35th Anniversary 3CD Box Set featuring a remixed version with extra tracks, the live version, the original album plus a 36-page booklet and the reinstated ‘Tie Me Up’

Coming September 11th – FULL TRACKLISTING and PRE-ORDER HERE
The 1985 studio album – ‘Resurrected’ – revamped with two new tracks plus six bonus outtakes, all remixed by The Vibrators’ Pat Collier.
Disc 2 is ‘Que Sera Sera – live in Europe’ – 18 mostly unreleased recordings, 1984-85.
Disc 3 is the original album mix and related single tracks.
Packaged in a clam-shell box with a 36-page booklet featuring new notes by Johnny’s biographer Nina Antonia, plus lyrics and unseen photos

In 1985 Johnny Thunders went into the studio in London, to record his third and final solo album. He gathered friends Mike Monroe, Patti Palladin, John Perry, Wilko Johnson, Henri-Paul Tortosa, Nasty Suicide, JC Carroll, Stiv Bators, Glen Matlock and others, and the resulting album was christened ‘Que Sera, Sera’.

It wasn’t all plain sailing – with Johnny it rarely was. Johnny had spent the previous two years in relative stability. He’d been gigging around the world, and between tours he was filming in France. Life was a series of nice apartments and hotels shared with his constant companions – his girlfriend Susanne and his manager Christopher.

Now circumstances meant he had neither. Without a new release, touring slowed, and his high-maintenance lifestyle led him to seek friend favours for somewhere to live. The major labels that Christopher hoped would provide financial support hadn’t materialised.

In a row with Susanne, she complained that Johnny had never written a song for her. Johnny obliged, and along with new songs from his live set, he recorded I Only Wrote This Song for You. Before the album was finished, as soon as he had a rough monitor mix of the song, he flew to Sweden to attempt a reconciliation.

Those remaining at the studio were left to put the pieces together. Patti Palladin oversaw the mixing with the engineer, and found there wasn’t really enough for an album. Patti added Tie Me Up from the b-side of her Crawfish project, and Blame It On Mom was found from an earlier session. The title-track was actually an afterthought; recorded as a single 16 months later.

The album was well-received, and it got Johnny touring again, but there was always a sense that it could have been better, and that the guitar was restrained – in ’85 many artists were seeking mainstream crossover. Two tracks had been left off – Jerry Nolan’s Countdown Love song was unused as he hadn’t yet recorded it; and Talk About You, a lengthy blues workout that didn’t seem to fit.

With those two tracks in mind as bonus tracks for a reissue, Pat Collier, former Vibrators’ guitarist, was asked to mix them. When the results came through, it became obvious that Pat should remix the whole album using today’s technology and viewpoint.

In the multi-track tapes a few outtakes were discovered, and last year the ‘Resurrected’ version was released as a Record Store Day double-vinyl with 5 bonus live tracks. After interruptions, the CD version was reappraised and expanded to a three-disc box set. The original album is included, reinstating Tie Me Up and the old, familiar mixes. Three live gigs were uncovered, and they became the live version of the album as a bonus CD.

Johnny Thunders’ biographer, Nina Antonia, has written new notes with interviews for the 36-page booklet. It also includes lyrics and unseen photos from the recording sessions, the cover session and from one of the featured live gigs.

Tracks:
DISC 1: Resurrected: Alone In A Crowd, Countdown Love, Blame It On Mom, Talk About You, M.I.A., Little Bit Of Whore, Short Lives, I Only Wrote This Song For You, Cool Operator, Billy Boy, Endless Party, Que Sera Sera. Extras: Copy Cat, Blame It On Mom (outtake),Taking You Up Avenue D, Short Lives (outtake), I Only Wrote This Song For You (outtake), Cool Operator (first version).
DISC 2: Live in Europe: Geneva: Blame It On Mom, M.I.A., Cool Operator, Personality Crisis, Countdown Love, Little Bit of Whore, Amsterdam: Short Lives, So Alone, Sad Vacation, Too Much Junkie Business, Little Bit of Whore, Born To Lose, Chinese Rocks, Lyon: Countdown Love, Just Another Girl, Talk About You, Alone In A Crowd, It’s Alright (Blame It On Mom). (74 mins)
DISC 3: The original album: Short Lives, M.I.A., I Only Wrote This Song For You, Little Bit of Whore, Cool Operator, Blame It On Mom, Tie Me Up, Alone In A Crowd, Billy Boy, Endless Party. Extras: Cool Operator (Black Cat mix), Short Lives (Heavenly ver.), Short Lives (Johnny’s remix), Que Sera Sera

