Johnny Thunders & The Chesterfield Kings – “Critic’s Choice” 7″ (1992)

I tell the truth,
Even when I’m lyin’…
— “Critic’s Choice”

Johnny Thunders was arguably one of the more inconsistent musicians ever, and certainly a poster boy for not doing heroin. A one-time member of classic bands like the New York Dolls and the Heartbreakers, his live performances ranged from brilliant to drunken drug-addled disasters.

The “Critic’s Choice” 7″ was released in Japan in 1992, the year after Thunders’ questionably caused death the prior year, one attributed to either an overdose or homicide. The three-song record sees Johnny performing with garage rockers The Chesterfield Kings, material that seems to have a sort of country rock vibe to it. The B side includes two live tracks, “I’d Much Rather Be With the Boys” and “London Boys,” the latter of which is the most punk song on the collection. The quality is OK; the live tracks are certainly a bit muddy, but hey, they’re live, right?

You probably have to be a big Johnny Thunders fan to get much enjoyment out of this. “Critic’s Choice” is decent, but there isn’t a lot here terribly exciting for the casual fan.