The reason is that this album contains the most famous songs from the legendary punk group -- Black Flag as sung by its numerous lead singers, except for Henry Rollins. First is Keith Morris, who went on to form the Circle Jerks and was Black Flag's first and best lead singer. Then the album goes on with Dez and Chavo singing. Great album, but don't...let me repeat --- DON'T buy this album expecting to hear Henry Rollins, because you won't."
First 9 songs worth the price alone.
mike hasslehoff | san gabriel valley, ca. | 03/17/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"this record does not need to be listened to past song #9. these 9 songs are the epitome of what real punk rock is or was. way back in 1978-79 keith morris and black flag had already nailed the punk into rock. recorded in a house over 24 years ago, these songs capture all the intensity, emotion and angst that punk rock was created on. rarely will you find a truer punk record(9 songs anyway). sounds as if he is going to leap right out of the speakers and choke you. truly conveys every single feeling and mood that these songs were sung with and written about. chunky and raw music recorded on a close to zero budget in a house somewhere in Los Angeles. a band could spend years mixing a record in a modern computerized digital wonderland of a studio and still not come close to getting this sound, and at the same time you can still hear words being said way off in the distant rooms of the house and someone knocking on the front door while the tape was rolling. these were the first songs i ever heard of black flag and to me, there is no need to ever listen to the many, many other albums that were recorded with numerous other singers, Henry Rollins being the most recognized figure in black flag history. nothing else can even hold a candle to these 9 songs, that's just my opinion, but i've listened to all sorts of different punk bands in my life and can honestly say that this is the best example of what punk rock is, was meant to be and will ever be. but overall, this record is a great representation of black flag, from start to finish. i often forget this record/disc has 30 or so songs on it, but it does. if you have never heard black flag or are pretty much clueless about them(because all you have ever heard is material recorded with henry rollins) this record will damn sure paint the whole picture, all though it isn't a very pretty picture from song #10 and on. it is surely nothing like today's bubblegum, record industry processed attempt at punk, so if you're worried that your friends will say you're not punk and then tell everyone(cause you won't put on the same sum41 or good charolette song over and over again) don't waste the plastic the cd is made with, stick with your avril laveinne and go back to being a poser."
Best title of an album ever!
matt bobby | 05/01/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"although most people will get "the first four years" when wanting to check out pre-rollins flag, they should get this at the same time.not only do you get a song unavailable anywhere else("i dont care"), the versions of the songs done on "jealous again" are far better here.i never liked chavo that much,he just sounds like a thousand other singers.anyway,alot of these songs were recorded in one take, so they come off even more raw than the ones on the e.p.'s.also,while listening to this you get a good idea of just how important henry rollins was to the band. songs like "depression", "room 13", "no more", "police story" and especially "damaged 1" just dont sound nearly as intense as they do with rollins spitting them out.oh yeah, you also get some awesome radio stuff the band did.get this and kick yourself for not being born 15 years earlier."
Before And After
As Usual | dallas, tx | 05/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's hard for me to compare (early)Black Flag albums to each other because they all serve their own purpose. I mean, as far as having a prevailing theme and feel, "Damaged" was the best but to me Keith Morris was the best singer. Need an example? Compare "Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie." Henry's version was good. The actual intrumentals were better, but Keith's version is fantastic. This guy sings like a lunatic. In another song, "I Don't Care," he's laughing, jumbling words, starting too late...I don't know if this was drunkness or genious but this guy's amazing. His version of "Depression" is better too. The rest of this album covers Dez and Chavo, so in all fairness, if you prefer those guys, they've got unrealeased versions of songs they sing. I'm not exactly a fan of them, but everybody's different. Like "The First Four Years," this is a good way to learn the history before "Damaged." A definite must-get."