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Bad Brains

By melding punk with reggae, Bad Brains became one of the definitive American hardcore punk groups of the early '80s. Although the group released only a handful of records during its peak, including the legendary cassette-only debut, Bad Brains, they developed a dedicated following, many of whom would later form their own hardcore and alternative bands. As for Bad Brains themselves, they continued to record and tour in varying lineups led by guitarist Dr. Know into the late '90s yet never managed to break out of their cult status.

Dr. Know (born Gary Miller), a former jazz fusion guitarist, formed Bad Brains in 1979, inspired by both the amateurish rage of the Sex Pistols and the political reggae of Bob Marley. Realizing that the lines between punk and reggae were already blurred in the U.K., he set out to replicate that situation in the U.S., and he recruited several similarly minded musicians -- vocalist H.R. (born Paul D. Hudson), bassist Darryl Aaron Jenifer, and drummer Earl Hudson -- to prove his point. Bad Brains quickly became one of the most popular punk bands on the East Coast, particularly in their hometown of Washington, D.C. Their live performances were legendary, but their recordings were difficult to find. Their debut single, "Pay to C*m," was pressed in limited numbers, and their 1982 debut album was only issued in cassette form by ROIR. In addition to the Bad Brains tape, the group released a handful of other EPs in 1982, finally moving to PVC for 1983's full-length debut, Rock for Light, which was produced by Ric Ocasek.

The handful of indie recordings Bad Brains left behind, as well as their live shows, made the band legendary in American hardcore, yet few potential fans could actually hear the band due to poor distribution and erratic touring. The band took three years to deliver the follow-up to Rock for Light, finally releasing I Against I on SST in 1986. In those three years, the group developed more heavy metal leanings, and the resulting record received mixed reviews. More importantly, it divided the band, with Dr. Know and Jenifer wishing to continue to pursue heavy rock, and H.R. and Hudson wanting to devote themselves to reggae. Over the next three years, the latter pair frequently left the band to make reggae albums before finally departing in 1989. They were replaced by Israel Joseph-I (born Dexter Pinto) and Mackie Jayson, respectively.

In the wake of the alternative rock boom of the early '90s, Bad Brains were finally offered a major-label contract in 1993, releasing Rise on Epic later that year. The album bombed and the group was dropped. Maverick Records offered the group a contract in 1995, provided that the original lineup reunited. They did so and released God of Love that summer, to mixed reviews and poor sales. H.R. and Hudson left the band shortly after the album's release, and the band was dropped by Maverick. In 1998 the band again reunited and began touring under the name Soul Brains.

In 2002, Reggae Lounge compiled remixes of Bad Brains' '80s hits and released a full-length dub album titled I & I Survived. The following year Caroline released Banned in DC: Bad Brains' Greatest Riffs, a solid anthology compiling songs from their first album up to Quickness. For the next few years, the group members concentrated on solo endeavors, with a few scattered guest appearances on other bands' albums or live shows. In 2006, Bad Brains reunited for a few shows at CBGB's, which quickly sold out. With a resurging interest in the band, in early 2007, Megaforce announced that they had signed them to their roster. Under Beastie Boy Adam Yauch's studio supervision, the original band went back to the studio for the first time in over a decade and recorded Build a Nation, an inspired attempt at returning to the band's hardcore roots. In early 2011 the band began work on the next record. The record was initially titled "Let's Have Fun", but that title didn't stick and was changed to Into the Future, an album which saw release in November of 2012. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Into The Future

