Richard Hell Repaves His Destiny Street

Richard Hell & the Voidoids’ second and final album, Destiny Street, had a troubled story from the start. After the band’s original lineup disintegrated, for a few interim years Hell occupied his time with acting and smack, while different players shifted in and out of the Voidoids. When Destiny Street finally came out in 1982, some five years, give or take, had elapsed since the release of the band’s celebrated debut, Blank Generation. Despite positive reviews, it failed to generate much excitement, and Hell himself was never satisfied with the sound of it, referring to the final mix as “a morass of trebly multi-guitar blare.”

Due out January 22 via Omnivore Recordings, Destiny Street Complete presents a much fuller vision of the album, and of Hell’s intentions for it. The double-CD package includes a remastered version of the original mix; the Destiny Street Repaired version that Hell made in 2009 with guitarists Ivan Julian (original Voidoid), Marc Ribot and Bill Frisell; a freshly remixed edition overseen by Hell and Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs; and an assortment of single versions and demo recordings of songs from the album and others that didn’t make the cut.

“I’ve finally taken it all the way, and at this late date the album now moves me,” Hell notes. “I can feel it rather than just feel frustration about it. The emotions in it are largely fear and desperation and longing, but that’s life, and can even have some kind of majesty.”

Photo by Roberta Bayley.