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One of the cornerstone bands of the '90s punk revival, Rancid's unabashedly classicist sound drew heavily from the Clash's early records, echoing their left-leaning politics and fascination with ska, while adding a bit of post-hardcore crunch. While some critics dismissed Rancid as derivative, others praised their political commitment, surging energy, and undeniable way with a hook. And, regardless of critical debate over their significance, the band's strengths made them perhaps the most popular neo-punk band after Green Day and the Offspring. Their third album, 1995's ...And Out Come the Wolves, made them a platinum-selling sensation and an inescapable presence on MTV and modern rock radio. While they never translated that success into an enormous blockbuster record (like the aforementioned bands who hit the mainstream first), that wasn't necessarily their ambition, choosing to stay with the independent punk label Epitaph and the creative freedom it allowed them. That decision helped them retain a large, devoted core audience as revivalist punk-pop began to slip off the mainstream's musical radar.

Rancid were formed in 1991 by San Francisco Bay Area punk scenesters Tim Armstrong (guitar/vocals) and Matt Freeman (bass). Lifelong friends and longtime punk fans, the two had grown up together in the small working-class town of Albany, near Berkeley; they'd also played together in the legendary ska-punk band Operation Ivy, Armstrong as "Lint" and Freeman as Matt McCall. After Op Ivy disbanded in 1989, Armstrong and Freeman spent a few weeks in the ska-punk outfit Dance Hall Crashers, as well as Downfall; Freeman later briefly joined the hardcore band MDC. Meanwhile, Armstrong was waging a battle with alcoholism (but, fortunately, winning), and to help keep his friend occupied, Freeman suggested they escape their day jobs by forming a new band, which became Rancid. The duo added drummer Brett Reed, Armstrong's roommate and a familiar presence on the Gilman Street scene where Operation Ivy had cut their teeth. Just a couple of months later, Rancid were performing live around the area, and in 1992 they released a five-song debut EP on Lookout! Records.

The EP caught the attention of Epitaph Records founder/Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz, and Epitaph signed Rancid to a highly favorable contract guaranteeing the group a generous amount of creative control. The band's eponymously titled, first full-length album arrived in 1993, pursuing an uptempo hardcore/skatepunk style with few hints of early British punk. Rancid had been seeking a second guitarist, and Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong even played live with the group at one show. They pursued Lars Frederiksen, a Bay Area resident who'd joined a later incarnation of U.K. Subs and was performing with the band Slip; Frederiksen initially declined Rancid's invitation to join, but when Slip disbanded, he quickly changed his mind and came along on Rancid's first tour. Frederiksen made his recording debut on the early-1994 EP Radio Radio Radio, a side dalliance on Fat Wreck Chords. Released later that year, Let's Go was the album that made Rancid's name in the punk underground. It marked the beginnings of their fascination with the 1977-era London punk scene, particularly the Clash, and it also provided their first widespread exposure when MTV picked up on the video for the single "Salvation." Let's Go quickly went gold, and with the breakout mainstream success of Green Day and the Offspring that year, major-label interest in Rancid quickly escalated into a full-fledged bidding war (even Madonna's Maverick imprint got in on the action). Ultimately, Rancid decided that no major could offer them the level of decision-making power that Epitaph had given them, and stayed right where they were.

Rancid scored a major success with their next album, 1995's ...And Out Come the Wolves, whose title was a reference to the near-predatory interest in signing the band. The Clash fetish was even more pronounced, augmented with a greater interest in the original Two-Tone ska revival the Clash had helped influence (bands like the Specials). "Ruby Soho" was a major MTV and radio hit, and "Time Bomb" and "Roots Radicals" were hits in their own right. The album went platinum and made Rancid one of the most visible punk bands around. They played the 1996 Lollapalooza Tour, and afterward took a short break, their first since becoming a quartet. During that time, Freeman played with former X singer Exene Cervenka in Auntie Christ, while Armstrong set up the Epitaph subsidiary Hellcat; he and Frederiksen both began doing production work for other bands they hoped to spotlight.

