19, 2004
By 
Russ M. Liachoff "russl179" (Matthews, NC United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Live: Reach Up & Touch the Sky (Audio CD)
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes were/are a band that sounds as good as they did in the `70s; their music is infectious. The horn arrangements are great and really enhance the tunes. My introduction to SJ was this title as an LP (yep, long ago). This album rocks. What a joy to listen to it on CD. You will not go wrong to buy this title. It was a mistake to delete "Stagger Lee," a tune on the album, but deleted on the CD version. Warning!!! Listen to this in your car and you might end up with a speeding ticket! Enjoy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Paridise it's not but may have to do!, April 18, 2005
By 
Obiburner (Bend, OR United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Live: Reach Up & Touch the Sky (Audio CD)
I love early Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes. And the only way to hear them is LIVE. But not on this album. For a really LIVE experience, purchase Live at the Paradise Theatre Boston, Massachusetts December 23, 1978 [LIVE] a seamless recording of one concert, not a mish-mash of different shows, performances, venues, and nights just slapped together with no cohesion like this album. With that said, if you can't find that album at a reasonable price, this one will have to do as for some reason Live at the Paradise is hard to find and people are just plain greedy in pricing this album used on Amazon. If Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes ever come to your town, go see them. They put on a great show and are still touring from time to time and without the high prices of many of todays acts.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Great Live CD, But Is Roll Out The Barrel Missing As Well?, August 2, 2004
This review is from: Live: Reach Up & Touch the Sky (Audio CD)
Recorded from several venues, Reach Up And Touch The Sky captures the early 80's sound of Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes.

This is a decent release, and sounds great on CD.

My problem with this album is that the songs, while taken from different venues, are not mixed together to create a seamless concert feel. You get a song, then a fade out, then another fade in to the next song, which I find distracting. This is especially evident with the first two tracks, as "I'm So Anxious" fades out with a drum roll, then "Talk To Me" fades in with a starting drum roll. Thankfully this does not occur between all the tracks.

The other complaint about this CD is the removal of the stunning 7 minute version of "Stagger Lee", which I'm sure was due to CD manufacturing standards of the time (CDs made with a time greater than 74 minutes would cause many players at the time to have difficulty reading the last track. This has been corrected on newer CD players.) .Unfortunately, this title is not likely to be reissued with the complete track list from the original LP and cassette.

It appears that "Roll Out The Barrel" is missing as well.

Overall, a good release with some notable flaws.

1. I'm So Anxious - An okay version. Good, but not phenomenal.

2. Talk To Me - High energy. GREAT version of this song with opening rap by Southside. Some interesting comments by South in the middle section of this song.

3. All I Want Is Everything - An absolutely SMOKIN' version!

4. Hearts Of Stone - A truly heartfelt version. This songs was awkwardly sequenced as Southside thanks the audience and says goodnight, even though the CD continues on for another 11 songs!

5. Trapped Again - Nice energetic version. Fun.

6. Why Is Love Such A Sacrifice - Another great version. One of my favorite SSJ songs.

7. Restless Heart - This song did nothing for me.

8. Vertigo - Dedicated to Alfred Hitchcock! Sounds like he's saying "Ver-ti-joe" in the chorus! A nice version, but not significantly different than the studio version.

9. I Don't Want To Go Home - A nice version - faster paced than the studio version. Contains the classic line "Whatever happened to... your mother and I?"

10. The Fever - This version is on fire! Sultry and triumphant.

11. Sam Cook Medley - This was okay, but came off to me as just a quick run through tribute to Sam Cooke.

12. Bring It On Home - Didn't care for this one at all. Was too slow, with some dreadful background vocals. Your mileage may vary.

13. Having A Party - What would a SSJ show be without this one? I still prefer the late 70's version found on the "Having A Party" and "Live At The Bottom Line" CDs.

14. Back In The USA - This one rocks out! Interestingly, there a some (very brief) alternating dropouts on the left and right

channels around the 4:18 - 4:20 mark. I never noticed it before, but picked it up now as I was wearing headphones.

