Blank Generation (song)

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""Blank Generation" (live version)"
Blank generation.jpg
3-song EP cover
Single by Richard Hell and the Voidoids
from the album Blank Generation
A-side "Blank Generation"
B-side "Love Comes in Spurts"
Released 1976
Recorded 1975, 1976
Genre Punk rock, punk blues
Length 2:45
Label Sire
Writer(s) Richard Hell
Richard Hell and the Voidoids singles chronology
"Another World"
"Blank Generation"
"The Kid with the Replaceable Head"
Audio sample
file info · help

"Blank Generation" is the title track of Richard Hell and the Voidoids' 1977 debut album Blank Generation. A rewrite of Rod McKuen's 1959 record "The Beat Generation," Richard Hell wrote the new lyrics during his time with the band Television, and performed it live with another band, The Heartbreakers.[1] The Sex Pistols' song "Pretty Vacant" was directly inspired by "Blank Generation".[2]

"Blank Generation" was previously released on the Another World EP in 1976.[3] Other versions of the punk classic were available as demos and on one 1975 limited-edition pressing as well.

An earlier live recording by The Heartbreakers, recorded at CBGB on July 7, 1975 appeared on the What Goes Around... album.[4] Demo recordings of the song also have survived.

A live March 1974 recording at CBGB with Television can be found on Spurts: The Richard Hell Story.[5]


  1. ^ Allmusic song review
  2. ^ "I came back to England determined. I had these images I came back with, it was like Marco Polo or Walter Raleigh. I brought back the image of this distressed, strange thing called Richard Hell. And this phrase, 'the blank generation'. [...] Richard Hell was a definite, 100 percent inspiration, and, in fact, I remember telling the Sex Pistols, 'Write a song like Blank Generation, but write your own bloody version,' and their own version was 'Pretty Vacant'." --Malcolm McLaren in an interview in Please Kill Me, the Uncensored Oral History of Punk, Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, Grove Press (1996), p. 199.
  3. ^ Another World EP at Discogs
  4. ^ The Heartbreakers: What Goes Around... at Discogs
  5. ^ Spurts: The Richard Hell Story at Discogs