From the Vault...


Johnny & The Hurricanes
"The Very Best Of Johnny And The Hurricanes"

© Varese Sarabande Records

Year of Release: 2002

track listing
  • Reville 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
  • The Sheik Of Araby
  • Crossfire
  • Sheba

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    Previous Review: #1501
    Paul McCartney--Off The Ground
    Next Review: #1503
    Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble--The Sky Is Crying
    Johnny & The Hurricanes
    "The Very Best Of Johnny And The Hurricanes"

    If you're into early Rock & Roll insrumental, such as surfin' music, artists such as The Ventures, The Surfaris, Duane Eddy, Dick Dale, The Trashmen, of course, I could keep on going... Then Johnny & The Hurricanes is right up your alley. I had a few of their 45s growing up, and it was quite obvious, to learn more of their music. "Reville Rock" and "Red River Rock" were the 45s I had, and they were always playing on my ol' turntable. These guys could ROCK. Their 20-track Very Best not only has these two songs that I used to have, but the treasure is, that this compilation also has the B-sides to these two 45s: "Time Bomb" for "Reville Rock," and "Buckeye" for "Red River Rock." Although I didn't really remember these B-sides, as the A-sides were well worth playing more. (As I listen to "Time Bomb" decades later, I can't think of why I didn't play it more back then. It's a great tune.)

    What is interesting to note, is the Very Best album cover. It features a saxophone player in the front. His name was Johnny Paris. He was the leader of the band, yet his sax wasn't the key instrumental in their songs. It was mostly guitars and keyboards. The other bandmembers were Paul Tesluk (Hammond chord organ), Dave Yorko (guitar), Lione "Butch" Mattice (bass), and Bill "Little Bo" Savich (drums).

    There isn't one bad track on this compilation. This is straight-ahead Rock & Roll instrumental tunes. Some other songs to mention, is "The Hungry Eye," having a familar melody to the classic (vocal) hit "Framed" (the version I'm more familiar with is Bill Haley's, as we did this song in my band, back in 1985.) Their version of the "James Bond Theme" is more rockin' that its original standard. Another one is "Crossfire." (Basically, they are all worth listening to.)

    This compilation brings a breath of fresh air, than your usual "rap-crap" "country-sounding-like-Pop-crap" and the likes. Rock Music going back 50 years plus has proven, that yesterday's music is by far better than today. This is sad, because back then, many new artists were out, and basically all worth mentioning and listening to. Within the past decade or two, who can you really "stand on top of your high horse" and mention who was really good? Justin Bieber? Nope. Kanye West? Hell, no! The 50s was Elvis, the 60s was the Beatles, the 70s, mid-1980s you could pick your favorites. But after 1986 and beyond, there just hasn't been anyone worth mentioning. So, we go back in time, and discover music that probably no one ever heard of. Like -- Johnny & The Hurricanes. They may not have been a household name in music, but still, their music was truly great, and overall, overlooked.

    INTERESTING READING: When Johnny & The Hurricanes were developing, they had played at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany. A little-known band at the time was their opening act: THE BEATLES.

    Johnny Paris continued throughout his life touring with the Hurricanes. He passed away on May 1, 2006, from hospital-bone infections after an operation. His second wife, Sonja Reuter Paris (a German journalist and novelist), took over his business, at Atila Records, Sirius 1 Music, and Johnny and the Hurricanes Incorporated. She also owns the rights and trademarks of Johnny's music. Throughout the 50 years Johnny had played, his wife claimed there were over 300 musicians involved. The Kinks, and the Guess Who's Burton Cummings referenced Johnny and the Hurricanes in their songs -- The Kinks' "One Of The Survivors," and Cummings' "Bridge In Time."

    Discover or re-discover the music of Johnny & The Hurricanes. They may not be well-known, and not in the Rock Hall of Fame, but the 20-track The Very Best Of Johnny And The Hurricanes will have you scratching your head, wondering why this band didn't get the full recognition they fully deserved. Great music. Great Rock & Roll.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Varese Sarabande Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1501
    Paul McCartney--Off The Ground
    Next Review: #1503
    Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble--The Sky Is Crying