Johnny Thunders – Real Times EP
Remarquable Records RBL1
The debut release on Pedro Mercedes’ Remarquable Records is a real labour of love. Pressed on fahbulous pink vinyl this 10″ has a logo that pays homage to Real Records, as does the music and the title. The tracks were recorded by Steve Lillywhite at Island studios in Hammersmith and features Thunders backed by the Hot Rods rhythm section of Paul Gray (bass) and Steve Nicol (drums). All four songs would later appear in more elaborate versions on Thunders’ career highlight So Alone LP . Considering these tapes are 36 years old the sound quality here is remarkably crisp: the lack of multiple out-takes reflects a desire to save money by winding back the original 2″ tape and recording over the top of any track that did not cut it. The version of London Boys trumps the version subsequently recorded with Jones, Cook and Lynott but the song itself remains a career low spot. (Give Her A) Great Big Kiss lacks John Irish Earle’s sax and Patti Palladin’s call-and-response vocals but retains a robust, no-nonsense appeal. Pipeline and Leave Me Alone both really motor. You can think of these tracks as high quality demos or as preliminary sketches for So Alone. Either way the growing Thunders fan-base should scarf ’em up.