1. Into The Future

2. Popcorn

3. We Belong Together

4. Youth Of Today

5. Rubadub Love

6. Yes I

7. Suck Sess

8. Jah Love

9. Earnest Love

10. Come Down

11. Fun

12. Maybe A Joyful Noise

13. MCA Dub

x

Track List: Build A Nation

1. Give Thanks And Praises

2. Jah People Make The World Go Around

3. Pure Love

4. Natty Dreadlocks 'pon The Mountain Top

5. Build A Nation

6. Expand Your Soul

7. Jah Love

8. Let There Be Angels (Just Like You)

9. Universal Peace

10. Roll On

11. Until Kingdom Comes

12. In The Beginning

13. Send You No Flowers

14. Peace Be Unto Thee

x

Track List: Live: CBGB 1982

1. Big Takeover (live 1982)

2. I (live 1982)

3. Jah The Conqueror (live 1982)

4. Supertouch / Shitfit (live 1982)

5. Rally Round Jah's Throne (live 1982)

6. Right Brigade (live 1982)

7. FVK (live 1982)

8. I And I Survive (live 1982)

9. Destroy Babylon (live 1982)

10. Joshua's Song (live 1982)

11. Unity Dub (live 1982)

12. The Meek (live 1982)

13. Banned In DC (live 1982)

14. How Low Can A Punk Get (live 1982)

15. Riot Squad (live 1982)

16. I And I Rasta (live 1982)

17. We Will Not (live 1982)

18. The Regulator (live 1982)

19. All Rise To Meet Jah (live 1982)

x

Track List: Banned In D.C.: Bad Brains Greatest Riffs

1. Pay To C*m

2. I Against I

3. Don't Bother Me

4. I

5. Regulator

7. Re-Ignition

8. Sailin' On

9. How Low Can A Punk Get

10. At The Movies

11. With The Quickness

12. Sacred Love

13. Soul Craft

14. Voyage To Infinity

15. Banned In DC

16. Big Takeover (Live)

17. Joshua's Song

20. I Luv I Jah

21. The Prophet's Eye

22. Riot Squad

x

Track List: I & I Survived (Dub)

