Los Angeles, CA – Cleopatra Records are proud to announce a brand-new page in the long story of the legendary Johnny Thunders, a fresh take on an old classic, stewarded by two of the modern scene’s most vital performers, The Courettes.
“You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory” is one of the former New York Doll’s most revered solo recordings. Originally released in 1978, following the break-up of his post-Dolls Heartbreakers, the song was both the first single and the undisputed highlight of Thunders’ debut solo album, the epochal So Alone.
It lived on as a live favorite for the remainder of his life, while Thunders also returned to it in the studio, during the recording of 1983’s Hurt Me. There, if anything, this impassioned ballad glittered even more brightly; and yet, haunted by one of Thunders’ most world-weary vocals, it is a performance that always demanded more than the sparse acoustic backing that circumstance decreed it should receive.
At last, in the loving hands of the acclaimed garage duo The Courettes (Martin and Flávia Couri), it receives its due.
“When Johnny’s voice echoed through the studio speakers, I had chills all over my body,” says vocalist and guitarist Flavia. “‘You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory” is a timeless classic, my favorite and one of his best songs for sure, so relatable to us all.
“We are so absolutely thrilled to have been the backup band for Johnny Thunders” – even if it was just for one day.
If you know the original, you will fall in love all over again. If you don’t, you’re in for a surprise. The Courettes are already renowned for their mood perfect grasp of the sixties sound – girl group meets freakbeat meets Spector-sound at its peak. Many of the same influences, in other words, that Thunders brought to his own material.
And that is what they bring to “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory” – an entire new look and sound, but precisely the one that the performance always demanded. Fresh instrumentation, sharp production, and those irresistible backing harmonies raise both melody and lyric to new heights, imparting renewed meaning to the sentiments, too. Flavia continues, “Martin and I both are – as Johnny – big fans of the sixties girl groups like The Shangri-las and The Shirelles. So we went deep in this alley while recording our version.”
In addition, The Courettes produced a dynamic and captivating video showing the track’s recording process intercut with vintage footage of Thunders performing live. It’s a beautiful expression of this unique cross-generational collaboration!
Stream the track: https://orcd.co/johnnythunders_thecourettes_memory
The Courettes mix is also featured on a brand-new 3CD set of electrifying live performances and astonishing rare tracks from Thunders called From The Beginning To The End! The set, which includes some of Thunders’ very first recorded performances as well as some of his final recordings made shortly before his death in 1991, will be officially available April 7 but can be pre-ordered now!
Pre-order From The Beginning To The End: https://tinyurl.com/2p85s474