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Bad Religion

Out of all of the Southern Californian hardcore punk bands of the early '80s, Bad Religion stayed around the longest. For over a decade, they retained their underground credibility without turning out a series of indistinguishable records that all sound the same. Instead, the band refined its attack, adding inflections of psychedelia, heavy metal, and hard rock along the way, as well as a considerable dose of melody. Between their 1982 debut and their first major-label record, 1993's Recipe for Hate, Bad Religion stayed vital in the hardcore community by tightening their musical execution and keeping their lyrics complex and righteously angry.

Bad Religion formed in the northern suburbs of Los Angeles in 1980, comprising guitarist Brett Gurewitz, vocalist Greg Graffin, bassist Jay Bentley, and drummer Jay Ziskrout. Gurewitz established his own record company, Epitaph, to release the band's records. Between their self-titled EP and their first full-length record, Pete Finestone replaced Ziskrout as the group's drummer. How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, their debut album, was released in 1982 and gained them some attention on the national U.S. hardcore scene. After its release, the group's lineup changed, as bassist Paul Dedona and drummer Davy Goldman joined the group. This lineup produced 1983's Into the Unknown, an album that revealed the group's interest in progressive rock and featured extensive keyboard work; the album and the band's new direction proved highly controversial among Bad Religion's core fans.

In the meantime, the band's lineup was undergoing some more shakeups. Gurewitz had to take 1984 off to recover from various substance abuse problems, leaving Graffin as the band's only original member. In addition to Graffin, the 1984 incarnation of the band featured former Circle Jerks guitarist Greg Hetson, bassist Tim Gallegos, and returning drummer Pete Finestone. Bad Religion's next release, the harder, punkier Back to the Known EP, restored faith among the group's devoted fans. After its release, the group went on hiatus for three years.

When Bad Religion returned in 1987, the band featured Gurewitz, Graffin, Ziskrout, Hetson, and Finestone. They released Suffer the following year, a record that reestablished the group as prominent players in the U.S. underground punk/hardcore scene. They followed with No Control (1989) and Against the Grain (1990). By the time of their 1993 album, Recipe for Hate, alternative rock had achieved greater visibility in the rock mainstream; in addition, the band's following became one of the largest in American punk. These two factors contributed to Bad Religion signing a major-label contract with Atlantic Records.

Recipe for Hate was originally released on Epitaph, but it was soon re-released with the support of Atlantic. The group's first proper major-label album was 1994's Stranger Than Fiction; it was also Gurewitz's last album with the group. Before the release of Stranger Than Fiction, Epitaph had an unexpected hit with the Offspring's Smash, causing Gurewitz to spend more time at the label; reports also indicated that he was displeased with Bad Religion's major-label contract. The group replaced Gurewitz with hardcore veteran Brian Baker (formerly of Minor Threat) for their supporting tour, which proved to be their most successful to date.

Bad Religion released their second major-label album, The Gray Race, in early 1996, but it didn't achieve the same results as its predecessors. No Substance followed in 1998, and two years later the band returned with New America, which was produced by Todd Rundgren. Although it featured Bad Religion's best work in years, Atlantic subsequently dropped the band, and they returned to Epitaph. In the summer of 2001, Gurewitz rejoined the lineup after a six-year absence, and the group began work on The Process of Belief. The album appeared in February of the following year, and was widely hailed for its recalibration of the Graffin/Gurewitz axis.

Bad Religion's next project was the remastering and issuing of their early catalog. The discs began appearing in April 2004 with the release of Generator and How Could Hell Be Any Worse? The former included relevant 7" material from the era, while Hell took the place of 80-85, which had previously accounted for the band's earliest output. Both were fully remastered, as were subsequent reissues of Suffer, No Control, and Against the Grain. Bad Religion then returned in June of that year with The Empire Strikes First, a typically acerbic LP that reflected the surge of anger and defiance in the punk and indie music communities toward the policies of the Bush administration.

The powerful New Maps of Hell, released in 2007, continued on the path of discontent and railed at what the band saw as rampant apathy in the face of global crisis. Coinciding with Bad Religion's 30th anniversary in 2009, the bandmembers announced they would be going into the studio to record their 15th studio album. Titled The Dissent of Man, the album was released the following year on Epitaph. Rumors circulated that the group might be disbanding, but Graffin denied that there were any such plans, and in 2013 Bad Religion released True North, as well as a Christmas album, the aptly titled Christmas Songs. February 2016 saw the release of 30 Years Live, a vinyl-only album that featured a cross section of songs from throughout Bad Religion's career, recorded during their 2010 30th anniversary tour. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: True North

