Richard Hell and The Voidoids - Blank Generation (Cover Artwork)

Richard Hell and The Voidoids

Richard Hell and The Voidoids: Blank GenerationBlank Generation (1977)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: seekseek
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Richard Hell started out playing bass with his high school friend Tom Verlaine in the band Television, but got the boot before the band ever recorded anything. If you want to read a bit of history about this, I suggest you read my review for Television's Marquee Moon. I also recommend reading thes.
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Richard Hell started out playing bass with his high school friend Tom Verlaine in the band Television, but got the boot before the band ever recorded anything. If you want to read a bit of history about this, I suggest you read my review for Television's Marquee Moon. I also recommend reading these liner notes from a Rhino compilation on the '75-'80 New York scene and A History Of Punk. Both articles give due credit to Television/The Voidoids and Richard Hell in general in respects to punk's originations and music history. Before I go any further I will also mention that Hell played bass with ex-New York Doll Johnny Thunders in Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers, though I'm not sure if he stuck around long enough to record many, if any, songs for their album. If you want to know a bit about what kind of person Richard Hell is, read this passage from the aforementioned Rhino compilation liner notes: "Further downtown there was a Bowery dive named for its "Country Blue Grass and Blues." Two guys named [Tom] Miller and [Richard] Meyers built a stage there with their own hands. Years earlier they had been arrested in Alabama for setting a field on fire, after disappearing for several days from boarding school. One said he just wanted to keep warm (he later changed his name to that of a French symbolist poet: [Tom] Verlaine). The other said he wanted to watch it burn (he later changed his name to [Richard] Hell)." The Voidoids came out of the New York scene, and were more roots rock than most of their contemporaries. While being rootsy, their music also had an abrasive edge and funky interior. Lead guitarist Bob Quine was the perfect sonic compliment to Hell's unmistakable vocal style. The mood purveyed in each song musically was the perfect compliment to Hell's amateur rock-poetry. Blank Generation is the debut album from Richard Hell & The Voidoids, and I personally think it is bit better than Television's Marquee Moon. The Voidoids, though generally less technical, were able to unleash more raw energy and edge than Television.

"Love Comes In Spurts" opens up the album; it is a love song from a time when that didn't mean a shallow, faked display of emotion. There isn't much I can say for this song that it can't say for itself with lyrics such as
"baby love comes in spurts
in dangerous flirts
and it murders your heart
they didn't tell you that part
love comes in spurts (oh no it hurts)
Hell also wrote a completely different song with the same name back when he was in The Neon Boys (which became Television, which he left).

The intro to "Liars Beware" seems to serve as a symbol of rising aggression right before the music kicks in. The lyrics certainly hold a certain amount of angst towards "pompous jerks" and "ridiculous creeps". The following verse/chorus openly flaunts such angst:
"Look out liars and you highlife scum
who gotta keep your victims poor and dumb--
Your motives and your methods are not disguised
by your silk, soap, sex, or your smiling lies.
Look out here, you pompous jerk
Look out here, I go berserk
Well I guess you put me in my place
but I won't forget your stupid face

"New Pleasure" is very sweet to the ears. Lines such as "Your mind's a wreck but that's fine. It corresponds to mine. We're in a room the door closes Automatic aut- (hypnosis) -matic automatic auto-." and " Too weak for life you have become. You can't get dressed you're too numb. But we assume sublime poses. Deep in true to life (hypnosis) true to life in true to life in" are song in Richard's untrained, eccentric vocal style, a style that is particularly appealing in this song.

I can't imagine anyone not being able to decipher what "Betrayal Takes Two" is about by simply reading it. I'd have to say the best part about this song is the guitar work in the middle. It isn't a bad song; I just find it somewhat boring at the moment.

"Down At The Rock 'n' Roll Club" is about the finer things in life, such as ripping your shirt (something Hell "invented", which became a staple in the contradiction that is "punk rock fashion") and going to the rock 'n' roll club. "Partner don't you pull no gun, down at the rock 'n' roll club. We just gonna have some fun, down at the rock 'n' roll club." A classic Voidoids song; definitely high on the list of their best stuff.

"Who Says It's Good To Be Alive?" dishes out a healthy helping of nihilism. It really is a good question, anyone have an answer?

"Blank Generation" is the tune The Voidoids are known for. It is their anthem, and it really is their best song. Then New York Dolls manager, future manager of the Sex Pistols, and all-round worthless bag of shit Malcolm McLaren ripped off this song as the basis of the Pistols' "Pretty Vacant". However, the song does not mean "Vacant Generation", it means " Generation>". Since this is such a classic, I am going to give you guys the complete lyrics. Aren't you lucky? " I was sayin let me out of here before I was
even born--it's such a gamble when you get a face
It's fascinatin to observe what the mirror does
but when I dine it's for the wall that I set a place

I belong to the blank generation and
I can take it or leave it each time
I belong to the ______ generation but
I can take it or leave it each time

Triangles were fallin at the window as the doctor cursed
He was a cartoon long forsaken by the public eye
The nurse adjusted her garters as I breathed my first
The doctor grabbed my throat and yelled, "God's consolation prize!"


To hold the t.v. to my lips, the air so packed with cash
then carry it up flights of stairs and drop it in the vacant lot
To lose my train of thought and fall into your arms' tracks
and watch beneath the eyelids every passing dot

(chorus x2)

"Walk On The Water" is a Creedence Clearwater Revival cover. It is a great cover, too. I guess that is about all I have to say on the matter.

