Legendary hardcore-punk album from 1982, considered the definitive landmark for breaking the NYC hardcore scene. All material on this CD was recorded at 171-A Studios, NYC, during August, September, and October 1981, excep... more »t "Pay to Cum," "I Luv I Jah," "Jah Clling Dub" recorded live at 171-A on May 16, 1981. Liner Notes by Ira Kaplan. With Lyrics.« less
Legendary hardcore-punk album from 1982, considered the definitive landmark for breaking the NYC hardcore scene. All material on this CD was recorded at 171-A Studios, NYC, during August, September, and October 1981, except "Pay to Cum," "I Luv I Jah," "Jah Clling Dub" recorded live at 171-A on May 16, 1981. Liner Notes by Ira Kaplan. With Lyrics.
"From lunatic speed/thrash/metal/punk hardcore to low-tempo reggae, this album is a frenzied mix of two styles with more hits than misses. You won't get any faster riffs than 'Don't need it' or 'Sailin on' & the drumming is just insane. Lyrics are sung so fast as to be indecipherable and are more like sonic accompaniment than lead vocals. All sneers, yelps and high-pitched wailing sung like a machine gun at breakneck speed. But what really sets this album apart is the musicianship on display. Every crazed lick seems deliberately placed and there are some truly awesome slower numbers like 'The Regulator' which are almost traditional classic rock. The reggae songs make a welcome change of pace & give you a chance to catch your breath before the next maniacal crescendo of sound assaults your ears. Great album. Lots of fun, energy and old-school oomph!"
And I thought I knew punk...
GaragePunkHippieMan42 | Detroit, the home of garage rock | 11/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, to begin my story, I was a starry-eyed eighth grader who had recently discovered the Ramones. I thought they were so powerful, so fast, so destructive. Now, let's not get this mixed up. The Ramones are an excellent band, no doubt about it. But this...this was something more. I got this CD because I thought it was funny that four Rastas were in a punk band. I put the CD into my walkman, turned it on, and my ears began to bleed. This is the single greatest punk/hardcore album of all time, and I don't care what anyone says. People say "you can't understand what he's saying" and "all the songs sound the same" and "the recording quality's really bad", and I just wanna knock their teeth in. Bad Brains really invented everything that is hardcore and destructive about punk, and this album is the epitomy of hard rock. Give it a chance, and you will come to love this album."
Hardest of the Hard
pancho | Canada | 08/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before I bought this record, I had read about Bad Brains and thought I knew what they were all about. Nothing, however, could prepare me for the brutal reality of this monumental album. Shivers ran up my spine, my gut twisted in knots, and all I could do was sit there until it was over. A stunning lesson on the power of experience.What makes these four men and their music great? They absolutely defy convention, like the Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin and the Sex Pistols before them. A group of rastafarians from D.C. influenced by white boys from Britain and a little place called Queens? Crazy fast and loud songs interspersed with reggae segues? Their eclectic mix of influences and unconventional messages work because they really believe in what they say and do. Their timing and placement of songs on the record are also flawless, keeping constant tension on the listener and always delivering.I am a big fan of HR's lyrics, which mix the political fire of the Clash with the spiritual and emancipation facets of the gemstone that is Bob Marley. Occasionally at odds with the words, the music simply did not belong in the pop culture environment of the early 80's. This pleases me, because the less people that like a band, the more personal they seem to their fans. I'm not saying any further expansion of the Brains' fan base is prohibited, but anyone without a real appreciation of music need not apply. No complaining about unpolished prodution, either, because that does not matter one iota if the music has real feeling.What else can be said of the band that birthed hardcore? They are the most intense musicians you are ever likely to hear in this lifetime, unless there is a revolution in the recording industry. I will not rant about the RIAA or the multitude of poseurs out there today, nor will I praise illegal downloading, which woke up the industry but also scared artists into holes of uninspiring dreck. I will say that it is a sad state of affairs that new artists wander into today, burying creativity under sales charts, and the attitude of the general public sucks as well. Money is not everything!Regardless, if you buy this record, prepare to have your mind blown and your world shaken. Oh, and don't crank your stereo if you have complaining neighbors, because I can guarantee that this will make their day. Have a blast!"
The best album by the Master Blasters
Matthew Phillips | Knoxville, Tennessee United States | 04/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Make no mistake, if you have never heard Bad Brains before, they are not for everyone. At times they can make bands like Black Flag sound like Destiny's Child, and this album will just plain kick your teeth in. The first thing that will grab you is Dr. Know's whirlwind guitar that carries you through their barrage of speed and thrash, but it's all held together by a terrific rhythm section. Bad Brains were influenced by reggae from the very start and it shows on their albums, there are a couple of reggae tunes. If you like it hardcore and haven't heard them yet, start with this one."
Signature punk album
Musical Karma | Santa Rosa, Ca | 10/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album is a rollercoaster. The fastest punk/hardcore songs (i.e.: "sailin' on" , "don't need it", "banned in d.c.", etc) are the steep downhill drops. The few calm reggae masterpieces are the slow, steady uphill climbing sections before you reached the top and go whirling dowhill again. All of this album is enchanting. The only thing a first listener must get used to is the at-times-high-pitched voice of H.R., which as you listen to the music more you learn to love. The power cord usage and solos of guitarist Dr. Know prove his talent. This musicianship equally matches the throbbing basslines and intense drumming of Darryl and Earl. If you respect the best of the best music, the truest hardcore punk, listen to this Bad Brains work and you'll be hooked. Every second of this roller coaster is well worth one's time."