Johnny & the Hurricanes

The Masters

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Although the instrumental rock & roll of Johnny & the Hurricanes prominently featured an organ, the group's sound was entirely distinct from that of Dave "Baby" Cortez, another high-profile organ rocker of the '50s. The Hurricanes specialized in instrumental rock & roll adaptations of old songs, sometimes changing the title in the process. For example, in their hands "When the Saints Go Marching In" became "Revival," and "On Top of Old Smokie" became simply "Old Smokie." A rock version of "Red River Valley," retitled "Red River Rock," was the group's biggest hit in the U.S., but they charted a number of other singles and enjoyed even greater success in England. The Masters compiles every one of the group's hit singles in chronological order, along with several B-sides and non-hits. If you can find it, Charly's two-disc set The Definitive Collection has the most of Johnny & the Hurricanes' music available in one place, but The Masters compiles all of their essential Big Top and Warwick recordings.

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