Rancid returned in 1998 with the even more ska-heavy Life Won't Wait, a guest star-loaded affair that featured members of ska bands the Specials and Hepcat, Dicky Barrett of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, dancehall reggae star Buju Banton, and Agnostic Front vocalist Roger Miret. While it didn't cross over on the level of ...And Out Come the Wolves, it demonstrated that Rancid retained a substantial fan base. For the 2000 follow-up, their second self-titled release, the group largely scrapped its ska-punk side, recording a visceral, hardcore-influenced album that blasted through 22 songs in under 40 minutes (in contrast to its two lengthy predecessors). Perhaps for that reason, Rancid received a highly positive response from the punk community. The band's installment in the BYO split series arrived in March 2002 alongside NOFX, each band covering six of the other's songs. Rancid's next full-length, Indestructible, followed a year later; though technically released through Hellcat, the album was their first that got additional support from a major label via Warner Bros. The highly personal album (songs were inspired by the deaths of family and friends, and Armstrong's bitter 2003 divorce from Distillers frontwoman Brody Dalle) hit number 14 on the Billboard charts, as "Fall Back Down" did well on radio and MTV.

Following the record's release, Rancid went on something of a hiatus, its members working on various side projects: Armstrong continued work with the Transplants, his band with Rob Aston and blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, and collaborated with various artists, including P!nk; Frederiksen further played with his side band Lars Frederiksen & the B**tards; Freeman briefly joined Social Distortion from 2004-2005. By the spring of 2006, a revitalized Rancid regrouped; they toured worldwide starting that summer to the delight of fans. Several shows, however, had to be postponed and rescheduled after Frederiksen collapsed on-stage in Montreal, apparently suffering a seizure. Soon enough, though, he was back and the band continued on. Rancid promised a new record for the following year, and Armstrong released his first solo album, A Poet's Life, that fall through Epitaph by releasing songs online for free download over the course of several months. With the band getting back on track, it then came as a shock in November 2006 when Reed announced he was leaving Rancid after 15 years; the split appeared to be amicable and he was soon replaced behind the kit by ex-Used drummer Branden Steineckert. After taking some time to look back at their luminous history with a B Sides and C Sides compilation, a music videos collection, and an online webisode retrospective dating back to the bandmembers' days in Operation Ivy, Rancid returned to the studio to record 2009's Let the Dominoes Fall at George Lucas' Skywalker Sound Studio with Brett Gurewitz producing.

It would be another five years before fans got another Rancid album. The band entered the studio in 2011 and did some recording, but Armstrong eventually abandoned the sessions in favor of doing another Transplants album. One new Rancid track from the sessions, bluntly titled "F**k You," was released in 2012. That same year, the massive online-only box set Essentials compiled their back catalog on 7" vinyl. In 2013, Transplants released their third album, In a Warzone, following which Rancid got back together to finish their eighth album. Again produced by Gurewitz, the back to basics effort, Honor Is All We Know, was released in late 2014. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: ...Honor Is All We Know

1. Back Where I Belong

2. Raise Your Fist

3. Collision Course

4. Evil's My Friend

5. Honor Is All We Know

6. A Power Inside

7. In The Streets

8. Face Up

9. Already Dead

10. Diabolical

11. Malfunction

12. Now We're Through With You

13. Everybody's Sufferin'

14. Grave Digger


Track List: Let The Dominoes Fall

1. East Bay Night

2. This Place

3. Up To No Good

4. Last One To Die

5. Disconnected

6. I Ain't Worried

7. Damnation

8. New Orleans

9. Civilian Ways

10. The Bravest Kids

11. Skull City

12. L.A. River

13. Lulu

14. Dominoes Fall

15. Liberty And Freedom

16. You Want It, You Got It

17. Locomotive

18. That's Just The Way It Is Now

19. The Highway


Track List: Indestructible (Explicit)

1. Indestructible

2. Fall Back Down

3. Red Hot Moon

4. David Courtney

5. Start Now

6. Out Of Control

7. Django

8. Arrested In Shanghai

9. Travis Bickle

10. Memphis

11. Spirit Of '87

12. Ghost Band

13. Tropical London

14. Roadblock

15. Born Frustrated

16. Back Up Against The Wall

17. Ivory Coast

18. Stand Your Ground

19. Otherside


Track List: Rancid (2000)

