I have several versions of this including the original release from the early 80’s that has more clicks and jumps than any record should have, then I got the CD version in the 90’s – I’ve also got a cassette of it somewhere. When the hipsters jumped on RSD I tend to have a sideways glance at what being released and then sigh at the amount of shit that passes for a new release or the turgid boring procession of tripe that gets reissued or remastered but every now and then something pops up that makes my heart skip a beat. When I saw Jungle were doing this one how the fuck could I resist not owning another copy? This time all these years later without the self-inflicted bumps and knocks and as I drop the needle into the groove its not long before I get that euphoric rush of adrenalin as Johnny introduces ‘Chinese Rocks’ to the rowdy audience at one of Londons most salubrious haunts and then before you know it we’re balls deep into one of the finest bands ever to grace the earth and leave a footprint or should that be footnote on the history of rock and roll?
Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers ruled and don’t let anyone tell you different – sure they were sloppy – sure they were drug-addled – sure they were rude – sure they thought their shit was chocolate but isn’t that what we wanted from our Rock and Roll bands? I wish they were still with us and took a little more care of their lives but fuck me the music they left behind is as good as it gets no scratch that its better than 99.9% other bands and this release proves that and besides it has the added bonus of hearing the mid-song banter as Thunders really lets those Limeys have it both spiteful barrels and both sets are here for your listening pleasure.
I have a cassette with this on one side and L.A.M.F on the other and that’s about as perfect as it gets and if my house went up in smoke I think I’d be inclined to rescue that combo because whilst everything I own goes up in smoke I’d still have what amounts to a solid gold bar of Rock and Roll that pretty much reached a new high in perfect music. Listening to the sheer power behind ‘Let Go’ as Thunders and Lure exchange riffs its mesmeric and don’t get me started on Nolan’s groove; the guy had swing and style but man did he hit those drums so hard and with a passion that goes straight to your heart and breaks it clean in two.
“kids go home, your boring the shit out of me. You boring Motherfuckers. Should have gone to Birmingham they know how to rock up there” Ha Ha Thunders always had his finger on the pulse and hearing Lure sing Cant’ Keep My Cock In You’ is still, at my age – hilarious.
You know what, for all the bashing RSD takes and a lot of it totally justified. The original idea was great and having records like this see the light of day again makes all the gripes worth it. Jungle has always had Thunders back and continues to do so and preserving this document of when Giant walked the earth makes everything alright and having this expanded with both the sets in place is magnificent. If you own a copy of L.A.M.F and not this then you shouldn’t need me to tell you what you need to do next.