"The Plan", musically, is one of my favorite Voidoids songs. Great guitar playing by Bob Quine.

Out comes the funk in "Another World". " I could live with you in another world." A song of futile love and alienation.

"I'm Your Man" was originally a B-side track that was later added to the Blank Generation reissue. Good thing too, because this song is fucking great. In case you haven't figured out, it is a love song. Duh.

Blank Generation ends with a Sinatra cover, "All The Way". A Sinatra cover, not much else I can tack on to that, eh?

Go buy this album. Seriously‚?¶ if you don't own it, you are missing out big time.

Do you know where the power lies? I said it starts, and ends with Mediaocre Industries. Come lay in the power with us!


People who liked this also liked:
Television - Marquee MoonOperation Ivy - Operation IvyThe Clash - London CallingMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyRamones - RamonesBad Brains - Bad BrainsThe Clash - The ClashBad Religion - SufferBlack Flag - DamagedThe Clash - Super Black Market Clash

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
totalstranga (July 26, 2006)

I actually found this on vinyl with the original version of Rock and Roll Club thats not on the cd. priceless! but I got it for $10. and whoever said Hell is a fag needs to quit coming to this site and go back to playing Tony Hawk on their X Box. bitch

Anonymous (February 25, 2006)

hey richard hell was a fag he took it up the ass from verlaine in television...

Anonymous (June 13, 2004)

It is a great album indeed. I haven't heard all the songs yet, but those I've heard are awesome. By the way,did you know that Hell produced Sonic Youth's latest album, "Sonic Nurse" ? The guy kicks ass, it's another great album, I sugest you go buy it !

Anonymous (June 7, 2004)

R.I.P. Robert Quine

Anonymous (May 21, 2004)

the unsacred hearts cover "love cums in spurts" sumthin fierce.

BanMe (March 8, 2004)

Dear Scott Heisel,
move on with your life. to me it seems you eagerly look for opportunities to jump in and defend yourself when no one cares. pathetic. you should worry about your business and other people will worry about theirs. you really dont know when to drop it. you are struggling to continue a pointless arguement that doesnt involve the people viewing it. do it somewhere else cause no one wants to read it on any forums. grow up and get out. i personally dont like your site only signed up to post this. i will not return again or ever recommend it to someone. if your posts are to recruit people to your site im afraid its doing the exact opposite. just letting you know its getting old.

Anonymous (February 7, 2004)

kool keith

501 (September 12, 2003)

''Who is this guy? I have never seen him on MTV or FUSE. Has he done anything in the last 10 years? I bet this dude could not even get on the warped tour. ''

That made me week, if not my year. Thank you for having this site to make me laugh.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

Shit nizzle, ya gutsta have da AFI patch liyk whoa, dat shizt aff da hook, sig da sawo be rackin like mah biznatchs up en heah...........yaaaa I couldn't help myself :)

Anonymous (July 21, 2003)

Yeah I know... And, on top of that, where's his AFI patch?

Anonymous (July 21, 2003)

Who is this guy? I have never seen him on MTV or FUSE. Has he done anything in the last 10 years? I bet this dude could not even get on the warped tour.


Anonymous (July 19, 2003)

"Nah I wasnt really THAT serious. This guy is pretty stupid looking haha, but whatever, it's just the cd cover."

Yeah, he would be AWESOME if he wore a backwards baseball cap, and had pierced lips. Not to mention the essential all-black wigger-wear that your favorite band is always in.

Anonymous (July 17, 2003)

Get the fuckin CD already... It's a classic. Actually, Hell made the cover as a joke. He was known for his fierce eyes, which didn't come across at all in the photo... Just put down your NOFX and get this damned classic right now...

Rockers and Jazzers(?) abound... This CD is one of my favorites.


Anonymous (July 14, 2003)

Nah I wasnt really THAT serious. This guy is pretty stupid looking haha, but whatever, it's just the cd cover.

Anonymous (July 10, 2003)

Hahaha. That was serious sarcasm. I hope you picked up on it.

-The dude who called him a poser

Anonymous (July 10, 2003)

Hahaha true true.

Anonymous (July 7, 2003)

this dude is a poser

Anonymous (June 28, 2003)

whoever hit this with 30000 hits is a goddamned saint

Anonymous (June 26, 2003)

Awesome review. It's sad that most kids who buy NoFX's "42 songs..." don't know that "the Plan" is a cover of these guys, or even that it's a song about incest!

Anonymous (June 26, 2003)

close this site down.
It's a joke, it's abused and irrelevant.

Anonymous (May 19, 2003)

best album ever

maverick (August 5, 2002)

Bring it on, Seek.

Bring it the fuck on.


seek (August 4, 2002)

Scott added 20 it looks like, plus Aubin added at least one. No big deal, it makes since that more current albums would be pushed higher to the top anyhow. Scott, I'm about to make your life a whole lot harder because I have a Roseanne-ass full of reviews to submit. :/

maverick (August 4, 2002)

I didn't add 30 today, I added 20.

I added 20 in a day because I usually add 10 every Tuesday and Friday, but I was busy this week so this was the earliest I could catch up.

Suck balls.


sockk (August 3, 2002)

this review got the shaft. why add 30 reviews in a day?

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