Kris Jensen

Torture and 31 Originals

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"Torture" was Kris Jensen's only Top 100 hit -- a song of teenage angst that composer John D. Loudermilk originally wrote for the Everly Brothers. When the Everlys refused it, Jensen cut "Torture" and approximated their brother duet style by harmonizing with himself on the record. "Torture" inched into the Top 20 and, ironically, the Everly Brothers ended up covering it. The German anthology Torture and 31 Originals rounds up an astonishing 32 sides by this one-hit wonder, who started out making mild rock & roll for Colpix and Leader as early as 1959 before moving to Hickory Records in the '60s to become a conduit for the songs of John D. Loudermilk and Boudleaux Bryant. "Don't Take Her From Me," penned by Buddy Holly's one-time partner Bob Montgomery, was Jensen's only other single to approach hit status in America, but collectors remember him for "Torture" and the other quality songs he recorded by important songsmiths. Many of his subsequent singles, like "Revenge" from 1965, re-create the faux Everly Brothers style Jensen established with "Torture," but the earlier cuts feature a single lead vocal. The ultra-catchy "Donna, Donna" should have been a hit, but somehow failed to catch on. Good sound quality and lots of material make Torture and 31 Originals a satisfying package for the oldies collectors who will seek it out. Considering the large number of his songs that are included, the package will likely appeal to as many fans of John D. Loudermilk as of Jensen himself.