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Johnny Thunders

The New Too Much Monkey Business

ROIR

Another ROIR once cassette-only release finds its way to me on CD.

   To quickly recap the story, Reach-Out International Records ("ROIR") released a series of great punk rock albums exclusively on cassette during the early 1980's. Naturally, they were slightly limited in number, and if you preferred the other medium (i.e., vinyl) there's no way you'd even find one, since you'd never bother to check out the cassette shelves. Since the advent of "affordable" CDs, vinyl's pretty much vanished. And what's the point in cassettes if you can play your CDs in your car or anywhere? Hence we have these great recordings released once more for everyone's listening pleasure. These recordings are must-haves for all that want a feel of what the "real" punks were recording -with not much of a care about being signed to a major label.

   I mean, come on, this was Johnny Thunders, just give him enough for a few good fixes and he'll play his ass off!

   And play his ass off on this one he did...

   Looks like half the album is studio, the other half live at the Peppermint Lounge in New York with a cast of co-conspirators including Jerry Nolan and Wayne Kramer. The serious punk enthusiast will recognize "Get Off the Phone" and "Jet Boy," but I'd never heard the title song nor "Who Needs Girls" nor "King Of the Gypsies" and others -- all of them simply, raucous guitar-driven punk rock with plenty of New York Dolls sass. Each song is introduced by Mr. Thunders, whose state of mind varies from song to song, but is nevertheless consistently strung-out. ("'Sad Vacation' is for my man Sid...")

ROIR, 611 Broadway, Suite 411, New York, NY 10012

--David Lee Beowulf