Johnny & the Hurricanes

Hurricane Force

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AllMusic Review by

Ace's double-disc collection of rarities from the swinging instrumental outfit Johnny & the Hurricanes opens with a song called "The Psychedelic Worm," a tantalizing title that suggests this Midwestern party band of the pre-Beatles era may have decided to ride the paisley dragon in the late '60s. That's not the case. Styles changed, fads came and went, and Johnny & the Hurricanes essentially stayed the same, churning out good-time rock & roll even if they threaded a Beatles tune into their repertoire or added a little more tremolo to their guitar. Disc one of Hurricane Force! chronicles some of these odd little detours -- the hopping rockabilly of "Um Um Um" is a highlight, partially for its tempo and partially for having the rare lead vocal; similarly, "Judy's Moody" has vocals, along with one of the livelier arrangements, all making for a good near-novelty -- and it's a good snapshot of how Johnny & the Hurricanes essentially stayed the same as the times changed, but the second disc of live selections cut between 1962 and 1990 might be a better testament to their enduring appeal. Although it has the occasional clunker -- "Bye Bye Blackbird" is stunted by cavernous '80s technology -- this generally shows how hard the band could really rock, all the way into the '80s, and that revelation is what would make this worth a listen to anybody who's not the kind of diehard who will pop for this collection without hearing a note.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:19
2 1:41
3
2:12
4 3:04
5 2:07
6 2:03
7
2:21
8 4:54
9
2:20
10
2:19
11
2:07
12 2:19
13 1:55
14
2:13
15 2:03
16 2:26
17 3:47
18 2:32
19 2:10
20 2:18
21 2:26
22 2:34
23 3:06
24 2:19
25 3:20
26 3:03

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:33
2 3:04
3
2:25
4
2:10
5
2:03
6
2:54
7
2:14
8
2:16
9 3:26
10
3:08
11 2:44
12 2:54
13
4:45
14 2:46
15 2:54
16 3:56
17
3:14
18 5:35
19 4:19
20 4:14
21 3:44
22 1:59
23
2:57
24 2:15
25 3:06
26
0:56
blue highlight denotes track pick