This release from Dutch specialist label Smith & Co is probably as good a collection of Johnny and the Hurricanes as we are ever going to get now. There have been many compilations over the years - the previous best was the Definitive Collection from Charly Records back in the mid nineties which is now a collector's item. There are 60 tracks on each, and from what I remember of the earlier collection the tracks are broadly the same - very probably identical.
This new collection comes with a bonus DVD of a concert in Germany from 1986 which is interesting, if not essential. Johnny Paris died in 2006 of complications following an operation and his estate is now controlled by his widow, the author Sonja Paris. She has left Amazon a short review of this CD - I wish she had written more!
Paul Smith, of Smith & Co, says about his release on their website:
"What makes this package all the more interesting is that it includes an 80's gig in Dortmund, which his widow, Sonja Paris, assures me is the only live footage of Johnny available. As a DVD production it is not going to win any prizes, but it is unique and that makes it extremely saleable. Another major plus for this album is that it has been lovingly re-mastered which sets it apart from any other products on the market, most of which are illegal pirate copies. Ours is licensed directly from the estate who unquestionably own the original recordings and assure us that he never re-recorded his material."
The package contains a booklet with some information about the band and some photos from their heyday - a bit more of a discography would have been useful, but those details are available elsewhere. If you have any collection of Johnny and the Hurricanes - other than the Charly one - then you can safely buy this CD and know that it will be considerably better. If you don't yet have a collection then this is the one to buy - forget all the budget releases, these recordings are best available.