1. Jah Love

2. Overdub

3. How Low Can A Punk Get

4. I & I Survive

5. Cowboy

6. Gene Machine

7. Ghetto

8. Rally

9. September

10. Ragga Dub

x

Track List: Omega Sessions

1. I Against I (Original Version)

2. Stay Close To Me

3. I Luv I Jah

4. At The Movies (Original Version)

5. Attitude

x

Track List: Black Dots

1. Don't Need It

2. At The Atlantis

3. Pay To C*m

4. Supertouch/Shittfit

5. Regulator

6. You're A Migraine

7. Don't Bother Me

8. Banned In D.C.

9. Why'd You Have To Go?

10. The Man Won't Annoy Ya

11. Redbone In The City

12. Black Dots

13. How Low Can A Punk Get?

14. Just Another Damn Song

15. Attitude

16. Send You No Flowers

x

Track List: The Youth Are Getting Restless - Live

1. I (Live)

2. Rock For Light (Live)

3. Right Brigade (Live)

4. House Of Suffering (Live)

5. Day Tripper / She's A Rainbow (Live)

6. Coptic Times (Live)

7. Sacred Love (Live)

8. Re-Ignition (Live)

9. Let Me Help (Live)

10. The Youth Are Getting Restless (Live)

11. Banned In D.C. (Live)

12. Sailin' On (Live)

13. Fearless Vampire Killer (Live)

14. At The Movies (Live)

15. Revolution (Dub) (Live)

16. Pay To C*m (Live)

17. Big Takeover (Live)

x

Track List: Quickness

1. Soulcraft

2. Voyage Into Infinity

3. The Messengers

4. With The Quickness

5. Gene Machine/Don't Bother Me

6. Don't Blow Bubbles

7. Sheba

8. Yout' Juice

9. No Conditions

10. Silent Tears

11. The Prophet's Eye

12. Endtro

x

Track List: I Against I

1. Intro

2. I Against I

3. House Of Suffering

4. Re-Ignition

5. Secret 77

6. Let Me Help

7. She's Calling You

8. Sacred Love

9. Hired Gun

10. Return To Heaven

x

Track List: Rock For Light

1. Big Takeover

2. Attitude

3. Right Brigade

4. Joshua's Song

5. I And I Survive

6. Banned In D.C.

7. Supertouch

8. Destroy Babylon

9. F.V.K.

10. The Meek

11. I

12. Coptic Times

13. Sailin' On

14. Rock For Light

15. Rally Round Jah Throne

16. At The Movies

17. Riot Squad

18. How Low Can A Punk Get

19. We Will Not

20. Jam

x

Track List: Bad Brains

1. Sailin' On

2. Don't Need It

3. Attitude

4. The Regulator

5. Banned In D.C.

6. Jah Calling

7. Supertouch/Shitfit

8. Leaving Babylon

9. Fearless Vampire Killers

10. I

11. Big Take Over

12. Pay To C*m

13. Right Brigade

14. I Luv I Jah

15. Intro

16. Bonus Track

Comments

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Emo sucks hardline sucks green day sucks you suck....oh one more rid bit, the buzzcocks were pop punk so were the Ramones. ..1974 official recording for both....ther e are many others from that era, YALL NEED TO CHECK YOUR F**KING FACTS....... B T W , I ' m prolly younger than most of you posers ...good day
Report as inappropriate
Green Day formed in 1986 and Bad Brains formed 1977. So if a band pre-dates another band it can't ripoff another band makes no sense unless you're a 2 year old.
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Shitfit has dif sounding vocals because he was singing over a phone from jail
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One of my absolute favorite bands of ALL time....
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Originators who pushed the boundaries of punk/dub/reg g a e . Blessed to be Rastafari.
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frostman15
Definitely in my top ten greatest bands ever. I love Hardcore and I've been getting into Ska and Reggae, Bad Brains is the perfect Combo!
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Funny to read the comments on this band. Different camps. That's what made their DC shows so fun at the beginning. All kinds of people showed up and had a blast. Things always seemed fast and loose... FUN.
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wind STFU like jake said your an idiot you have no idea about hardcore, if you did you'd know that without hardcore there would be no grind or thrash, so bow down and show your fore fathers respect little boy
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haohmaruofth e w i n d...your a f**king idiot. PMA!
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Nothin boring with the bad brains!!!!! C'mon??
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What kind of s**t is this
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This is why I love Punk..Think 4 yourself, question authority, take the best of all things dear to you and mold your own self! I respect originality!
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haruspicate
I saw Green Day open for Screeching Weasel, that means Screeching Weasel is the father of punk ;)
Report as inappropriate
webgirleey
Sounds to me like Moomoo is a kiddo. Perhaps his/her frame of reference is limited. For those of us who are a wee bit older, we are lucky enough to know better. Moomoo, go listen to some 80s punk, honey. Try some obscure s**t, like Ill Repute, Aggression, or even more well known Circle Jerks or TSOL. And toddstone. Agreed. I used to go see green day way before they hit with anything mainstream. They were a lot more old school punk then, but they'd be the first to say they are fathers of pop pun
Report as inappropriate
MooMoo...Gre e n Day would be the first people to disagree with your comment. They are the fathers of pop punk, not true punk. Huge difference.
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moomoo is a loser they suck they picturize punk so not only a select group listen to punk u emo freak
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Green Day has been around for a long time. They are the fathers of true punk!
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They are just amazing
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Awesome!
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codylalonde0 1
DAVID how the hell did you even get here then if you have britiny spears as one of your stations?
Report as inappropriate
minor threat and bad brains define DC hardcore.
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Its because you're a filthy pleb, David
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DAVID its no wonder you could never get into them, for someone who has THE CURE, PLASMATICS and BRITINY SPEARS as stations, I would expect no less HAHAHAHAHA
Report as inappropriate
Just could never get into them..sounds too toy just a lot of noise ...his voice sucks too
Report as inappropriate
Got this one on 7th grade trip to D.C. Broke away from tour to charge the record store"!! N.C./H.C. Death Skate"!!!
Report as inappropriate
Hate your room mate , just play bad brains
Report as inappropriate
I used to have this annoying douche holier than thou friend that if you liked the same thing as him, he had to prove he knew more/liked them better. Even HE couldn't ruin this band for me.
Report as inappropriate
saw BB and Black Flag in Virginia in '86, trust me, it was stellar.
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I like it for the beat and the sound, I haven't listened to them enough to decipher the lyrics. Starting to like it though. I'll look em up later.
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Not even close To the first hardcore band and I don't kno if I would call this hardcore
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Follow for Follow {www.rodneyv a n c e t h e a r t i s t . c o m }
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Mcf1957mom wtf are you talking about.
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How stupid r youth today learn your roots of punk before you speak
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Without a doubt one of the first, if not the first Hardcore bands in history. Respect!!!
Report as inappropriate
PMA FUC%3R4..... n o w SHUT UP!
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Wow the amount of ignorance here is shocking!
Report as inappropriate
Moo Moo learn about music before you speak.
Everyone is dumber after seeing your comment
Report as inappropriate
Pretty amazing how Bad Brains could rip Green Day off five or so years before they even formed, eh?
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if you dont know what youre talking abut you should shut the f**k up
Report as inappropriate
at first green day seemed pop-punk now i just seem them as alternative.
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i seen em and they were very very very good. Green day suck possum anus.
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How could they be a Green Day rip off if the band started in the 80's dips**t
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Suk
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great band.
love their stuff.
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Just another Green Day rip off band.
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;)
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All throughout this so-called nation
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Jam
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Can't get enough
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punkin30331
I love this
Show more

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