Heartbreakers – L. A. M. F.

ARTIST: Heartbreakers                    220px-Heartbreakerslamf

TITLE:  L. A. M. F.

YEAR RELEASED: 1977

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: One Track Mind, It’s Not Enough, Chinese Rocks

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Born To Lose

LINEUP: Johnny Thunders, Jerry Nolan, Walter Lure, Billy Rath

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Infamous, short lived band that was an offshoot from the New York Dolls release a flawed, yet great, album that caused a lot of controversy and crisis and led to the band’s early demise.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Heroin. Why does anyone do it? This album is so steeped in the drug that it overwhelms the story of it.

Formed when the New York Dolls imploded, Jerry Nolan and Johnny Thunders formed the Heartbreakers, and took their heroin habit with them. The band left New York and gigged in London, where their music was getting a lot of great reception. So an album was recorded, and then it was mixed. It was mixed here, there and everywhere in London. It was said that many trips to remix the album were covers for drug buys. Still, no one was happy with the mix, and when the album came out it sounded like crap even though you could tell the songs had a lot of potential.

Nolan left due to the rotten mixes. Johnny Thunders kept going to lesser and lesser reward (and more and more drugs).

What we have here is the 1977 mixes, and it sounds decent. The problem then was that the manufacturing of the records was flawed, and any remixes made the sound worse than it really was. So, you can hear the grungy, gritty, punky sounds as they were intended. Yeah, there’s a lot of drug references (“Chinese Rocks”). But it’s great, sloppy rock-and-roll for the most part.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Not only was the mix problematic, but they were also getting confused with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Not even in the same area code as far as band styles go.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. The version out now has the original mixes, the best ‘remix’ released in 1994, and demos and live cuts. All for a dozen tunes or so.

GRADE: A-: A footnote now, but in 1977 in London the Heartbreakers were the real deal and the music press ate them up, and then spit them out, much like heroin did as well.

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