Personnel: Johnny Thunders (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars); Pat Palladin, Koulla Kakoulli (vocals); Walter Lure, Henri Paul (guitar); John Irish Earle (saxophone); Steve Lillywhite (piano); Billy Rath, Paul Gray (bass); Mike Kellie (drums).
Producers: Johnny Thunders, Steve Lillywhite (all tracks).
Reissue producers: Joe McEwen, Ira Robbins.
Includes liner notes by Ira Robbins.
Digitally remastered by Lee Herschberg.
Thunders' classic debut album remains his magnum opus. Recorded after his post-New York Dolls band, the Heartbreakers, imploded, SO ALONE features a surprisingly eclectic bunch of backing musicians. It's not just Thunders' punk cronies; don't be surprised to find ex-Sex Pistols (Paul Cook and Steve Jones) and ex-Small Faces (Steve Marriott) on the same track (a very cool version of "Daddy Rollin' Stone).
It's Thunders album all the way, however, with his sloppy guitar, endearingly nasal vocals, and trash rock roots front and center. The album's masterwork, and Thunders' finest moment, is the aching ballad "You Can't Put Your Arm Around a Memory." However, just about everything here, including "London Boys" (a gleefully catchy response to the Sex Pistols "New York") and the hilarious cover of the Shangri-Las "Great Big Kiss"--oozes the best sort of rock and roll attitude. Bonus tracks include the previously unreleased title song, and a nice cover of Marc Bolan's "The Wizard."
Q (5/95, p.134) - 3 Stars - Good - "...the album is stuck somewhere between punk, pub rock and glam sleaze, though there is enough to make SO ALONE his one bearable solo showing..."
Uncut (p.124) - 4 stars out of 5 - "SO ALONE is a narcotic Neverland, starring ex-New York Doll Thunders at his most defiantly derelict."
Mojo (Publisher) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Backed by various Sex Pistols and Only Ones plus Phil Lynott and Chrissie Hynde, this is Johnny at his best."