Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Johnny and the Hurricanes - The Legends Collection Volume 2dotdotdot
artworkJohnny and the Hurricanes were a magical outfit. Their knack for taking common tunes and doing uncommon arrangements that were truly rockin' has never been matched. They could knock your socks off, or they could make you puke. They always teetered on the edge between great and horrid.
Picks: Mr. Lonely, High Voltage, Old Smokie, Traffic Jam, Farewell Farewell, Misirlou, Salvation, San Antonio Rose, Come On Train, Minnesota Fats, Sheik Of Araby, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane, Greens and Beans, Money Honey, Shadows

Track by Track Review

Mr. Lonely dot
Guitar Organ (Instrumental)

Slow dance guitar lines with the organ whistling away. A stroll.

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.

Old Smokie dotdot
Organ Guitar (Instrumental)

Johnny Otis' "Hand Jive" guitar riffs under the keys is OK, but not inspired like some of their public domain covers.

Traffic Jam dotdotdot
Tribal (Instrumental)

Traffic sounds lead in, with the band fading in with a jazzy guitar line and a honky-squonky sax pumping over tribal tones. Occasional Broadway sax lines detract... too MOR for the rest of the arrangement. The Tiki Tones could make hay with this.

Farewell Farewell dot
Guitar Organ Sax (Instrumental)

Eerie vibrato guitar and sax echoed and an organ riff... not very interesting.

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.

Piano Trumpet (Instrumental)

A rolling piano and a trumpet lead can't salvage "Bringing In The Sheep.".. JEEZ!

San Antonio Rose dotdot
Organ (Instrumental)

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

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.

Minnesota Fats dotdotdot
Sax Organ Guitar (Instrumental)

The sounds of the pool hall and a dissonant choked guitar with choppy organ all supporting a bluesy sax lead.

Sheik Of Araby dot
Organ (Instrumental)

Organ chops over an uninspired bed.

Whatever Happened To Baby Jane dot
Girl Chorus MOR (Instrumental)

Man-oh-man! The girls' chorus is gross. The rest is... yuk MOR.

Greens and Beans dotdot
Organ (Instrumental)

Relatively uninspired Booker T clone. While it's faster, it's no more interesting than "Mo Onions," certainly no "Tic Tac Toe."

Money Honey dot
Sax Boy Chorus (Instrumental)

Pedestrian sax rendition of the rock standard with a chorus.

Shadows dotdotdot
Space Blues (Instrumental)

Almost Tornadoes-like organ via Leslie or vibrato... very cool under a blue sax melody. A most unusual sound... space blues.