15. Having A Party, Roll Out The Barrel - The set closer. Did I miss something, or is "Roll Out The Barrel" NOT on this cd? I did not hear it during track 15.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great CD - But the LP Is Better, September 19, 2010
By 
DPH (Boston, MA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Live: Reach Up & Touch the Sky (Audio CD)
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes have been dubbed "the world's greatest bar band". However, this was recorded at the peak of their popularity in the late seventies and early eighties, when they were actually playing some larger venues. Their live shows are legendary, and if you listen to this CD, you'll get a sense of why. It combines great musicianship, along with the sense of high energy and fun that the band is so well known for. Southside's great stage presence and trademark self-deprecating wit are also on display (although you need to see him at an actual show to really appreciate it). The Sam Cooke Medley that leads into "Havin' A Party" combined with "Back in the USA" is a particular standout. There are also four tracks from the two previous studio albums, which are much improved in a live setting. One oddity about the album - "Hearts of Stone" which is only song #4 is clearly an encore from a concert, so you don't get that sense of being at one live show as is typical of most live albums (although it's the rare live album that is actually from one show). There is one major issue with this CD - the CD is an edited version of the LP, and does not include "Stagger Lee" - and as a result, I knocked off a star. If you still own a turntable, get the LP version, if you can.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We're An American Band, February 14, 2009
This review is from: Live: Reach Up & Touch the Sky (Audio CD)
Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes were R&B revivalists in an era (late 1970s) when punk rock briefly made some noise in the music industry, but their incredible live performances and critically-acclaimed albums with Columbia Records could not propel the band out of the clubs.

Now with Mercury Records - and a total of six albums in their discography - the band was finally captured live on a double-album in 1981, which is in a slightly different version on one CD.

The 15 tracks - recorded at a number of venues - demonstrate the power of the band; with Southside taking flight through an appreciation of Otis Redding, Eric Burdon and Wilson Pickett, the horn section in sizzling form and the guitar riffs of Billy Rush and Joe Gramolini keeping the pace.

The band's signature songs - I Don't Want to Go Home, The Fever, Having a Party - are bolstered by rockers like Chuck Berry's Back in the U.S.A. This is classic American rock-n-roll from a band that understands the legacy of artists who set the foundation in pop music.

That the album did not provide a breakthrough moment misses a major point; the band delivered the goods no matter the size of the venue and Southside never strayed from his musical roots...this is truly an American Band.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Live Southside Johnny Album, February 18, 2009
This review is from: Live: Reach Up & Touch the Sky (Audio CD)
REACH UP AND TOUCH THE SKY: LIVE is a great live CD by Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes, the only major defect being that, as one reviewer said, it was taken from a number of shows, which means that, as great as this one is, LIVE AT THE PARADISE THEATER is even better, as it was taken from one seamless perfomance. However, since that one is extremely hard to find, this one can suffice if you can't obtain PARADISE THEATER (I actually have both CDs). This CD is a must-own for any fan of R&B-rock who can't obtain LIVE AT THE PARADISE THEATER.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars South at his live best BUT no "Stagger Lee", April 20, 2013
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This review is from: Live: Reach Up & Touch the Sky (Audio CD)
I owned this on vinyl and was extremely let down to see that one of the best and longest ( Stagger Lee) tunes is missing on the CD version . . . but I guess Corporate Stupidity rules eternal. . . I bought this CD because it was cheaper than buying it on iTunes (which also deletes "Stagger Lee") . . . . it's a rocking good time by one of the best party bands of its era . .I was lucky enough to see Southside live in 1985 and it was a blast . . .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic LIVE R&B, March 8, 2013
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This review is from: Live: Reach Up & Touch the Sky (Audio CD)
The Jukes are one of the GREAT Live Bands! This would be 5 stars if Stagger Lee was included. It's still GREAT though!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Southside Satisfaction, October 23, 2012
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This review is from: Live: Reach Up & Touch the Sky (Audio CD)
Although the track order is silly and rather confusing (he says "Goodnight" early in the CD) the music is great and captures his great band at its peak.
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Live: Reach Up & Touch the Sky
Live: Reach Up & Touch the Sky by Southside Johnny (Audio CD - 1990)
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