NEON LEON: 1979-84 Singles Collection: LP

Sep 22, 2023

Neon Leon was a fixture of the New York glam/punk scenes at their inceptions with some pretty direct connections to those scenes—friend of Johnny Thunders, roommate of The Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, one of the last people to see Nancy Spungen alive, and so on. More importantly, he was an active musician during that formative era who gigged regularly and released a number of singles and an album during the years referenced in this album’s title, yet somehow has since gotten lost in the shuffle. The singles are collected here, for the first time on vinyl in the U.S. Most of what’s here is grade-A first-wave N.Y. punk that rivals anything his buddy Johnny Thunders’s band the Heartbreakers ever released, along with a drop-dead-awesome blues-punk take on the Stones’ “Heart of Stone” (with Mick Jagger on backing vocals no less), and a couple tunes from his last single closing things out that sound like they would’ve easily fit into the Lords Of The New Church’s oeuvre. This is a great collection of tunes from an inexplicably obscure artist who should’ve been more than a footnote to the stories of others more notorious. Hopefully this release rectifies that situation. –Jimmy Alvarado (HoZac, hozacrecords.com)

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