Friday, July 10, 2009

Street Repair

A few months ago, I posted a track from Destiny Street, the 1982 album by Richard Hell and the Voidoids. Long out of print, the album will be reissued on Insound in September as "Destiny Street Repaired". Richard Hell recently found the original rhythm tracks for the album and had Ivan Julian, Bill Frisell and Marc Ribot add new lead guitar parts. Hell also rerecorded his vocals. The reissue also adds two previously unavailable Voidoids demos from 1979 ("Funhunt" and "Smitten") to the original ten tracks of Destiny Street. More details are available here.

Why rerecord it? In the liner notes to the Rhino compilation Spurts: The Richard Hell Story, Hell complains of "the layers of guitars that just turn to high-pitched sludge" on the Voidoids' second LP. "(Robert Quine) used to say how he'd had this urge to try many grotesque things with guitars, but by the end of this record that urge was completely out of his system." The musicians on the LP were Quine, Hell, Fred Maher on drums, and guitarist Juan "Naux" Maciel. "Naux did a lot of soloing on Destiny Street. People always assume solos are Quine's, but it's about equally divided," Hell recalled.

I never had a problem with the sound of the LP, but I'm curious to hear what the new guitarists will add to Voidoids classics like "The Kid with the Replaceable Head". Ivan Julian was an original Voidoids member, but did not appear on Destiny Street. Quine died in 2005, and Naux died in February of this year. Juan "Naux" Maciel had most recently been performing blues music in Providence RI under the name John "Crawlin Snake" Mac. Prior to joining the Voidoids, he led a NYC no wave band called China Shop (whose music was recently issued on CD by
Anthology Recordings).

Destiny Street includes covers of Dylan's "Going, Going, Gone", "I Can Only Give You Everything" (popularized by Van Morrison & Them), and a Kinks cover,
"You Gotta Move". You can preorder Destiny Street Repaired on CD for $16 or the LP/CD/poster for $30 from Insound. Spurts (the Richard Hell anthology CD) is also recommended.


At 7/11/2009 11:01 AM , Blogger  said...

I've always dug Destiny Street. Will definitely be looking forward to hearing it Repared as well. Thanks for the info, bro.

At 7/27/2009 2:08 PM , Blogger Disco:Very said...

I'm of the belief that Hell shouldn't tamper with such a well-made album, but what do I know? I'm not going to argue with The Man Who Invented Punk Rock As We Know It.

At 8/06/2009 8:55 AM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

He must have heard something very different in his head. I'm curious to hear what the new guitarists bring to the songs.

At 8/13/2009 12:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sounds like a bad idea. I don't necessarily mind an old punk revisiting the songs of his youth. David Thomas did a great job on the Rocket From the Tombs redux CD, in large part because he is a far better vocalist now than he was in 1975.

I'm afraid the same can't be said for Richard Hell, based on the smattering of material he's recorded in the past two decades. His vocals have been awful. His speaking voice has always been a little strange, but you didn't really notice it in his early performances, because his singing style was so aggressive.

Unfortunately, as Hell's singing has become more mannered over the years, it sounds increasingly like his normal speaking voice. It's not an improvement.

At 8/14/2009 8:54 AM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

Thanks for your comments! I liked Rocket Redux too, and I agree with you about Hell's voice getting worse with age. If his primary complaint about the original Destiny Street was the guitar sound, then there really was no reason to record new vocals. By the way, you can still buy the original Destiny Street (on vinyl) from Get Hip:|20|0|0|167185

At 9/30/2009 7:28 PM , Blogger  said...

Hell has admitted that he was having a few 'problems' at the time they were recording Destiny Street & would not show up at the studio for days. He would call in & tell Quine & Naux to record 'more guitar tracks'. Robert Quine said that Hell went missing for a week straight & he recorded so many different guitar tracks he was going (more) crazy: backwards guitar; speeded up & slowed down; every effect imaginable. & most of them ended up on the finished product, making it 'muddied' to say the least. He never was satisfied with the guitar sound nor was Hell. Richard had masters from the recording session before it was mixed. I don't think he's redoing the vocal parts, only the guitar tracks??? Well, I ordered the Lp/Cd/Poster pack, am still waiting delivery. I'll re-comment after I give it a few.

At 10/01/2009 11:43 AM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

According to the message board on Richard Hell's website, Red Star Records lost the masters. Hell is no fan of Red Star (he wrote on the back of the new LP, "Give me my fucking money now, not when I'm dead, you shitheads.") Nor was he a fan of Alan Betrock's original production on Destiny Street, as Nathan points out. Hell says of Destiny Revisited, "The fact is, I was just trying to make the record something I could stand listening to."

Hell says that he recently found a tape of the drums, bass, and rhythm guitars (before Quine added all the stuff that Nathan describes above). It would appear that he HAD to re-record the vocals, since the original vocals weren't on that tape. Because the masters are lost, there was no way to remix the original lead guitars by Quine and Naux, but the discovery of the rhythm tracks created the opportunity to add new solos by diffent players (since both Quine and Naux are dead). Anyway, I hope it sounds as good as Richard Hell says it does.

At 3/12/2010 2:31 PM , Blogger Mabissa said...

My uncle, Naux, was a great gutiarist and a showman. I'm glad China Shop was re-released, and look forward to the Voidoids stuff coming back, too. Yay for real rock music!

At 3/14/2010 9:33 PM , Blogger jonderneathica said...

Very cool of you to stop by, Mabissa. I never saw your uncle play, but I treasure my Destiny Street LP. Hooray indeed for real rock music, played by real people with real instruments.


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