TVD Radar: Richard
Hell and the Voidoids, Destiny Street Remixed and Destiny Street Complete in stores 1/22

VIA PRESS RELEASE | Destiny Street was the follow-up album to one of the greatest punk albums of all time, 1977’s Blank Generation. The album was originally recorded in 1981 and released in 1982, but not to Richard Hell’s satisfaction. As he says in his new liner notes to Destiny Street Remixed, “The final mix was a morass of trebly multi-guitar blare.”

Now, for the 40th anniversary of its creation, the album is at last presented improved the way Richard Hell has long hoped and intended: “The sound of a little combo playing real gone rock and roll.” The resultant Destiny Street Complete, due out via 2-CD set and Digital, is set for January 22, 2021 release on Omnivore Recordings. Omnivore will also release a vinyl version of the new Destiny Street Remixed set for the same date.

Richard Hell co-founded his first band, the Neon Boys, with Tom Verlaine in 1973. That band became Television. When Hell left Television in 1975, he formed, with Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan, both formerly of the New York Dolls, the Heartbreakers. After another year, Richard departed the Heartbreakers and created Richard Hell & the Voidoids, which, along with other CBGB bands of the era, such as the Ramones and Patti Smith, formed the template for punk, the effects of which are still being felt.

Apart from Hell on vocals and bass, the original Voidoids comprised Robert Quine (guitar), Ivan Julian (guitar), and Marc Bell (drums). The Destiny Street-era band retained Quine, but otherwise the backing lineup became Naux (Juan Maciel) on guitar and Fred Maher on drums.

Richard had wished forever that he could remix the original Destiny Street, but was told by the record company that the original 24-track masters had been lost. In the early 2000s, Hell discovered a cassette from 1981 that contained just the album’s rhythm tracks (drums, bass, and two rhythm guitars) and he realized he could add new guitar solos and vocals to that to obtain a cleaner, improved version of the songs. He enlisted Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell, and Ivan Julian to overdub the solos (Quine had died in 2004 and Naux in 2009) and he re-sang everything. This was released as Destiny Street Repaired in 2009. Hell was pleased.

Then, in 2019, three of the four original 24-track masters were discovered. Now, at long last, Destiny Street could be fully remixed, and Hell signed on Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) to help him with that. The result became the uncanny centerpiece of the 2-CD Destiny Street Complete extravaganza to be released in January of 2021. Destiny Street Remixed will also be available as a stand-alone vinyl LP.

Besides containing the three faithful versions of the album, the 40th anniversary 2-CD deluxe edition of Destiny Street includes not only Hell’s detailed liner notes, but a fourth LP’s worth of demos and prior studio versions of the album’s material—essentially all of Richard’s songwriting output recorded between the release of Blank Generation in 1977 and the recording of Destiny Street in 1981—including some of the best playing and singing in the four-part Remixed—called Destiny Street Demos.

And for Record Store Day 2021, Omnivore Recordings will proudly offer this special material on its own stand-alone vinyl LP. Significantly, all the material in this entire collection has been freshly remastered (or in the case of the Remixed, mastered) for these releases by Michael Graves at Osiris Studios.

According to Hell: “I’ve been working on this release for 40 years. Long road! Three different versions of the same ten songs, from the same basic tracks by the same four musicians. I couldn’t help myself, and I’m glad, god damn it. But really, each of the four parts (including the collection of demos) has its points of interest and then the whole is greater than the parts, for my money. It was a good trip, with lots of roadside attractions, but I’m happy to have reached the destination.”

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