|Format -||Deluxe Double-Vinyl|
|Style -||Alternative Rock, Blues Rock, Folk Rock, Country Rock|
The Gun Club's 1981 Punk-Blues Classic Debut Fire Of Love Returns With Deluxe Double-Vinyl And Double-CD Reissues
Both the LP and CD editions come with 10 bonus tracks and the previously unreleased Live At Club 88 – March 6, 1981
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — With a howling and unholy mix of punk rock and the blues, Jeffrey Lee Pierce and The Gun Club exploded upon the L.A. club scene in the early ’80s. They recorded their classic debut, 1981’s Fire Of Love, for the local Slash/Ruby Records label. And now that legendary album has been unearthed and brought back to life as a deluxe two-CD and two-LP set.
Both the double-CD and double-vinyl editions contain a digitally remastered version of the original 11-track album, produced by fellow L.A. scenesters Chris D. of The Flesh Eaters and The Plugz’s Tito Larriva. The CD version will include 10 previously unreleased four-track demos and alternate versions, while the LP will include a download card for the digital version of the 10 bonus tracks.
Both the CD and the vinyl versions will include a second disc, the previously unreleased Live At Club 88 – March 6, 1981, a concert recording capturing the band’s incendiary live set at the legendary West L.A. dive bar.
The double-vinyl version will be released as a two-LP set packaged in a gatefold cover with extensive liner notes by drummer Terry Graham and remembrances from producer Tito Larriva and co-producer Chris D., as well as rare photos and ephemera. The CD version will include a booklet with liner notes, photos and ephemera.
Born on June 27, 1958, Jeffrey Lee Pierce grew up in the East Los Angeles suburb of El Monte, California, before moving with his family to the San Fernando Valley, where he attended Granada Hills High School. Back then his main passion was acting. Eventually, his interest veered to music, but he held on to his love of drama and would later inject it into his music and performances. He’d been toying with guitar since the age of 10, and by his late teens and early 20s, he’d formed a few bands and wrote about reggae for Slash magazine under the pen name Ranking Señor Lea.
It was in Creeping Ritual, a band Pierce formed with guitarist Brian Tristan, in which Pierce found his footing. He’d discovered the Delta blues from the record collections of Canned Heat singer Bob Hite and L.A. scenester Phast Phreddie Patterson, and decided to make them his own. Although his first bassist and drummer bailed, the band — rechristened The Gun Club by Circle Jerks’ singer and Pierce’s one-time roommate Keith Morris — became a reality with the addition of the fully formed rhythm section of bassist Rob Ritter and drummer Terry Graham. They had already played together in punk band The Bags and could hold down a solid foundation for Pierce and and Tristan — now known as Kid Congo Powers — to improvise over. “He was injecting blues into the heart of punk rock, struggling to give life into something new and brilliant even if it was old and obvious at the same time,” Graham says of Pierce, in the book More Fun in the New World: The Unmaking and Legacy of L.A. Punk.
Fire of Love captures the Gun Club at their rawest on such originals as the unforgettable album-opener “Sex Beat,” the addictive “She’s Live Heroin to Me” and the psychobilly stomp of “For The Love Of Ivy,” an ode to Cramps guitarist and future Kid Congo bandmate Poison Ivy Rorschach. The band also delved into their influences on the set, digging up Tommy Johnson’s “Cool Drink Of Water” and Robert Johnson’s “Preaching The Blues” and jolting them back with jumper cables via Pierce’s new arrangements and “Elvis from Hell” howl.
As Graham writes in the liner notes, “I couldn’t be more thrilled to know Fire Of Love has given so many a nice kick in the ass…I not only loved fighting off the Devil while a member of Gun Club, but I’m proud of what we did on Fire Of Love with Chris and Tito as our guides. And if this music continues to irk the purists, I couldn’t be more proud. Jeff, you were one hell of a great musician, but you knew that.”
The Gun Club went on to record several other albums — including 1982’s Miami (reissued by Blixa Sounds in 2020) — before Pierce’s death in 1996, yet Fire Of Love is their finest hour.