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Monday, August 2, 2010

137. "Downtown at Dawn" by Richard Hell & the Voidoids

I love Richard Hell, but there is definitely a way in which he's the George Lucas of punk rock, constantly revising his two seminal records with the Voidoids, which were brilliant to begin with. The version of "Downtown at Dawn" here, from the Spurts anthology, is drastically different from the one that originally appeared on the still-underrated Destiny Street record, and it's been further reconfigured along with that whole record for his recent Destiny Street Repaired release. Might seem an odd fetish for perfection and revisionism from a guy who's credited as inventing the in-the-moment punk rock aesthetic, but Hell certainly never claimed that mantle for himself and I think he sees his work as being about something totally different from that. Inarresting character, Hell.

The cover of Destiny Street is a semi-parody of the sleeve for Bringing It All Back Home. I took the song in a direction that might've been better suited to Blood on the Tracks or even Time Out of Mind.

Personnel: Rex

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