Punk Legends
The American Roots

Link to image of cover

This disk tries to unearth the roots of punk, U.S. style, and largely succeeds. There are a total of 5 tunes on here that feature Johnny Thunders which adds some substance to his title as the godfather of punk. Starting off is a solid version of 'Personality Crisis' by the Dolls taken from the hard to find New York Tapes. Next is a previously unreleased version of 'Blank Generation' taken from 1975 demo tapes of the original Heartbreakers lineup with Richard Hell on bass. (Three tunes from these same demos can be found on the cassette only 'R.I.P.'.) 'Let Go' comes from some later Heartbreakers demos recorded for LAMF that have previously appeared on the EP Vintage 77. 'Get Off The Phone', another Heartbreakers tune, features Walter Lure on vocals with Johnny on guitar and comes from an unreleased mix of the LAMF sessions. It appears to have louder vocals and more emphasis on the drums than the version released on LAMF. And finally there is a live high energy noisy instrumental called 'Courageous Cat' performed by the Wayne Kramer/Thunders collaboration 'Gang War' in 1979. This song can also be found on the CD Crime Of The Century.

Compiled by Alan Hauser, this U.K. collection lays together most of the solid building blocks of the New York punk scene: Iggy, MC5, Dolls, Ramones. Left out are the more art oriented musicians that were part of the scene such as Talking Heads, Television and Patti Smith. In only one disk there has to be some omissions but Alan has made a good stab at putting together an interesting collection of mostly rare material from the originators. The one track that sticks out like a sore thumb is Suicide's 'Rocket USA'. This 10 minute bloated feedback solo shouldn't be on the same disk as the Ramones stripped-to-the-bone 1.5 minute version of 'Judy Is A Punk'. Otherwise the rest of the disk, starting out with the Punk role call 'Max's Kansas City', by Wayne County, rips it up.

Liner notes are by Clinton Heylin, author of 'From The Velvets To The Voidoids'. He gives a short history of each track and tries to map the bands within the punk geography.

This disk is released through Jungle Records in the U.K. and Cleopatra Records in the U.S. Here is a link to Jungle Mail Order information.

Track Listing

  1. Wayne County - Max's Kansas City
  2. Iggy & The Stooges - I Got A Right
  3. M.C.5 - Kick Out The Jams
  4. New York Dolls - Personality Crisis
  5. The Ramones - Judy Is A Punk
  6. Pere Ubu - Final Solution
  7. Suicide - Ghost Rider
  8. Richard Hell with The Heartbreakers - Blank Generation
  9. Johnny Thunders with The Heartbreakers - Let Go
  10. Dead Boys - Sonic Reducer
  11. Iggy & The Stooges - Gimme Some Skin
  12. Flaming Groovies - Slow Death
  13. Wayne County - Flip Your Wig
  14. Walter Lure with The Heartbreakers - Get Off The Phone
  15. Gang War - Courageous Cat
  16. The Dictators - Next Big Thing
  17. Suicide - Rocket USA

This music has also been released on vinyl in a double album limited edition package. As a bonus, surprise surprise, the album contains an extra 3 tracks not found on the CD. These extra tracks are all Heartbreakers tunes which means there are a total of 8 tracks in the package that feature Johnny Thunders! The extra tracks are:

  1. Born To Lose - from Vintage 77
  2. Chinese Rocks - from Vintage 77
  3. One Track Mind - from LAMF The Lost Mixes
Various Artists Punk Legends
Year: 1997
Country: U.K.
Label: Jungle Records FREUD CD 056
Format: CD

Johnny Thunders Cyber Lounge: www.thunders.ca
Managed by Chris Ridpath: chris@thunders.ca
Modified: April 17, 2001