Way back in the mists of time there were records that got released that a small collection of people went absolutely nuts over much to the bemusement of the rest of the population and still to this day some bands – records are the things of legend and that first Fallen Angels album can certainly be placed into that bracket somewhere near the top if you please.  Sharing the same management and having the stars align meant Knox could have what some (me included) to have the dream team rhythm section helping knock these tunes into shape that would eventually make up The ‘Fallen Angels’ album.  It originally surfaced early 84  after being recorded late 83.  Fallout records released it The band consisted of Knox, Sami Yaffa, Razzle, Nasty Suicide Knox cousin Richard Wernham (The Motors), Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy also guested on the recordings.

The sleeve notes are the same as those used on the CD reissue in 2006 but this RSD exclusive has an extra two tracks to that CD so don’t dismiss this out of hand because those of us who know – know right? Right!

Judging by the sleeve notes it was a bit of a riot recording this and those Hanoi boys had a ball as Sami testifies but lets not gloss over their efforts here because those kids could play and whilst they did like to indulge they were also extremely talented players and Knox knew this and with the rock and roll songs he’d written they would lend themselves perfectly to each other.  From the single ‘Inner Planet Love’ to the ‘Chinese Rocks’ of ‘Rain Rain Rain’ its blistering stuff.

What’s not to love about the snotty ‘Runaround’ and the magnificent ‘Amphetamine Blue’ probably the definitive version right here edging it due to Razzles sense of rhythm and his floor tom rolls having said that how he managed it with Yaffa and Nasty trying to put him off god only knows. The album proper finished with the melancholic ‘Vipers In The Dark’ with its acoustic strum which just about wrapped up an absolute 24 carrot album from the middle of the ’80s make no mistake about that and seeing as its celebrating its 35th year this year why not bring it back for more people to enjoy.

This version pulls in the singles and B sides over the two discs and to complete the set and make this the definitive copy it also has the 12″ version of ‘Inner Planet Love’ and the 7″ version of ‘Amphetamine Blue’ oh and it does come pressed on a couple of lovely coloured records.  Make this one you head straight for on RSD on forever kick yourself its a belter! The biggest shame is the line up never got to play these songs live now that would have been something.

Author: Dom Daley

Website: Here

Before we get into the record I just have to mention the package and seeing it expanded to a double album gatefold is so cool.  I wouldn’t like to get between the ‘So Alone’ V’s ‘Que Sera Sera debate and which is best as to me they were both the best. When they were released they both were exactly what I wanted to hear at the time. Where ‘Que Sera Sera’ had the edge was the more iconic sleeve so much so that I had it on Picture Disc as well as regular jacket version I also bought the reissued version with new notes around ’91 and the CD version with extra tracks and now this one has the benefit of being able to shed some light via extensive sleeve notes from Thunders biographer Nina Antonia and jolly good they are too as well as more material.  With a four-sided 12″ lyric booklet with some awesome pictures thrown in for good measure, this is exceptionally well done and will be well received by the people who love all things Thunders except the few hard to please elitists.

 

Onto the music, this seems to have benefitted greatly from Pat Collier totally remixing the record and I have to say every second is now far superior if your one of those people who think you can’t ever improve on Thunders originals, well, wait until you hear these.  With a fuller fatter sound a lot of the songs sound fresher and songs like ‘Little Bit Of Whore’ positively roar. It sounds like PAt has opened a window on the 2″ tapes and let the light flood in.  So the tracklist doesn’t follow the original which might take you by surprise when you first drop the needle but that’s no big deal maybe this version has a better flow.

 

First up on this 2019 version is ‘Alone In A Crowd’ and straight away the guitars sound bigger sure they echo around the room but there is a crispness a bit more bite happening which sounds great. I guess there was no point in this project if you were just merely going to remaster the damn thing and whilst it might seem sacrosanct to meddle with the original mixes it needed to be done even if it went tits up it had to be different and I have to say its a triumph.

On the first side ‘Countdown Love’ and ‘Talk About You’ are the obvious points of interest and whilst Thunders lack of microphone finesse is evident as he pops and booms the mic it sounds great and you do wonder why it never made the final cut. If you think this is a grab all in one place the definitive collection of ‘Que Sera Sera’ then don’t bother because ‘Tie Me Up’  is a noticeable absentee. Anyway, you do get twenty-three songs on this release which isn’t to be sniffed at. ‘Talk About You’ has the guitars right up in the mix its almost as if Thunders were in the room next to me bending those strings as his Gibson barks out the notes.

