Blank Generation (song)

"Blank Generation" is the title track of Richard Hell and the Voidoids' 1977 debut album Blank Generation. A rewrite of Bob McFadden and Rod McKuen's 1959 record "The Beat Generation",[3] Richard Hell wrote the new lyrics during his time with the band Television, and performed it live with another band, The Heartbreakers.[4] Malcolm McLaren claimed that the Sex Pistols' song "Pretty Vacant" was directly inspired by "Blank Generation".[5]

"Blank Generation"
Blank generation.jpg
EP cover
Song by Richard Hell and the Voidoids
from the EP Another World
Recorded1975, 1976
Songwriter(s)Richard Hell

"Blank Generation" was previously released on the Another World EP in 1976.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

"Blank Generation" was heavily sampled on rapper Amil's track "Get Down", from her 2000 album All Money Is Legal.

The song was featured at the end of the sixth episode of the Syfy television show Happy!. The song appears in season 3, episode 3 of Sex Education.[9]


  1. ^ Easely, Erica; Chalfa, Ed (2006). Rock Tease: The Golden Years of Rock T-Shirts. Harry N. Abrams. p. 52. ISBN 978-0-8109-7053-3.
  2. ^ The Absolute Sound. Vol. 17 (83-86 ed.). Absolute Sound, Limited. 1992. p. 280.
  3. ^ "Bob McFadden & Dor - Songs Our Mummy Taught Us". Discogs.
  4. ^ AllmMsic song review
  5. ^ "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.
  6. ^ Another World EP at Discogs
  7. ^ The Heartbreakers: What Goes Around... at Discogs
  8. ^ Spurts: The Richard Hell Story at Discogs
  9. ^ Hunt, James (September 17, 2021). "Every Song In Sex Education Season 3". Screen Rant. Retrieved September 19, 2021.