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Johnny Rivers — Secret Agent Man
Album: Secret Agent Man: The Ultimate Johnny Rivers Anthology
Avg rating:
7.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 788









Released: 1966
Length: 3:03
Plays (last 30 days): 0
There's a man who leads a life of danger
To everyone he meets he stays a stranger
With every move he makes
Another chance he takes
Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow

Secret Agent Man
Secret Agent Man
They've given you a number and taken away your name

Beware of pretty faces that you find
A pretty face can hide an evil mind
Oh, be careful what you say
Or you'll give yourself away
Odds are you won't live to see tomorrow

Secret Agent Man
Secret Agent Man
They've given you a number and taken away your name

Swinging on the Riviera one day
And then laying in a Bombay alley next day
Oh, don't you let the wrong words slip
While kissing persuasive lips
Odds are you won't live to see tomorrow

Secret Agent Man
Secret Agent Man
They've given you a number and taken away your name
Comments (187)add comment
Had to get up and dance and air drum!
 richlister wrote:
Who is this Secret Asian man?

 
You mean Agent Mondegreen?
I always wanted to be a secret agent man ,,,,,Riviera one day Bombay the next,,,,,what a life ,, great air miles there.   
Who is this Secret Asian man?
Is this a serious song or a parody/comedy effort?  I'm seriously not sure.
Seamless transition from The Blue Hawaiians
Lovelovelove the guitars in this. Fifty years on and this is still a stop-and-listen track. 

And hey, Mel Torme did a cover of it!   {#Stop}
 SmackDaddy wrote:
For those listening right now, the Blue Hawaiians did a great version of this with Gary Twin (the bartender at the now gone Lava Lounge).

  
Just checked it out—it is great! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRQcPg5eQtM
For those listening right now, the Blue Hawaiians did a great version of this with Gary Twin (the bartender at the now gone Lava Lounge).
Patrick McGoohan as the secret agent.


Wasn't the cold war Groovey?
 ycb661 wrote:
please play "Ballad of the Green Beret"

 
no no no 
Secret Asian Man?  {#Zip-lip}
 PopKombo wrote:
johnny rivers sucks

 
Avg rating 7.6 that makes you in the minority{#Razz}, and such is life! 
 PopKombo wrote:
johnny rivers sucks

 
Compelling and insightful observation on your part.  Please enlighten us more.
I'm guessing Dick Dale or Aqua Velvet will be next..
 richlister wrote:


Groovy, Baby... But why is this Asian man, so secretive?

 
Yeah baby!
johnny rivers sucks
For some reason, as many times as I've heard this - today it sounds like he's singing secret Asian man!
Cracking cheese, Gromit! Great retro, great nostalgia, the image of spies before Harry Palmer brought the dirty, sleazy, mundane reality of espionage to the screen. 8 from the toe-tappin' Nottingham jury. 
Another delightful surprise from RP.
When I was a kid my mother worked at the rock and roll radio station in Kansas City.  If my brother or I really liked a song, we would beg her to bring home a copy from the station.  Not every request was granted but many of them were.  I remember even now how excited I was when she brought this one home. 
 Ahnyer_Keester wrote:
Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!! This takes me back to my childhood in the 1970s! I can still hear this coming out of the tinny AM radio in my dad's car. :)

 
Yep!
Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!! This takes me back to my childhood in the 1970s! I can still hear this coming out of the tinny AM radio in my dad's car. :)
Oh, hell yeah.                     {#Dancingbanana}
 Aud wrote:
Patirck McGoohan Rocks!

 
Oh yea - Secret Agent Man, The Prisoner - also loved The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh.
 Catecaneverall wrote:
oh my... secret asian man? {#Lol}

 
Yes. Me too!
nineteen sixty-six !!!  Alrighty then!!!  Cool....  {#Dancingbanana_2}
Patirck McGoohan Rocks!
oh my... secret asian man? {#Lol}
 macbags wrote:
THIS ISNOT PARADISE.  WHAT HAPPENED.  SOLD OUT?
i WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!!

 


Now...are you related to Stingray by blood, or marriage?

Or just by drunken stupidity?  