1. True North

2. Past Is Dead

3. Robin Hood In Reverse

4. Land Of Endless Greed

5. F**k You

6. Dharma And The Bomb

7. Hello Cruel World

8. Vanity

9. In Their Hearts Is Right

10. Crisis Time

11. Dept. Of False Hope

12. Nothing To Dismay

13. Popular Consensus

14. My Head Is Full Of Ghosts

15. The Island

16. Changing Tide

x

Track List: The Dissent Of Man

1. The Day That The Earth Stalled

2. Only Rain

3. The Resist Stance

4. Won't Somebody

5. The Devil In Stitches

6. Pride And The Pallor

7. Wrong Way Kids

8. Meeting Of The Minds

9. Someone To Believe

10. Avalon

11. Cyanide

12. Turn Your Back On Me

13. Ad Hominem

14. Where The Fun Is

15. I Won't Say Anything

x

Track List: New Maps Of Hell

Disc 1

1. 52 Seconds

2. Heroes & Martyrs

3. Germs Of Perfection

4. New Dark Ages

5. Requiem For Dissent

6. Before You Die

7. Honest Goodbye

8. Dearly Beloved

9. Grains Of Wrath

10. Murder

11. Scrutiny

12. Prodigal Son

13. The Grand Delusion

14. Lost Pilgrim

15. Submission Complete

16. Fields Of Mars

Disc 2
x

Track List: The Empire Strikes First

1. Overture

2. Sinister Rouge

3. Social Suicide

4. Atheist Peace

5. All There Is

6. Los Angeles Is Burning

7. Let Them Eat War

8. God's Love

9. To Another Abyss

10. The Quickening

11. The Empire Strikes First

12. Beyond Electric Dreams

13. Boot Stamping On A Human Face Forever

14. Live Again (The Fall Of Man)

x

Track List: The Process Of Belief

1. Supersonic

2. Prove It

3. Can't Stop It

4. Broken

5. Destined For Nothing

6. Materialist

7. Kyoto Now

8. Sorrow

9. Epiphany

10. Evangeline

11. The Defense

12. The Lie

13. You Don't Belong

14. Bored And Extremely Dangerous

x

Track List: The New America

1. You've Got A Chance

2. It's A Long Way To The Promise Land

3. A World With Out Melody

4. New America

5. 1000 Memories

6. A StreetKid Named desire

7. Whisper In Time

8. Believe It

9. I Love My Computer

10. The Hopeless Housewife

11. There Will Be A Way

12. Let It Burn

13. Don't Sell Me Short

x

Track List: No Substance

1. Hear It

2. Shades Of Truth

3. All Fantastic Images

4. The Biggest Killer In American History

5. No Substance

6. Raise Your Voice!

7. Sowing The Seeds Of Utopia

8. The Hippy Killers

9. The State Of The End Of The Millennium Address

10. The Voracious March Of Godliness

11. Mediocre Minds

12. Victims Of The Revolution

13. Strange Denial

14. At The Mercy Of Imbeciles

15. The Same Person

16. In So Many Ways

x

Track List: All Ages

1. I Want To Conquer The World

2. Do What You Want

3. You Are (The Government)

4. Modern Man

5. We're Only Gonna Die

6. The Answer

7. Flat Earth Society

8. Against The Grain

9. Generator

10. Anesthesia

11. Suffer

12. Faith Alone

13. No Control

14. 21st Century Digital Boy

15. Atomic Garden

16. No Direction

17. Automatic Man

18. Change Of Ideas

19. Sanity

20. Walk Away

21. Best For You

22. F**k Armageddon This Is Hell (Live)

x

Track List: Stranger Than Fiction

1. Incomplete

2. Leave Mine To Me

3. Stranger Than Fiction

4. Tiny Voices

5. The Handshake

6. Better Off Dead

7. Infected

8. Television

9. Individual

10. Hooray For Me

11. Slumber

12. Marked

13. Inner Logic

15. 21st Century (Digital Boy)

x

Track List: Recipe For Hate

1. Recipe For Hate

2. Kerosene

3. American Jesus

4. Portrait Of Authority

5. Man With A Mission

6. All Good Soldiers

7. Watch It Die

8. Struck A Nerve

9. My Poor Friend Me

10. Lookin' In

11. Don't Pray On me

12. Modern Day Catastrophists

13. Skyscraper

14. Stealth

x

Track List: Generator

1. Generator

2. Too Much To Ask

3. No Direction

4. Tomorrow

5. Two Babies In The Dark

6. Heaven Is Falling

7. Atomic Garden

8. The Answer

10. Chimaera

11. Only Entertainment

12. Fertile Crescent

13. Heaven Is Falling

x

Track List: Against The Grain

1. Modern Man

2. Turn On The Light

3. Get Off

4. Blenderhead

5. The Positive Aspect Of Negative Thinking

6. Anesthesia

7. Flat Earth Society

8. Faith Alone

9. Entropy

10. Against The Grain

11. Operation Rescue

12. God Song

13. 21st Century (Digital Boy)

14. Misery and Famine

15. Unacceptable

16. Quality Or Quantity

17. Walk Away

x

Track List: No Control

1. Change Of Ideas

2. Big Bang

3. No Control

4. Sometimes I Feel Like

5. Automatic Man

6. I Want To Conquer The World

7. Sanity

8. Henchman

9. It Must Look Pretty Appealing

10. You

11. Progress

12. I Want Something More

13. Anxiety

14. Billy

15. The World Won't Stop

x

Track List: Suffer

1. You Are (The Government)

2. 1000 More Fools

3. How Much Is Enough?

4. When?

5. Give You Nothing

6. Land Of Competition

7. Forbidden Beat

8. Best For You

9. Suffer

10. Delirium Of Disorder

11. Part II (The Numbers Game)

12. What Can You Do?

13. Do What You Want

14. Part IV (The Index Fossil)

15. Pessimistic Lines

x

Track List: How Could Hell Be Any Worse?