‘Short Lives’ is lyrically prophetic and benefits from having the fuller sound I’m not sure if I’m looking for things because I know its remixed but the solo sounds fantastic and something that probably would have been buried in reverb had Johnny got his digits on it. ‘I Only Wrote This Song For You’ retains its fragile vocal as Johnny sounds vulnerable I always loved this song when I hear it I often imagine an orchestra with strings on the verses then when Michael Monroe blows the saxophone it sounds like pure heartbreak.  Still brilliant and to follow it up with ‘Cool Operator’ is a masterstroke with that throbbing bass line and then the Sax kicking in and honkin’ with the skankin’ guitar is so Wilco Johnson and something of a much-underrated Thunders tune as the whole band of musicians lock right in and here the percussion sparkles with bells and whistles (ok no Whistles but you get the picture).

 

If the project was to find the definitive recording called ‘Que Sera Sera’ then I have to say its job done.  God bless modern technology eh? Being able to revisit the 2″ tapes and remix them has breathed new life into a record that has stood the test of time and having being given something of a kiss of life sounds brilliant.  It’s the little things that reach out and touch you like the soft bass runs on the title track or hearing a solo that’s been raised in the mix or just hearing more guitars but not in a spinal tap way this has really hit the bullseye no question about it.

As for the Extra time LP, disc two is where some rather fine and dandy outtakes and live recordings live for example ‘Copy Cat’ kicks things off one of the new tracks is the bass-heavy slice of Funk ‘n’ Roll ‘Taking You Up Avenue D’ sure its unfinished and something of a song in progress but there is some mean Saxophone courtesy of Monroe that’s well worth its inclusion. As is the outtake of ‘I Only Wrote’ where Johnny fucks up the melody and its done. Then a less funky more guitar-heavy version of ‘Cool Operator’ that is listed as the first version.

As for the live material recorded in Lyon, it’s a great sounding performance Johnnys voice is high in the mix and has ‘Countdown Love’ with the band sounding tight even if the songs sound more restrained than plenty of the bootlegs out there but its a great sounding recording. ‘Alone In A Crowd’ is like an avalanche of Guitars and ‘It’s Alright’ is a really cool Rock ‘n’ Rolling birth of ‘Blame It On Mom’ that makes it fanboy fodder and a must have item. The only shame is its only five tracks maybe next year we can have the full set released hey who knows I wouldn’t complain its what makes RSD worthwhile in my humble opinion.

 

So there you have it a new improved package of an iconic album that doesn’t get regarded as highly as maybe some of his other do but maybe now the time has come for some reassessment now can anyone shed any light on why ‘Tie Me Up’ is missing?  Anyone? Hello? oh well Que Sera Sera.

 

Website

Author: Dom Daley

Another week rolls by and we head towards Christmas but there are no mince pies or sherry being overindulged round here when there are records to review and Shows to see and last week was no exception as RPM brought you a diverse bunch on the live front as well as on the death decks.

 

Sadly the last seven days saw another rock n roller pass on to the next life and we said goodbye to Peter Blast.  I had the pleasure of reviewing several of his albums and spoke to him in the last twelve months.  On behalf of everyone here at RPM I’d like to offer our condolences to his family and friends and raise a glass to his memory.

 

We also brought you an interview with Phil Privilege from the  awesome kings of power punk n pop Cyanide Pills with an amazing trail of singles and albums as part of their repertoire Phil told us they were on the way to deliver the next long player as well as answer a few of our questions about the band, Catch up with it here

 

We also had some pretty diverse live reviews from the likes of hard rockin’ Junkyard Cowboy Junkies and a doubleheader from He Who Cannot Be Named and the Awesome Hip Priests. But our bread and butter has to be our album reviews and with Black Friday RSD releases in thin supply some of our favourite labels did manage to put out some quality must have records in the shape of MC5. UK Subs ‘Sub Mission’ got its first pressing on record  and we again scoured the four corners of the globe to bring you the likes of Civic from Australia, X Darlings from Switzerland, Paris’ Youth Avoiders and Californias Smash Fashion to name a few.

As for the coming week, we continue with Bens California Dreaming road trip where he visits some pretty amazing places as he skips across the USA. we also caught a few amazing live shows and bring you some fantastic records by some well-known people as well as some of the finest new performers current kicking up a storm on record players and concert halls around the planet. Remember to stick with RPM for all your alternative news and reviews. As Lux used to say “Stay Sick” www.rpmonline.co.uk its a rock n roll revolution!