{#Iamwithstupid}  

(first time I've used this emoticon. Not proud to do so, but really: it had to be done).  
 Aud wrote:


"THEIR" ??
I'll combine two posts, yes   t.w.o. not t.o. nor t.o.o.
Is it Secret Agent Men or Secret Asian Men? Anyway, they're smarter than you are.

 

On this subject, what is Grammar? The difference between knowing your shit, and knowing you're shit

(not my joke obviously, but a good one)
Ahhhh! Takes me back to the good old days!
When Tom Hanks put together his 60's inspired soundtrack for That Thing You Do! this song song was the inspiration for "Mr. Downtown".


Groovy, Baby... But why is this Asian man, so secretive?
 mfcrowe wrote:
Swingin' on the Riviera, one day
and then layin' in the Bombay alley next day.
Oh no, you let the wrong words slip while kissing persuasive lips.

How cool of a song was this? 
 
This song was to me the epitome of coolness for most of my young adulthood. Then, my dad took me to my first Bond movie and the die was cast. This song still brings back fond memories.
fond childhood memories of giggling at my brother as he crooned "Secret ASIAN man" when this song came on the radio. 
Rodrigo Y Gabriela to Johnny Rivers?!

Bill, you make me smile!  
Yahhh; this was the first song I ever requested on the radio (1964?). My band covers this today {#Bananajam}
 Aud wrote:


"THEIR" ??
I'll combine two posts, yes   t.w.o. not t.o. nor t.o.o.
Is it Secret Agent Men or Secret Asian Men? Anyway, they're smarter than you are.
 
evil and mean. Funny...but evil and mean.
One of my all-time favorite guitar licks.

And Patrick McGoohan was The Man in all his shows and movies.  
please play "Ballad of the Green Beret"
Theme song for British TV series "Secret Agent" which then had a spin-off (sort of) into "The Prisoner" - Magoohan was awesome in both!
Love this song!
 macbags wrote:
WE KNOW THEIR SMARTER THAN THIS.
 

"THEIR" ??
I'll combine two posts, yes   t.w.o. not t.o. nor t.o.o.
Is it Secret Agent Men or Secret Asian Men? Anyway, they're smarter than you are.
 driver8 wrote:
 
This is actually from The Prisoner TV series, not Secret Agent....
 WayUpNorth wrote:
girls
 
I don't know why (well, actually I do, but let's be polite and leave it at "I don't know") but I want this as my desktop background.

 
Johnny Rivers was smokin' back in the day!  Two personal faves are Poor Side of Town and Mountain of Love
Odds are this dance will be here tomorrow ...
girls
oh, so he wasn't saying secret Asian man.  Darn.  Oh well.
 macbags wrote:
WE KNOW THEIR SMARTER THAN THIS.
  Wait, what?

This is one of my all time favorite songs.  It's up there with Low Rider, Be My Baby, and Duke of Earl.  Rock and Roll to make to you smile.
1999 — One of the best concerts ever, bar none.
 macbags wrote:
THIS ISNOT PARADISE.  WHAT HAPPENED.  SOLD OUT?
i WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!!
 

Really?!? Grow up.
I first heard this song when watching Austin Powers, and thought it was something they made up for the movie...


Swingin' on the Riviera, one day
and then layin' in the Bombay alley next day.
Oh no, you let the wrong words slip while kissing persuasive lips.

How cool of a song was this? 


WE KNOW THEIR SMARTER THAN THIS.
THIS ISNOT PARADISE.  WHAT HAPPENED.  SOLD OUT?
i WANT MY MONEY BACK!!!!!
 Rotterdam wrote:


Oh yeeeeaaaaah. When this came out, it was the sexiest thing imaginable....
 
Ohhh yeaah!  Patrick MacGoohan! That was a British gent!  Got my very young little heart excited.

Danger Man!  
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058846/ 
WHOA!!
I barely caught this after a stupid kafoffel... Wow. I love this song. Johnny Rivers...

And I'm writing like Stingray, but I hope I make a little more sense. {#Lol}
 driver8 wrote:

 
I see ewan mcgregor in the remake...


 RedGuitar wrote:
Secret Asian Man?  {#Tongue-out}
 
Yeah - I thought that too - just looked to see if anyone else "Misheard" the lyric!

