JOHNNY THUNDERS & THE HEARTBREAKERS – Vive Le Revolution!!

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”Never the most prolific studio visitor, the late New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders plied his brand of bent-string dementia where it shone brightest: live, and in your face, with no premium on timing, or tuning. Such carping about those factors is wasted on Thunders fans, who cared more about their hero’s screw-you persona, than whatever physical condition he brought to each performance. This album drives that object lesson home once more, being culled from the Heartbreakers’ 1977 tour promoting their ill-fated L.A.M.F. album, which saw powerhouse drummer Jerry Nolan quit over its mixing. The set list is the same that’ll appear on future live releases, but the performance is vicious enough to overlook such considerations. All the standbys are here, including “Chinese Rocks,” one of the most graphic snapshots of heroin addiction ever written, as well as the English putdown “London Boys,” and Thunders’ laconic self-assessment “Born to Lose.” Heartbreakers fans also get an obscure, unissued original in the Bo Diddley-style swagger of “Baby Talk,” the obscure A-side “One Track Mind,” and “Take a Chance With Me,” so the recycling isn’t as shameless as the track listing seems. Second guitarist Walter Lure and bassist Billy Rath provide their usual bullish support. Former Clash refugee Terry Chimes isn’t nearly as flashy as Nolan, but keeps the beat rolling with a damaged panache. As always, Thunders’ vocals and guitar waver all over the place, but his cut ‘n’ thrust bluster gets over on sheer persistence. What frequently sounded stilted on vinyl suddenly makes sense onstage, where the band could unleash its feral fury without worrying about recording levels. For Thunders, the attitude mattered most of all, and there’s plenty for Heartbreakers fans to absorb here. You’ll either like this release or hate it…but, in punk rock, that’s often a compliment.” ~ Ralph Heibutzki, All Music Guide

Great live set recorded at Paris Bataclan in 1977.

 

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(((0)))

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