Johnny Thunders / Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers

Live at the Lyceum

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Of the many (very many) live concert recordings issued by Johnny Thunders throughout his career, Live at the Lyceum is above average, if not spectacular. Recorded in 1984, with the classic Heartbreakers lineup of Jerry Nolan, Walter Lure, and Billy Rath, it's a fairly energetic performance, and, as an added bonus, the recording quality is clear. The band sounds fiery and dynamic in spots (though not up to the level of their legendary early performances), especially on tracks like "Born To Lose" and "In Cold Blood," and the interplay between the band here is impressive, unlike later tours where Thunders was surrounded by often indifferent sidemen. Unfortunately, the song selection is not that compelling, given to way too many covers, which are listlessly performed, and the parts where the energy dips the most. In fact, the set list is so predictable, it almost seems like a superfluous release, given the many performances that exist of Thunders performing the same songs, sometimes in far superior versions. Ultimately, the superb recording quality and moments of high energy do make this a nice addition to the Thunders catalog, but it's not exactly essential.

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