Sep 03


Popular12 comments • 2,212 views

#13, 23rd October 1953

The horns equal MAN ON THE PROWL thing gets further reinforced as Frankie Laine follows up a mega-hit by throwing everything he can at “Hey Joe” – brass all over the shop, a guitar solo (again!) (a much better one than Guy Mitchell’s I might add), backing singers, tumbling rhymes and an outright bizarre vocal style which stretches line-endings to breaking point and ends up sounding like proto-Dylan (“I’ll tell you face to face I mean to steeeeeeeal / Her from yeooooow“). It’s the most vigorous thing to top the charts since Kay Starr but for all its incident it never really gels.



  1. 1
    Doctor Casino on 7 Oct 2007 #

    Tom, you’re mad! This is one of the most fun things I’ve discovered poking back through the pre-Beatles era on this thing. Alternately swaggering, sweaty, and desperate, with humor that resonates. I can relate to the people who made this a hit. They seem like real people and not strange curiousities from a previous universe.

    I’d also like to think of this as some sort of flipside to, say, “Wedding Bells” – now the old gang of buddies is breaking up, but not so much because of weddings but because of an effort to break one up.

  2. 2
    Doctor Casino on 7 Oct 2007 #

    And that solo is wild!

  3. 3
    Marcello Carlin on 8 Oct 2007 #

    Give it up for pedal steel maestro Speedy West!

  4. 4
    Lena on 8 Oct 2007 #

    So, this isn’t the usual “Hey Joe”?

  5. 5
    Marcello Carlin on 8 Oct 2007 #

    No, nothing to do with the other “Hey Joe” with the other “wild solo.” Wouldn’t it have been great if it had been, though?

  6. 6
    intothefireuk on 8 Nov 2007 #

    The second number one in a row to employ a much more rhythmic, uptempo & lively backing except this is a good deal busier and I think I can hear a kitchen sink in there somewhere as well. Frankie seems to have cheered up a little since his previous hit and it sounds like he’s having a ball (with his crazy pals in tow). If I was Joe I wouldn’t trust this bunch, and I think I’d be grabbing my girl and catching the nearest stagecoach outta town.

  7. 7
    Doctor Casino on 18 Jul 2008 #

    Frankly, I think Joe’s pretty much already lost this one.

  8. 8
    Sam C on 15 Sep 2010 #

    I’m more familiar with the Carl Smith version (featured on Columbia Country Classics Vol 2) which is a fine rattler, but this is an entertaining reading of a very likeable song.

  9. 9
    Eli on 19 Dec 2010 #

    I agree with Doctor Casino – this is great 50s pop. Like the Guy Mitchell UK #1s, I don’t think it made much impression at all in Frankie’s US homeland. I wonder why our tastes differed so much on these occasions.

  10. 10
    slideyfoot on 16 May 2020 #

    Much prefer the Guy Mitchell one from the previous post: something about the voice on this one irks me. Though as I also don’t like Dylan, maybe even slight hints of Dylan are enough to put me off. ;)

  11. 11
    Chad Wedeven on 22 Nov 2020 #

    Why are there no YouTube links on these? Twould be fun to actually hear the songs and not just read about em.

  12. 12
    Gareth Parker on 9 Jun 2021 #

    Good fun from Frankie. 6/10 for me.

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