Johnny Thunders

You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory

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You would have to be the utmost fanatical Johnny Thunders worshiper to be able to keep track of all the Thunders-related releases over the years -- especially since his 1991 death, when the floodgates really seemed to open. But if you're looking to acquire most of Thunders' best-known post-New York Dolls recordings in one fell swoop, then the 2002 box set You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory is the way to go. This three-disc set includes L.A.M.F. Revisited (which is basically Thunders' own remix of the Heartbreakers' classic debut release), D.T.K. Live at the Speakeasy, Live at the Lyceum Ballroom 1984, and a smattering of acoustic tracks. By far the best of the bunch is L.A.M.F., which features the Heartbreakers' best-known lineup cranking out such classics as "Chinese Rocks" (which created some controversy with Dee Dee Ramone, who felt he was never given proper credit for penning it); "Can't Keep My Eyes on You"; and a Dolls-era leftover, "Pirate Love." D.T.K. is one of the better live Heartbreakers releases on the market, as the group was still firing on all cylinders, yet the same cannot be said for the heavily dubbed-over Lyceum tracks, which are also available as the DVD Dead or Alive. And although Thunders will always be associated with cranked-to-ten amps (after all, his pre-Thunders moniker was "Johnny Volume"), the ex-Doll did have a gentle side, reflected in "unplugged" versions of such songs as the Stones' "As Tears Go By" and the set's title track. By purchasing this set along with Thunders' 1978 solo release, So Alone, you'll be covering most of the bases of the guitarist's solo standouts.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:39 Spotify
2 2:47 Spotify
3 3:57
4 2:25
5 2:08 Spotify
6 3:48 Spotify
7 2:02 Spotify
8 2:52 Spotify
9 2:55 Spotify
10 2:24
11 2:44 Spotify
12 3:49 Spotify
13 2:24
14 3:01 Spotify
blue highlight denotes track pick