Home Read Classic Album Review: Richard Hell | Time

Classic Album Review: Richard Hell | Time

The anthology from the OG punk ignores brushes with fame for more obscure cuts.


This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Richard Hell may have the worst timing in punk rock.

Back in the original ’70s punk scene in New York, he started Television with Tom Verlaine, but quit before they made it big. He likewise fled Johnny Thunders’ original Heartbreakers shortly before their first album. Eventually, as the yelping singer and bassist at the helm of The Voidoids, he contributed a couple of classics to the punk canon — Blank Generation and Love Comes in Spurts — along with the genre’s spiky-haired, safety-pinned style. But anything beyond cult fame always eluded him. Fittingly, the two-CD retrospective Time ignores Hell’s brushes with popularity in favour of obscure, unheard material. With original Heartbreakers demos (including Chinese Rocks and Love Comes in Spurts), plenty of his increasingly literate work with The Voidoids and an entire live set from a 1977 U.K. tour supporting The Clash, Time is a revealing chronicle of a punk survivor. About time. NOTE: This album doesn’t exist online, but the anthology Spurts has some of the same tracks, so I included it below. Beggars and choosers, amiright?