This song reminds me of a little band from Baraboo, WI in the early 1980's called Prophet. They did this song and they made it ROCK.
 RedGuitar wrote:
Secret Asian Man?  {#Tongue-out}
 
There *is* a parody out there called 'Secret Asian Man'.
{#Biggrin} 
 eruwenolorien wrote:

Until seeing the song title just now on RP, I have always thought this was "Secret Asian Man."  Woops {#Mrgreen}
 
Seconded.  I could never figure out why the Asian man had a number and probably wouldn't live to see tomorrow. {#Bounce}
Haven't heard this one for a while - still like it! {#Music}
Secret Asian Man?  {#Tongue-out}
 Xeric wrote:
Well!  Turns out I had NOT previously sucko-barfoed this vapid noise.  Now I have!  Sweet satisfaction!
 
Your loss. Johnny put on one of funnest and most memorable concerts we've ever been to. Although I've always loved his hits since I was a kid, he was not at all what I had expected. He rocked!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

jagdriver
(Auburn, CA)
Posted: Jun 30, 2007 - 20:40 < Reply | Edit | Delete >

bev wrote: You can actually hear audience chatter in the background (rather annoyingly) on several tracks!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Actually, those audience sounds were dubbed in at the studio. I've researched it.

What I didn't know was that Johnny's producer was Lou Adler, who also produced the Mamas & Papas. Along with Derek Taylor (later to become Apple Records PR guy), who was hanging in LA back then, Lou, Johnny, and Derek were the major proponents behind the Monterey Pop Festival! Of course, John Phillips (M & P) was also heavily involved in pushing the deal.

And did you know that when Eric Burdon sings, "His majesty, Prince Jones, smiled as he moved among the crowd," that he was referring to Brian Jones? And I just saw an old interview with Clapton whereby Cream's manager had told the band that it was too early to go over to America. Go figure! floydslips.blogspot.com
jagdriver
(Auburn, CA)
Posted: Jun 30, 2007 - 20:34 < Reply | Edit | Delete >

Still FANTASTIC in concert if you can catch him in a small venue! We saw him in Phoenix at the Celebrity Theater, with seating in the round (stage revolves). Johnny is an amazing entertainer and excellent lead guitarist. I had no idea..all those years I had thought his act was like that of a Tom Jones. Don't be dissuaded — he's GREAT

Well!  Turns out I had NOT previously sucko-barfoed this vapid noise.  Now I have!  Sweet satisfaction!
This after "Tapes and Tapes"... Bill, you blew my mind, again...
"How good is this song? I was just walking to get my second cup of coffee, when this song came on, and i had to come back to the PC and listen, and jump around!  A song has got to be the FUNK if it pulls me away from cawfeee! {#Cool}


 Gednabb wrote:
Oh, so it's NOT "Secret Asian Man"
 
Until seeing the song title just now on RP, I have always thought this was "Secret Asian Man."  Woops {#Mrgreen}
 Stingray wrote:
...means, Hannio??
 

Not familiar with Austin Powers?
 cc_rider wrote:
WHO IS NUMBER ONE?!?!
 

Who do you work for, Number 2??
...means, Hannio??


 Xeric wrote:

Why?  "Secret Asian man" is absolutely, perfectly clear.  {#Rolleyes}
 
I hear that, too. {#Lol}

Make sure to check out Blues Traveler's cover of this. Good stuff.


 daveesh wrote:
how about playing "hombre secreto" by the plugz after this?
 
Last time I heard that was on the "Repo Man" soundtrack. Excellence in audio, that one was. {#Clap}
 csnyder wrote:
If anyone questions the need for good diction, I can just mention this song.
 
Why?  "Secret Asian man" is absolutely, perfectly clear.  {#Rolleyes}
 Pyro wrote:
Oh, the nostalgia....
 

Oh yeeeeaaaaah. When this came out, it was the sexiest thing imaginable....
Oh, the nostalgia....
{#Dancingbanana}
This is a pretty fun song to sing along to.
If anyone questions the need for good diction, I can just mention this song.
Rest in peace, Patrick McGoohan.

Gednabb wrote:
Oh, so it's NOT "Secret Asian Man"
 
On a morning that I desperately needed a laugh, that comment did it for me.  I nearly snorted coffee up my nose.  Thanks! {#Lol}

how about playing "hombre secreto" by the plugz after this?
 vandal wrote:
and the Devo version rocks too. . .