1. Don Giovanni

2. Disgruntled

3. It's Quite Alright

4. Let Me Go

5. I Am Forever

6. Poison

7. Loki

8. Blackhawk Down

9. Rwanda

10. Corruption

11. Antennas

12. Rattlesnake

13. Not To Regret

14. Radio Havana

15. Axiom

16. Black Derby Jacket

17. Meteor Of War

18. Dead Bodies

19. Rigged On A Fix

20. Young Al Capone

21. Reconciliation

22. GGF


Track List: Life Won't Wait

1. Intro

2. Bloodclot

3. Hoover Street

4. Black Lung

5. Life Won't Wait

6. New Dress

7. Warsaw

8. Hooligans

9. Crane Fist

10. Leicester Square

11. Backslide

12. Who Would've Thought

13. Cash, Culture And Violence

14. Cocktails

15. The Wolf

16. 1998

17. Lady Liberty

18. Wrongful Suspicion

19. Turntable

20. Something In The World Today

21. Corazon De Oro

22. Coppers


Track List: ...And Out Come The Wolves

1. Maxwell Murder

2. The 11th Hour

3. Roots Radicals

4. Time Bomb

5. Olympia Wa.

6. Lock, Step And Gone

7. Junkie Man

8. Listed M.I.A.

9. Ruby Soho

10. Daly City Train

11. Journey To The End Of The East Bay

12. She's Automatic

13. Old Friend

14. Disorder And Disarray

15. The Wars End

16. You Don't Care Nothin'

17. As Wicked

18. Avenues And Alleyways

19. The Way I Feel


Track List: Roots Radicals / I Wanna Riot

1. Roots Radicals (1994)

2. I Wanna Riot


Track List: Let's Go

1. Nihilism

2. Radio

3. Side Kick

4. Salvation

5. Tenderloin

6. Let's Go

7. As One

8. Burn

9. The Ballad Of Jimmy & Johnny

10. Gunshot

11. I Am The One

12. Gave It Away

13. Ghetto Box

14. Harry Bridges

15. Black And Blue

16. St. Mary

17. Dope Sick Girl

18. International Cover-up

19. Solidarity

20. Midnight

21. Motorcycle Ride

22. Name

23. 7 Years Down


Track List: Rancid

1. Adina

2. Hyena

3. Detroit

4. Rats In The Hallway

5. Another Night

6. Animosity

7. Outta My Mind

8. Whirlwind

9. Rejected

10. Injury

12. Trenches

13. Holiday Sunrise

14. Unwritten Rules

16. Get Out Of My Way


Track List: ...Honor Is All We Know (Deluxe Edition)

1. Back Where I Belong

2. Raise Your Fist

3. Collision Course

4. Evil's My Friend

5. Honor Is All We Know

6. A Power Inside

7. In The Streets

8. Face Up

9. Already Dead

10. Diabolical

11. Malfunction

12. Now We're Through With You

13. Everybody's Sufferin'

14. Grave Digger

15. Breakdown

16. Something To Believe In A World Gone Mad

17. Turn In Your Badge


Track List: All The Moon Stompers

1. Time Bomb

2. Daly City Train

3. Old Friend

4. Brixton

5. I Wanna Riot

6. Life Won't Wait

7. Hooligans

8. Crane Fist

9. Cocktails

10. Wrongful Suspicion

11. Corazon De Oro

12. Stop

13. Things To Come

14. Red Hot Moon

15. Memphis

16. Up To No Good

17. I Ain't Worried

18. Liberty And Freedom

19. That's Just The Way It Is Now

20. Evil's My Friend

21. Everybody's Sufferin'

22. Breakdown


Track List: Collision Course (Single)

1. Collision Course


Track List: Evil's My Friend (Single)

3. Evil's My Friend


Track List: Honor Is All We Know (Single)

2. Honor Is All We Know


Track List: Last One To Die (Radio Single)

1. Last One To Die


Track List: Oil And Opium (Single)


