After 44 years of hearing only outtakes, remixes and mud … NOW IT REALLY SOUNDS LIKE A M.F.
FOUND IN AN ATTIC – a copy master of the original tape, without ‘mud’! This classic punk album, made in London by New York Dolls Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan’s new band the Heartbreakers, was always controversial – and not just for the acronym. Upon release on Track Records in 1977, it was universally condemned in the music press for having a ‘muddy mix’ – later found to be a mastering fault. When Track went bust the following year, manager Leee Black Childers managed to burgle the Track Records’ Carnaby Street office and liberated the tapes that belonged to him and the band – but he found everything except the master-tape.
Subsequent releases were remixed from the multi-tracks (‘Revisted’, 1984) or compiled from outtake mixes – the ‘lost ’77 mixes’ (1994) being the version most known since. A tweaked needle lift from vinyl for a ‘definitive’ box set removed a lot of the ‘mud’ but still didn’t achieve full clarity. Meanwhile, fans found that the 1977 cassette version didn’t have that infamous ‘mud’, nor did certain European vinyl matrixes.
Unexpectedly, in 2020 a chance meeting led Jungle to Daniel Secunda’s archives. Danny was an old-school music biz pioneer who became a Track Records director – and the Heartbreakers ‘L.A.M.F.’ co-producer. In amongst his archives stored in his attic were numerous tape boxes, including two with no artist name, marked: ‘Copy Master 12.7.77’. They turned out to be a crystal-clear ‘L.A.M.F.’, just as the band and producers intended it. Sadly, in August 2020 the Heartbreakers co-lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Walter passed away. He was the last of the Heartbreakers ‘L.A.M.F.’ line-up – Johnny Thunders died in 1991, Jerry Nolan in 1992, and Billy Rath in 2014. Walter’s punk memoir autobiography is published in paperback in June 2021, and his band The Waldos also get their album ‘Rent Party’ reissued on blue vinyl for Record Store Day’s RSD Drop2, followed by a CD reissue.
‘L.A.M.F. – the found ’77 masters’ was released on vinyl for Record Store Day 2021 RSD Drop2 on July 17 as a limited edition in transparent purple vinyl. It has an inner bag with new notes by Simon Wright, plus a 12″ poster of a Roberta Bayley cover outtake pic. A CD version will be released at the end of October.
An example: ‘It’s Not Enough’ – when choosing tracks for ‘the Lost mixes’ from the attempts at assorted studios, there were only two versions to choose from. One had vocals mixed far too high; the other very low. We went with the low vocals version – they almost fade away at one point. Now, we can hear the correctly balanced mix.
Tracks: Born To Lose, Baby Talk, All By Myself, I Wanna Be Loved, It’s Not Enough, Chinese Rocks, Get Off The Phone, Pirate Love, One Track Mind, I Love You, Goin’ Steady, Let Go, Can’t Keep My Eyes On You*, Do You Love Me*. Cat. no: TRACKLP77. *Includes two tracks originally released as single b-sides. Direct Metal Mastered from 24-bit transfers from analogue tape.
WHERE TO BUY? The vinyl has SOLD OUT so it’ll be difficult to find. Don’t pay stupid prices; there’ll be another pressing in summer 2022.
The CD edition – with a bonus disc of four demo sessions 1976-77 and a 32-page booklet in a hardback book – will be available to preorder our Direct Webstore around a month prior to the release date of November 5th 2021
Upon release in 1977, Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers’ L.A.M.F. had a mastering fault, widely condemned as a ‘muddy mix’. Track Records went bust and the master was lost – so subsequent releases were compiled from outtakes or re-mixes. Forty-four years later, the master has been found in the attic of producer Daniel Secunda, a crystal-clear 1977 ‘Copy Master’.
Now L.A.M.F. can at last be heard as the band and producers intended!
“Previously buried clarity enables the astounding live chemistry sparking between band-members to rear unfettered at full power … Nobody in love with this definitive NYC classic should hesitate to splash out” – Kris Needs, Classic Rock, 9/10 review.
First released as a much sought-after vinyl LP for RSD in July 2021, this CD version comes together with a bonus CD – ‘the L.A.M.F. demos, plus’; a 19-track collection of four demo sessions from 1976 – 77 and three tracks from Track singles. They are packaged in a hardcover 32-page book, with notes by Simon Wright and a 2012 interview with Walter Lure (the last of the LAMF Heartbreakers who sadly passed away in 2020), together with rarely-seen photos.