 

I loved Devo's 1st album, but I thought they quickly hit a low point when they covered this the next year...

Patrick is "number one"
 billbangert wrote:
Something has gone horribly wrong with my internet provider.  Suddenly Secret Agent Man was playing on what was supposed to be Radio Paradise.  I think I need to change providers to make sure that doesn't happen again.
 
I think you need to change radio stations if you don't want to listen to "eclectic" output. I'm sure there's a MOR FM out there somewhere.

Something has gone horribly wrong with my internet provider.  Suddenly Secret Agent Man was playing on what was supposed to be Radio Paradise.  I think I need to change providers to make sure that doesn't happen again.
 Gednabb wrote:
Oh, so it's NOT "Secret Asian Man"
 

Bump!  haha
 drtjdel wrote:


22 DOLLARS?!?
 

Must have been Canadian dollars.
 Ericac wrote:
Wow!  This song takes me right back to my early teen years.  It was the day of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.", "007", etc.  Fun time.  Thanks for Johnny Rivers "Secret Asian Man".  (Took me forever to figure out it was Agent and not Asian!)
 

what he said!
this song was the pinnacle of cool, when we all rushed home to watch the men from u.n.c.l.e battle the villians from thrush, or wondered how mrs peel could fight so niftily in heels, all the while secure in the knowledge that the cadillac was the king of cars, and gas was .25/gal forever....{#Sunny} dont hate the playas, hate the game
Wow!  This song takes me right back to my early teen years.  It was the day of "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.", "007", etc.  Fun time.  Thanks for Johnny Rivers "Secret Asian Man".  (Took me forever to figure out it was Agent and not Asian!)
 Grizzly_old_man wrote:
Yep, $22.00 of hard earned lawn mowing money went to buy this album when it came out.

All I really wanted was this one cut. Most of the rest grew on me as time went by.

Xwife got it an most all the other actual albums, I have most of my former collection on reel to reel tape tho.
 

22 DOLLARS?!?
 Gednabb wrote:
Oh, so it's NOT "Secret Asian Man"
 

I HATE YOU!!!  now all i'm ever going to hear is "Secret ASIAN man".. hahahhaa
 driver8 wrote:

  WHO IS NUMBER ONE?!?!


Secret Asian Man!  I like it! 
fletch wrote:
When I was a kid, I loved to think of this song, open and eat a can of tuna fish. Oddly enough.
:think: :hungry:
When I was a kid, I loved to think of this song, open and eat a can of tuna fish. Oddly enough.
Oh, so it's NOT "Secret Asian Man"
't was a different time, when rhyming danger with stranger was still the pinnacle of poetry... had good hopes but it didn't work for me
hippiechick wrote:
This song's COOL!
I heartily agree! I understand the guitarist who created the classic riff for this song passed away recently. Rock In Paradise, dude.
...secret asian man!..
hippiechick wrote:
This song's COOL!
I have always loved it.
Smutty wrote:
Check out the Co-dependants version of this featuring Billy Cowsill!
Or The Plugz - Hombre Secreto
Check out the Co-dependants version of this featuring Billy Cowsill!
gandalfbmg wrote:
Secret Asian Man? Cause that's what I'm hearing...
Me too! I've sung that lyric for the longest time.
:curtain:
If you're in the mood to read an amazing blog post that deals, in part, with this song, go to Moonbeam McQueen's blog and read about her father. It's an intensely personal, well-written story about her very messed-up dad who considered this his "theme song." (click here)
Grizzly_old_man wrote:
Yep, $22.00 of hard earned lawn mowing money went to buy this album when it came out. All I really wanted was this one cut. Most of the rest grew on me as time went by. Xwife got it an most all the other actual albums, I have most of my former collection on reel to reel tape tho.
You can buy it from Amazon for $0.99 or 5 Pepsi points. It's probably a little easier to cue up that the reel-reel version.
MonkeyPod wrote:
Secret Asian Man? Cause that's what I'm hearing...
Yep, $22.00 of hard earned lawn mowing money went to buy this album when it came out. All I really wanted was this one cut. Most of the rest grew on me as time went by. Xwife got it an most all the other actual albums, I have most of my former collection on reel to reel tape tho.