Richard Hell - Blank Generation LP
Richard Hell and the Voidoids’ Blank Generation is an iconic album that has influenced countless rock bands with its image, its attitude, and its blistering performances. Released in 1977 on Sire Records, the album was received ecstatically by critics such as Lester Bangs and the New York Times’ Robert Palmer (who called it one of the ten best albums of the decade), but as was the case with most original “punk” albums, it wouldn’t get mainstream recognition for decades. Now its place in music history is secure as one of punk’s most significant records. Recently, Rolling Stone magazine lauded Blank Generation as one of the “40 Greatest Punk Albums of All Time,” giving the innovative and literate band its well deserved credit on the cusp of its 40th anniversary.
After establishing his reputation as founder of legendary bands the Heartbreakers and Television, Hell went onto to lead the Voidoids which included Robert Quine (who later played in Lou Reed’s Blue Mask band, as well as for Tom Waits, John Zorn, and many others), Ivan Julian (who would record for Matthew Sweet and numerous other artists) and Marc Bell (“Marky Ramone”). Along with the Ramones, Television, Blondie and Talking Heads, Hell and his band helped to define the early New York “first wave” punk scene. The song “Blank Generation” became a slogan and an anthem and later was emulated by the Sex Pistols for their track, “Pretty Vacant.”
Such songs as “Love Comes In Spurts” and “Blank Generation” were originally recorded at Electric Lady Studios, but were re-recorded prior to release at Plaza Sound during Sire Records’ transition to Warner Bros. Records in 1977. At Plaza Hell reworked the album, leaving behind alternate versions and outtakes from Electric Lady that now appear on the second discs of these deluxe editions. The music sounds as fresh and abrasive today as when it was first released.