Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Blank Generation: The New York Scene (1975-1978)

"Each of the bands at CBGB was like a little idea. It wasn't that kind of style of punk rock that happened when England took over. Here it was all like little art projects....There was no one dominant thing."
Lenny Kaye
When you stop and consider Patti Smith, Suicide, The Heartbreakers, Television, Blondie, The Ramones, Richard Hell, Mink Deville and Talking Heads, what really united them? Aside from geography, we could add a rabid individualism, a strong sense of image, a distrust of the machinery of pop stardom and a backward-lookingness combined with a fervor for new sounds. But as far as the records they cut, no party line emerged from NYC. That utter non-uniformity keeps this era ever-fascinating.

So this long out-of-print Rhino collection (sans Talking Heads) not only makes for good listening it also goes a long way towards proving Kaye's argument.

1. Blitzkrieg Bop - The Ramones
2. (I Live for) Cars and Girls - The Dictators
3. Ask the Angels - Patti Smith
4. All for the Love of Rock & Roll - Tuff Darts
5. Let Me Dream If I Want To - Mink DeVille
6. Max's Kansas City 1976 - Jayne County, Wayne County
7. X Offender - Blondie
8. Blank Generation - Richard Hell
9. See No Evil - Television
10. In the Flesh - Blondie
11. Spanish Stroll - Mink DeVille
12. Venus - Television
13. Sonic Reducer - Dead Boys
14. Chinese Rocks - The Heartbreakers
15. Sheena Is a Punk Rocker - The Ramones
16. Crocodile Tears - The Mumps
17. Love Comes in Spurts - Richard Hell & the Voidoids
18. Born to Lose - The Heartbreakers
19. Cheree - Suicide

D.I.Y. Blank Generation: The New York Scene
CD (Includes full booklet)


  1. the diy cds weere great- i have abunch of em (power pop, uk punk)- let me know if you are missing em and i will post or send you

  2. Think I have all of these D.I.Y comps and they contain some brilliant music.

    Not so sure I entirely agree with Lenny Kaye's view on US punk and UK punk bands being so different the first wave of the UK punk scene contained loads of differing styles and ideas. But he gave us nuggets so he's forgiven.

    This blog just goes from strength to strength good work Jeff.

  3. Great post Jeff. I must admit at the time I only really liked The Ramones and The Dead Boys (alot) out of that bunch but as time wore on the rest gradually grew on me. Of course,I didn't mind Blondie either :-)

  4. please, please tell me that you are going to post all of the DIY series. I never got them and have regretted it since (especially since they are a fortune used). So, are you?


  5. Nazz
    Thanks for the offer. If you're up scanning any of the liner notes let me know - that's the only thing I'm missing.

    They are good but somewhat redundant with any basic punk rock collection- I still wish Rhino had put out some comps with the lesser known figures.
    It's true there was a lot of diversity w/in the UK scene too but when you compare volume one (UK Punk) with Volume 7 (New York) you can sorta see his point (though I still prefer volume one).
    P.S. Thanks for those extra-good words, I really appreciated them.

    I'm the same, the older I get the more of them I like (still think Tuff Darts are pretty weak though...)

    Well, all the comments have convinced me to do it (I thought everyone had these) but I'll break it up a bit 'cuz eight volumes in a row is a little stifling.

  6. Scott.
    You're welcome and - coming soon - more damnit!

  7. What I loved most about this post was that it reminded me how I needed to pull out my Ramones and give 'em a spin. Thanks Jeff!

  8. CPB
    I've been making people listen (or re-listen) to the Ramones for 25 years, and I aim to continue!

  9. For me, this is probably the least essential entry in Rhino's D.I.Y. series.
    The songs I really love I already have elsewhere.

    The other half, even if it's packed with VIPs (Very Important Punks), I'm just not interested in listening to that much these days, unless I'm feeling nostalgiac.

    Thanks for posting the D.I.Y. series, though. Back in the day, I loved all that punk. Now, I love the power pop.

  10. Anon
    Y'know I love these sets now as much as ever but it is true that the older I get the more I love this era's version of pwoer-pop.


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