Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Johnny and the Hurricanes - The Very Best Ofdotdotdot
artworkOne of my favorite vintage instrumental bands, and if you get a surfable monster like Sheba in the bargain, well, you just can't miss!
Picks: Reveille Rock, Bye Bye Blackbird, The Hungry Eye, Beatnik Fly, Misirlou, James Bond Theme, Buckeye, Sand Storm, Red River Rock, Bean Bag, Walkin', You Are My Sunshine, Storm Warning, Down Yonder, Time Bomb, Rocking Goose, Like Rock, Sheik Of Araby, Crossfire, Sheba

Track by Track Review

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.

Bye Bye Blackbird dotdotdot
Organ Sax Guitar (Instrumental)

A lot like their earlier work, with the whistling organ and sax bridge, plus that trademark Dave Yorko guitar break. The tune is another public domain standard morphed into their standard format.

The Hungry Eye dotdot
Beatnik Sax (Instrumental)

Beatnik chunk under a fifties beat sax line.

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.

Misirlou dotdotdotdot
Organ Sax Guitar (Instrumental)

Most unusual rendition of the Greek classic. A chunky guitar bed with the sax growling ominously. The organ takes the lead. If you're expecting Dick Dale, forget it. On the other hand, this is not the least bit lounge or fifties schmaltz. The sax break has that Steve Douglas staccato thing happening, and the guitar break is great too.

James Bond Theme dotdotdot
Organ Spy (Instrumental)

The organ leads where you'd expect the guitar, except for the classic hooks.

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.

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.

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).

Bean Bag dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A sax tune with a Bo Diddley feel and an harmonica accented choppy backtrack. Choppy organ and sax R&B riff rock, with a pulsing organ and lots of edge. The organ whistles in the break over tribal drums. There's quite a bit in common between "Beanbag" and "Brontosaurus Stomp."

Walkin' dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

"Walkin'" sports a nasty strollin' sax over a honky tonk piano and a walking bass line. It's a mean R&B groove.

You Are My Sunshine dot
Organ (Instrumental)

A basic rendition in a Perez Prado sorta way.

Storm Warning dot
Sax Guitar Boogie Shuffle (Instrumental)

Just sax squonkage and guitar boogie shuffle triteness.

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.

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.

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.

Like Rock dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Like Rock" is a real fifties sorta melody, slightly rock, slightly beatnik, and pretty cool. Dave Yorko's guitar is strained through a Leslie, the organ whistles, the and your senses detect a cool-for-cats kinda scene. Very suave.

Sheik Of Araby dot
Organ (Instrumental)

Organ chops over an uninspired bed.

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...

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!!!!