 

 

 

The lesser known of the Record Store Day family would be the winter version that leans more towards North America and this Black Friday offerings might well be a bit thin on the ground that might all be changing with Jungle being involved in knocking out a few must-have purchases and this latest offering will be of great interest to UK Subs fans (obviously).  Sure this summer just passed the Subs released their entire back catalogue over two box sets that were nicely housed inside a book like cover and split over two periods they housed every single A-Z in the bands releases which was very nice as it had stuff that was fairly hard to find even for avid collectors of Subs stuff but it was all available for under seventy sheets in most places with Charlie’s signature and limited to 1000 pieces.  Well maybe someone somewhere will take on the same collection but on vinyl, however, I’d imagine it might be a little more expensive so one will have to make do.  there is one album included in that set that was released as part of the A-Z but it never got a vinyl release ever.  Until now that is and the good people at Jungle and Fall Out records have taken on the job of producing a double album pressed on yellow and blue vinyl and limited to 500 pieces so you’ll have to be fairly diligent and quick to find a copy before they are all hoovered up.

 

housed in a gatefold sleeve with pictures of all the Subs who passed through the band in the time period and a brief description of each track and where the versions come from.  the one thing that shines through is how diverse the Subs have always been and they certainly aren’t a one trick pony.  I particularly like the Gibbs vocals on ‘Drag Me Down’ from the Killing time Album and the take of Die Toten Hosen ‘Here Comes Alex’ which was done in return for the version of ‘Stranglehold’ that Hosen did prior to this. Subs lyrics have always been on point and relevant except maybe fo r’Hey Santa’ depending on how you view things but ‘Ozone Death’, ‘Warhead’ ‘Riot’ could all have been written yesterday to be fair as sad as it is to say.

Having seen the band recently they are indeed alive and well and still on tour and kicking up a shit storm and as relevant as ever with a new EP on the way as well as Alvin Gibbs having his debut solo album ready to drop.

‘SUB MISSION’, was compiled by Charlie Harper, how he chose the best 20 tracks from their albums F – R I’ll never know although this is indeed a pretty good starting point.  And the bonus of a previously unreleased live recording of the Subs in top form in Bristol 1991adds exceptional VFM. Now we can carry on arguing as to which is the best line up.  any of these? The first? Current?  Does it matter as long as there is a UK Subs playing a venue near you someday soon.

Buy Vinyl RSD Sub Mission Here

Time&Matter Website

 

So it would seem Black Friday 2018 has got some very decent reissues or first time on vinyl releases set for this week. One such gem is MC5 ‘Thunder Express’.  A compilation of the bands material this is pressed on Green and Red splatter (very nice too) its been released to coincide with MC50’s tour dates and shows what an absolute thunder Express the MC5 were.  From the incendiary fueled ‘Kick Out The Jams’  to the inclusion of bonus material that is the early singles ‘Looking At You’ and ‘Borderline’. An essential purchase? Why not if youre an avid collector of the band then of course this is its also housed with an inner bag that has the White Panthers ’10 point programme’ as well as brief interview and sleeve notes the live material is culled from a French TV performance from ’72 so right towards the end of the bands reign but don’t for a moment think they had lost any of their boundless energy or verve because they hadn’t. It’s not only about the incredible guitar riffs or that voice but the rhythm section was absolutely thunderous and incendiary and still an inspiration today.

‘Thunder Express’ bookends nicely the bands recording output first four tracks from those debut two singles and then the live performance in France there can be no denying the MC5 contribution to music, alternative music, punk and garage rock was and is immense. As well as their most famous song ‘Kick Out The Jams’ you have an extended workout of ‘Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa’, Ramblin Rose’ and the sleazy blues jaunt that is ‘Motor City Is Burning’.

 

These might not be the best versions of the songs that can be up for debate but even in the twilight of their existence, they had the chops to devastate and between Tyner, ‘Sonic’ Smith, Kramer, Davis, Moorhouse and Thompson they did indeed kick out the jams motherfuckers! As for the clicks n pops on ‘Looking At You’ that makes me smile – like the original tapes were ever going to be located and as the levels peak and dip that’s another reason to make this a bit special and another reason to not ignore RSD in 2018.

Buy The RSD Vinyl Here

Dom Daley.

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.

 

Buy It Here

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