RICHARD HELL: Spurts: The Richard Hell Story: CD

Known to many as a late ‘70s poet/writer punk, Richard Hell was a founding member in a handful of NYC-based bands. Included in this CD retrospect are some of his more-known outfits, like the Neon Boys, Television, the Heartbreakers, and the Voidoids. There’s key stuff aboard on this release like the coupla Neon Boys cuts, including a “preliminary version” of “Love Comes in Spurts.” There are handfuls of Voidoids material, one of the coolest being their 7” Radar single, “The Kid with the Replaceable Head.” (This was covered years later by the Humpers, documented on a near-impossible-to-find live boot 7”, and yes, Billy, I still got mine!) There’s even a live version of The Heartbreakers doing “Chinese Rocks” that’s pretty cool, even if it’s as raw as they come. The booklet included with the disc contains play-by-play explanations for each track by Hell himself, as well as old and new pics and full production/origin credits. This collection is the perfect way for anyone who’s not familiar with Hell to take a full look at what he’s done in the studio all these years. Malcolm Mclaren continues to owe Hell an assload of money for taking his torn and tattered look and incorporating it into a profitable industry in the late ‘70s. Yeah, I said it—so what? Put that in your diamond-encrusted pipe and smoke it, Johnny Lydon.

 –dale (Rhino)