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I was a big fan of Operation Ivy and was lucky enough to see them play, so I was super stoked when Rancid got together. I saw them play in 92/93 on their first tour. Billie Joe came out on the stage and sang on a cover of Op Ivy's Knowledge during their set. Way before Green Day was mainstream. Larry Livermore will tell you that Billie Joe has never really "Sold Out". If you don't know who he is, you might want to do some homework on the Bay Area scene.
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A rollickin Rancid baseline always helps me back up again!
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metallicagur l 1 8
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Damn straight, 242. A tour would be awesome, and Matt is one of the baddest ever on bass! He tears it up. Long live Rancid and Social D!
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And needless to say, Rancid and Social Distortion need to rock a national tour together! That would be the s**t!!!
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Matt Freeman is like the king of bassplayers! ! !
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trishsparlin g
Tim time bomb is gonna f**kin blow up the world
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Dont understand the lyrics
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Look if you hate rancid there is a button you can push and you don't have to hear them go ahead push it because other than that no one gives two s**ts ok
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The time bomb is ticking
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Seams omg let it happen... I don't care...
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alexconfiden t i a l
Real punk is listening to Taylor Swift and not giving a f*ck.
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Such a great album.
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All you meanies make me wanna kick a puppy. Armstrong's voice makes me wanna get naked, has since 1995...but then, Joe Strummer's does/did as well! To say that Rancid is not true punk is simply absurd; like saying that the Foo Fighters aren't rock and roll, cause they don't sound like "The King of Rock," Elvis Presley; that Macklemore isn't a rapper, cause he's not Run DMC...

keep on rockin in the free world.
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f**k yes
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98 atl opened for beastie boys. ..k iller. Green Day is pretty badass rancid actually wanted Billy Joe to play with them put that in your pipe and smoke it
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My dads trend not cof medicine
For the lead singer.
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f**k a greenday
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Love em
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Anyone who said this is not a f**king amazing band sux at life learn a thing or two before you act like greenday is real s**t!
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They kick a**
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Best punk band ever!!!!!!!
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Awesome band \m/
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Good stuff
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hell yeah seen these guys in 2000 at warptour
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Saw these guys two nights in a row @ Emos (b4 it moved)
Met them after the show, great bunch of guys!
Outstanding shows! Thanx Jenny,I'll never forget you!
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What a classic.. saw these boys in 95' at hammerjacks baltimore.. just plain ol' good punk rock!
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Really miss carefree high school life...
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This is punk! I've been to. 95 concerts. So I know what punk rock is. No fall out boy, falling benjimen. Ect
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ruby ruby. ruby ruby soho
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O towns favorite destination screw Mickey Mouse let me out of this place!
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Tasty waves a cool buzz and some Rancid. Great way to spend the day surfing breaks in Melbourne and Cocoa Beach . Totally gnarly bro!
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Love rancid, people who say fall out boy and 5sos are punk need to give this a listen
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i was 20 or 21 . . . nust moved to california wiith nothing but a duffle bag... bought three cds randomly. viking by the b**tards, indestructib l e by rancid and that first teansplants album. hated all three but was lissed i spent miney on mus7c and struck out three times. so i gave them a few extra listens and wa like holy s**t, these guys are XINGING ABOUT MY LIFE! i looked to see who was in the bands because holy s**t i thought they had to have known me. realised all the bands were from rancid
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Meant real slash good.f**k
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Meant real good.not one of my faves but they're not posers
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Didn't realize all the conspiracy theorists out there saying rancids not a real good punk band.U just don't like there style
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If you have a chance to see them, go they're great.
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Not a clash fan but anouther band that probably wouldn't b so great without them so thanx to the clash
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When i first heard rancid i hated their style and voice. But now i cant get enough!
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Rancid rules!!!!!
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This is a parody of real punk bands. I'm surprised some of you didn't get the joke.
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"....And out come the wolves" is a classic. One of the best albums of the 90s, across all genres.
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Jesus Christ, you people are morons. You ignorant pseudo-snobs ruined punk 18 years ago and you're still ruining it today. Listen to the record and shut the f**k up!
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Moomoo, sure just having a mohawk or leather jacket doesn't make you Punk, but that doesn't mean Rancid sucks only because they have them.
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destination unknown..... . .
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