Johnny Thunders

Eve of Destruction [Bonus DVD]

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Eve of Destruction is a three-disc collection that assembles four live performances dating between 1980 and 1991. Essentially, there are two music discs and one DVD containing footage from one of Johnny Thunders' final gigs in Osaka, Japan. What sets this apart from the many posthumous assemblages of Thunders' work is the sheer intensity and raucous rock & roll fervor in the box. The first disc, recorded at the Roxy in L.A., places Thunders in the company of Arthur Kane and Jerry Nolan, two of his mates from the New York Dolls. Opening with a pedal-to-the-metal "Pipeline" and roaring into "Blame It on Mom," this is Thunders at his rawest, woolliest, and most energetic since L.A.M.F. Other highlights from the gig include a scorching "Lonely Planet Boy," "Ain't Superstitious," "Personality Crisis," and "Dead or Alive." In addition, there is a small set of solo acoustic numbers in the middle of the band's set, kicking off with "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory," which in a startling move bleeds immediately into "Eve of Destruction." But in the middle of the next song, Thunders interrupts "It's Not Enough" to bring the band back on. The audience shouts him down, making him go on alone, and he finishes in grand fashion with a new confidence, concluding a few songs later with a vulnerable yet authoritative "Play with Fire." The band storms back with "Green Onions," "Sad Vacation," and "In the Midnight Hour." Disc two is divided between a Detroit gig from the Silverbird Lounge during the Christmas season of 1980 and the Osaka gig. The Detroit show's sound is as great as the L.A. show, but the performance is even more riveting. From "Pipeline" to "Little London Boys" and "Too Much Junkie Business," the set continues to gather in intensity up through "Get Off the Phone," and "Chinese Rocks" is simply off the rails. The presence of Walter Lure from the Heartbreakers adds to the pathos. The Osaka gig contains much of the same material, but the sound quality is the best of the three. Also, the acoustic set, while not as vulnerable, is wonderfully performed.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:15
2 2:59
3 2:57
4 2:40
5 2:45
6 2:48
7 6:43
8 3:43
9 2:11
10 2:51
11 3:40
12 3:39
13 4:57
14 4:46
15 2:49
16 1:46
17 2:38
18 2:22
19 2:58
21 3:05
22 3:32
23 4:03
24 2:16
blue highlight denotes track pick