Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Johnny and the Hurricanes - Come On Let's Rock [20 Greatest Hits]dotdotdot
artworkTwenty great tracks from one of the rock 'n' roll originals, all instrumental, and some even in the surf groove.
Picks: Red River Rock, Beatnik Fly, Crossfire, Reveille Rock, Down Yonder, Rocking Goose, Sand Storm, Rockin' T, High Voltage, Time Bomb, Revival, Sheba, You Are My Sunshine, San Antonio Rose, Cyclone, The Hep Canary, Kaw-Liga, Come On Train, Molly-O, Buckeye

Track by Track Review


Red River Rock dotdotdot
Sax & Organ Rock (Instrumental)

The first of what would become their formula, public domain standards ominously rocked out with organ dominated evil sax instrumentals with great Dave Yorko guitar breaks. "Red River Rock" never sounded so cool! It was instro covers of public domain standards that originally influenced Paul Johnson, who used "Little Brown Jug" among others in the Belairs sets (and on disc).

Beatnik Fly dotdotdot
Organ Sax (Instrumental)

This is another track morphing a traditional song, as was the majority of the singles from this band. "Blue Tail Fly [Jimmy Crack Corn and I Don't Care]" became "Beatnik Fly" over a cool backtrack and Dave Yorko's great guitar. The intro is so sad, then the Beat rhythm, breaks out and the cool jazz bass line, and then that whistlin' organ and mumblin' sax. It's way fun and melodic.

Crossfire dotdotdotdot
Sax Guitar (Instrumental)

Guitar machine gun riff and a growling sax in a most ominous tune. You can just see a stylized prohibition gang land drive by...

Reveille Rock dotdotdotdot
Military Organ-Sax-Guitar Rave (Instrumental)

Yup! This just plain rocks! Not many of the instros of the late fifties really pummeled, but this had more energy than most everything else of the day. The organ lead is so-o-o cool, and the spit-ball sax just rips! Dave Yorko's guitar break rules too! When I was in the service, I used to play this in the barracks at reveille to wake the slumbering masses.

Down Yonder dotdotdotdotdot
Organ Guitar Sax (Instrumental)

The kettle drum is so-o-o cool here. It adds that extra dimension to a nearly screaming organ lead or that rapid fire damped guitar chop and sax squirtology. When the sax takes the lead, the organ pumps the same way the guitar was. Very infectious arrangement and powerhouse performance.

Rocking Goose dotdotdotdot
Organ Sax (Instrumental)

With the sax squirting out goose honks and the organ pumping out a simple lead line, this track has to be one of the most infectious gimmick records ever recorded.

Sand Storm dotdotdotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Dave Yorko's simple infectious guitar line, mixed with bells, a pumping choppy organ and sax sums up to a mighty fine track. The Neon Spores used to do this song to great effect. Some enterprising surf band should pick this up and surf the Hell out of it.

Rockin' T dotdotdot
Organ Folk (Instrumental)

Like the old stuff... similar to "She'll Be Comin' 'Round The Mountain When She Comes" and "Old Smoky," but faster and more spirited.

High Voltage dotdot
Guitar Organ (Instrumental)

Raw guitar choked like Link Wray too fast, delivered under a simple organ lead. This could be surfed up with a reverb guitar taking the organ lines. The melody is based on that old English children's song "Gramma's Lye Soap," or what ever it's called. Lonnie Donnegan had a big MOR hit with it in the fifties.

Time Bomb dotdot
Organ Sax Guitar Jazz (Instrumental)

No explosion from this misnamed tune. More a cool for cats Beat/Jazz number and a simple riff-rocker.

Revival dotdotdot
Organ Sax (Instrumental)

"When The Saints Go Marching In" has been done by dozens of rock and R&B acts, including the cooler-than-cool version by the Viscounts. Here, the organ melody line is accented with sax slides, until they trade places. Nice and pumped.

Sheba dotdotdotdotdot
Tribal Middle Eastern Guitar (Instrumental)

Dave Yorko's magnificent guitar work just shines here. This incredible middle eastern melody is spectacular as is, but just imagine it surfed up! The organ is mysterious beneath it all. Why isn't some surf band doing this? It rips!!!!

You Are My Sunshine dot
Organ (Instrumental)

A basic rendition in a Perez Prado sorta way.

San Antonio Rose dotdot
Organ (Instrumental)

Chunky rhythms and an organ lead... just OK.

Cyclone dotdot
Sax Guitar (Instrumental)

The sax howls a repetitious but ominous lead line over the pumping guitar chords.

The Hep Canary dotdot
Organ (Instrumental)

A chirpy organ and a rolling backtrack.

Kaw-Liga dotdotdot
Organ Guitar Rockabilly (Instrumental)

Indian tom-toms and spacy organ plus near-surf guitar sounds. The organ carries the lead on this cool rockabilly guitar classic originally eked out by Hank Williams or someone.

Come On Train dotdotdot
Sax Guitar (Instrumental)

Guitar train whistles a la the Swanks' "Ghost Train" open this cool number, with the guitar doing some rare double picking under a sax lead. Interesting arrangement.

Molly-O dot
Organ Sax (Instrumental)

If they'd just left the strings outta the thing, it would have been a lot better. Oh well, it's not that great a loss. It is just a cover of "Greensleeves" after all.

Buckeye dotdot
Sax Piano Guitar (Instrumental)

A bison bop tune with the guitar laying down a cool riff under a mean sax and a pumping piano.