Richard Hell & The Voidoids
Blank Generation


5.0
classic

Review

by Jawaharal USER (33 Reviews)
September 27th, 2005 | 20 replies


Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist


So what exactly is the best, most influential punk album of all time? Many will most likely answer London Calling or The Ramones or Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables, but none of the listed are quite as good or influential (Except The Ramones) as this. Blank Generation is the pinnacle of the first wave of punk. Everything about it was awesome. Richard Hell remains one of punk’s most important figures. Everything from the ripped jeans and thrifty clothes to rudeness of the songs and the loud angry sound was to be the blueprint for many punk bands to come. Criminally neglected and ignored by most critics when it first came out Blank Generation never got the public attention it deserved, but the image the album created when it came out will always be present with punk music.

The anger and rebellion on this album almost seemed destined for Richard. He grew up in a town full of homo sexual relationships and ran away from home. He never had a dad, and during one time when he felt ever angry he kept a dead turtle in jar. The anger here isn't manufactured it's genuine stuff. Hell screams and howls throughout the songs and really doesn't seem to give a fuck what others think of what he does. His delivery is so powerful and rebellious it makes a lot of other punk seem like mainstream pop. There is also a feeling of sadness. On the song Walking On Water Richard's haunting groaning of "I don't want to go home" feels so painful and real. Though many songs don't give off a serious feel, but they might very subtly. The CD's opener Love Comes In Spurts has lyrics that sound crude but they also seem as a way of Richard talking about life. During the choruses the lyrics seem to be talking about ejaculations but when he says "It Hurts" after every "Love Comes In Spurts" it seems to also mean that all relationships don't work and can be painful. A lot of the songs are secret, clever ways of Richard showing what he went through and had to deal with.

Blank Generation was one of the first albums to come out of the New York punk scene, and still sounds as fresh and original the day it came out. The crudeness may seem clichéd but this is one of the first to start it. The guitars are also not your usual three power chord progression. The playing is complex and the solos are magnificent. Richard's voice is quite like no other and his all out style can be heard clearly. The title track has to be one of the finest punk songs ever released. Hell howls and scream and the guitars rip it up. It's impossible to not cream your pants when Hell says "I Belong To The Blank Generation" and the "ohhs" and "ahhhs" are going off in the background. Liars Beware is another standout, that has blazing guitar solos and a very enjoyable "oh oh oh oh oh" sung by Richard. Betrayal Takes Two and All That Way show a slower side of Hell, but it's still punky (is that even a word?) and definitely worth your time. The whole album is worth every second of your time. From Love Comes In Spurts to All The Way it's near flawless and 100% fun. Every song feels like a standout and is enjoyable.

Blank Generation should be a regular response for one of the greatest punk albums. It is one of the all time most important punk albums of all time. Its message is so powerful and just screams "I don't give a fuck." Everything you could wish for on a punk album is on here. The loud guitars, the howling vocals, the rudeness, and the rebellion. Hell's lyrics can be humorous and light but can also be painful and sad. Blank Generation is truly a landmark album and should be appreciated by all.



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user ratings (88)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Robert Crumb
Emeritus
September 27th 2005


165 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oh, nice. I love Richard Hell's voice. Very cool album.

DesolationRow
September 27th 2005


833 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Liars Beware" is ace. One of the songs that started my liking of punk. Great review, and Richard will always be on my computer :thumb:

Desensitized
September 28th 2005


136 Comments


I'm interested in this.

Good job!

Jawaharal
September 28th 2005


1832 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

....This Message Edited On 12.10.05

Jawaharal
September 28th 2005


1832 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

any comments anybody?

Jawaharal
September 28th 2005


1832 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

you mean uber duper super fly

Zebra
Moderator
September 30th 2005


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great album, and a great review. This band didn't get as much respect as they diserved.

AlienEater
August 26th 2006


716 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Richard Hell is a genius. Certainly of the best punk albums ever.

MrKite
February 11th 2007


5020 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like the title track. I really should get his.

descendents1
February 11th 2007


702 Comments


almost bought this :/

descendents1
May 14th 2007


702 Comments


i got it now! and i like it!

MrKite
November 24th 2007


5020 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Walking On The Water is so fucking good, as is the rest of this album.

squirehorse
September 8th 2008


5 Comments


This album is amazing, good review!

sportsboy
August 5th 2011


642 Comments


such a great title track

Cygnatti
September 12th 2013


22288 Comments


this doesn't get enough attention.

Digging: Jerry Lee Lewis - Live at the Star Club, Hamburg

tommygun
September 12th 2013


25413 Comments


i will jam this because i like cyg and because i like the cover art :3

Digging: Banks - Goddess

Cygnatti
September 12th 2013


22288 Comments


gud reasons.

andnokindsoflove
November 30th 2013


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The vocal freakout/scat comprising the last third or so of Another World is mind-blowingly mega shit-fucking awesome; the rest of the album is just shit-fucking awesome. Both versions of Down at the Rock and Roll Club staple my balls to the wall.

xfearbefore
April 13th 2014


1246 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Is there a single better representation of the birth of punk than the title track? Methinks not.

Digging: The Smoking Popes - Get Fired

DreamingWithTheDead
June 11th 2014


207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Finally I have found a band who has been directly inspired by Captain Beefheart.



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