Real Times - Johnny Thunders (Remarquable Records)
This is the initial release on the Remarquable label and what a way to start. Basically the deal is that these folks have gotten their hands on some utterly prime Johnny Thunders music that no one has heard before. They are focusing on the year 1978, when Johnny was on Real Records and put out his classic solo album "So Alone".
This first EP (more is promised) is a beautifully-packaged 10" record with four songs ("Leave me Alone"/Great Big Kiss"/"Pipeline"/"London Boys") recorded early January 1978, a mere two weeks after Walter Lure and Billy Rath had called it quits and returned to NYC from London, where the Heartbreakers had relocated to in 1977.
Steve Lillywhite told Johnny he could record the Heartbreakers and get a good sound - no problem. (It had been a big problem for Speedy Keene, the guy who basically diminished LAMF to the point that Jerry Nolan had to quit the band over it's release.) Only thing was, the Heartbreakers were history. So Johnny and Lillywhite lined up the killer Eddie and The Hot Rods rhythm section of Paul Gray and Steve Nicol and went to the studio, turned on the amps and let fire.
All four songs here - Leave Me Alone, Great Big Kiss, Pipeline, and London Boys - appear on the So Alone album, all in a more "finished" state. But here's the thing: This is a blazing three-piece band, these are the earliest recordings of these songs, they are beautifully captured by Mr. Lillywhite, and they find Johnny at a peak stretch of his career.
Gray and Nicol both appear on So Alone, but these are completely different great sounding versions. Then, add in the fact that the sleeve is the highest quality paper (trust me, it feels good in your hands, much better than a lossy download), the record is either pink or blue (1000 of each), and included is a pretty awesome poster of the three guys taken at the session - all looking so young and cool, also on really nice paper. For the car there is a download card where one can get flacs or mp3s to burn yourself a
nice CDR. And the liner notes by Pedro Mercedes are detailed and excellent.
Bottom line, this is not more of the same rehashed stuff - you have never heard it and it is all the way there. If you are new to Johnny-mania get "So Alone" and "LAMF". But if you are any kind of JT collector you absolutely have to have this.
gotta be....5 Rocks (and 3 cheers!)