The Richard Hell
compilation R.I.P.: The ROIR Sessions
was originally released in 1984 as a cassette-only release and was later re-released on CD (different cover, same track listing). R.I.P.
collects a total of 14 tracks (most studio, some live) and serves as a solid anthology/greatest-hits compilation. The selections span his career from 1975-1984, from one of his first bands (the legendary Heartbreakers with Johnny Thunders
) up until a later incarnation of the Voidoids
. The sound quality is consistent for the most part, and the music is rough, raw, and rocking -- in other words, classic Richard Hell
. An early version of "Love Comes in Spurts" kicks off the album, and with a Heartbreakers' backup, is proof that Hell
would have made a more-than-capable leader of the band (Thunders
eventually gained control, effectively ending the original lineup). Also included is the depressed ballad "Betrayal Takes Two," the N.Y. new wave of "I'm Your Man," as well as the saxophone-laced "The Hunter Was Drowned." The only criticism of R.I.P.
is the omission of one of Hell
's best-known tunes, "Blank Generation," but otherwise it's highly recommended.