1. We're Only Gonna Die

2. Latch Key Kids

3. Part III

4. Faith In God

6. Pity

8. Damned To Be Free

9. White Trash (Second Generation)

10. American Dream

11. Eat Your Dog

12. Voice Of God Is Government

13. Oligarchy

14. Doing Time

15. Bad Religion

16. Politics

17. Sensory Overload

18. Slaves

19. Drastic Actions

20. World War III

21. Yesterday

22. Frogger

24. Along The Way

25. New Leaf

27. Slaves

28. Drastic Actions

x

Track List: All Ages (Explicit)

6. The Answer

15. Atomic Garden

16. No Direction

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Saw them in Portland with Against Me!
Report as inappropriate
@peace1star I was at that show too. So f**king badass. My first time seeing them. First heard them 22 years ago and finally got to see them.
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peace1star
Saw them at the Fillmore in Charlotte with against me. They kill it every single time they preform. Seeing them during an election year was the best choice I've ever made
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Excuse me 35+ years
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Seeing Bad Religion tonight at the Mcdonald theater Eugene Oregon. Hopefully they'll still put on a good show after 45+ years!
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trishsparlin g
Pennywise!!! !
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trishsparlin g
F**kin yeah
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redcobra017
On k. U.o. .b
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2007rapunzel
They used to come about every year to a club near my hometown in Germany (Fabrik, Coesfeld!) in the 90's and festivals. Great live sound and they are just cool guys without BS.
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L
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M x
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frankkinder
Infected is an infectious song. Love Bad Religion, Pennywise.
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alexconfiden t i a l
Bad Religion, Minor Threat, and Circle Jerks will forever be in my Punk rock rotation.
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sublime killed this song
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Every ignorant asswipe who said that this band is the best band ever is a f**king idiot. No band is the best, some are great, but each is different.
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who erased my comment, anywho, absolutely BlackMagickB a t s , I was not comparing them to the pop punk bullshit but they did spawn the genre, and how can hell be any worst was a great PUNK album, but after that PSSssst
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Erick the Viking, F**K YEAH \M/
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A comment like "they will never measure up to green day" shows just how ignorant a person could possibly be about this genre of music. Ever listen to Ignite? Better known your history....
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they will never measure up to green day ��
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Bravo.
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@ericashkemb i because they started Epitaph, and Epitaph has a lot of pop punk bullshit on it, and no, that isn't what punk was when they came out.
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Bad Religion is, was, and always will be the best punk band ever. They do it better than anyone else who has ever attempted this style.
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Why in the hell would you try and compare bad religion to the pop punk bullshit? This was what punk was when they came out.. Unbelievable .
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<3 bad religion
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Greatest band ever.
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@DUCK MY SICK, obvious b8 is obvious
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One of the best punk bands out there!!!
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chronus_1
It's only over when... you give up.
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Bad religion is the best punk band ever!!!!!!!
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These guys know how to musically explain a f**ked up world
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SO AWSOME
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Thank you Bad Religion
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How come Brian Bakers stint in the 80's metal band JUNKYARD is never mentioned? I suppose it may take away some of the punk rock street cred.
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* they make you think...
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You learn so much from Bad Religion... they make think about how corrupt the world is
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Check out Christmas Songs. It is Spectacular!

Anyone ever see them at Iguana's?
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grew up on this band!
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Not possibly... they are the greatest.
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westa33
Don't agree with a lot of their politics, but still love the band! Possibly the greatest Punk band of all time!!!
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Love Bad Religion!
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Awesome show last night!!! Ughhh f**king pit was AMAZING!!!
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third for sure great music and writing just my favorite band by far ...
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I second that!!!
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I love bad religion ����
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Just saw them live with OFF!, so awesome. They still got it. And the set they played! Amazing
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kbarton73
Suffer, No Control, Against the Grain = BR in their prime
Report as inappropriate
Can't wait to tear it up in the OC haven't seen bad religion in 10 years gonna wreck some young punks. F**king Armageddon this is Hell!
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the album im listening to is called all ages... then why is your concert next month 21+?! i cant go damn it!!
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whiskysurfer 7 6 0
Bad Religion has always been my favorite band of all time. Powerful! Intellectual ! Pissed off punk rock!
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kaydenceskin d l e
So cool
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