Poor Side of Town
|"Poor Side of Town"|
|Single by Johnny Rivers|
|from the album Changes|
|B-side||"A Man Can Cry" (non-LP track)|
|Genre||Baroque pop, orchestral pop|
It was a very important record for Johnny Rivers and represented a change from the musical style (characterized by a Go Go sound), that provided him with his early hits and acclaim. With "Poor Side of Town", Rivers moved into the pop-soul style.
The melody is a soulful version of California-based pop, with some strong folk elements as well. Marty Paich provided the song's string arrangement.
There are two versions of the song. The single edit version fades out earlier, in order to avoid repetition, due to its length, following the repeated lyric line: "Oh with you by my side". The longer version goes on, finishing up the verse, and following the repeated guitar riff, repeats the sung introduction of the scatting, before the song fades out.
- The 5th Dimension recorded the song for the 1967 album, Up, Up and Away.
- Al Wilson released a version of the song as a single from his 1968 album, Searching for the Dolphins. It reached No.75 in the U.S. in 1969.
- Beverly Bremers released a version of the song on her 1972 album, I'll Make You Music.
- Joe Stampley released a version of the song as a single from the 1983 album, Backslidin'.
- Nick Lowe released a version of the song on his 2001 album, The Convincer.
- Mark Oliver Everett (better known as Eels) recorded an acoustic version of the song backed by a mini orchestra on his 2006 live album, Eels with Strings: Live at Town Hall.
- Lead vocals and guitar by Johnny Rivers.
- Piano by Larry Knechtel
- Bass by Joe Osborn
- Drums by Hal Blaine
- Background vocals by The Blossoms: Darlene Love, Fanita James, and Jean King.
- Written by Johnny Rivers and Lou Adler.
- Produced by Lou Adler.
- Beverly Bremers, I'll Make You Music Retrieved August 13, 2016.
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