Bad Brains (album)
1996 CD reissue cover.
|Studio album by Bad Brains|
August – October 1981|
May 16, 1981
|Bad Brains chronology|
|Alternate cover art|
1989 reissue as Attitude: The ROIR Sessions.
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|Spin Alternative Record Guide||8/10|
|The Village Voice||B+|
Bad Brains is the debut studio album recorded by the American hardcore punk band Bad Brains.
The album's tracks were recorded by the band and producer Jay Dublee at 171-A Studios in New York City from August through October 1981, with the exception of "Jah Calling", "Pay to Cum" and "I Luv I Jah", which were recorded live in the studio on May 16, 1981.
Bad Brains was originally released in February 1982 in cassette-only format[nb 1] on Reachout International Records (ROIR).
In a nod toward band's Rastafarian leanings, the first release came contained in solid green, solid golden, and solid red cassette shells. In addition, some versions in solid white, solid orange, and transparent red tape shells were also released.
Reception and influence
When the album was first released, fans and critics alike were stunned to learn that the musicians behind this album – one of the fastest albums of all time upon its release – were African-American Rastafarians who also were skilled at reggae.
The album was a crucial step in the evolution of hardcore punk and the eventual fusion of hard rock and reggae adopted later by bands like Sublime, Fishbone, and 311.
Adam Yauch of Beastie Boys was quoted as saying that this album is "the best punk/hardcore album of all time".
In 1989, In-Effect Records released a CD version, with the same track listing, titled Attitude: The ROIR Sessions.[nb 2]
It was not until 1996 that ROIR reissued the original album on CD,[nb 3] featuring a hidden bonus track; and on LP[nb 4] the following year.
In 2008, the song "Right Brigade" was included in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV, for its reproduction through the in-game radio station Liberty City Hardcore (LCHC).
Many of the album's tracks were re-recorded for their 1983 follow-up, Rock for Light, with the exception of "Don't Need It", "The Regulator", "Jah Calling", "Leaving Babylon", "Pay to Cum", "I Luv I Jah" and "Intro".
- "Leaving Babylon" was covered by Jesse Malin on his covers album, On Your Sleeve; by 311 for their 1999 album Soundsystem; and live by Living Colour and HIM.
- Sublime often performed Bad Brains tunes during live shows. The deluxe edition of their Sublime album included "I Luv I Jah", reworked with different lyrics as "I Love My Dog". The DVD of their Everything Under the Sun also contained a live version of "Leaving Babylon".
- John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers covered "Big Takeover" on his first solo album, Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt. He also covered a short acoustic rendition of "Sailin On'" during a 1989 interview.
- "Sailin' On" was covered by No Doubt for the MOM: Music for Our Mother Ocean album series; by Moby for the Never Give In: A Tribute to Bad Brains (1999, Century Media) tribute album; by Soulfly for the special edition of their album Conquer; by HIM in a live version recorded for the record Uneasy Listening Vol. 2; and live by Living Colour. Hardcore punk band Sailing On were also named for the song.
- "I Luv I Jah" was covered live by Long Beach Dub Allstars, featuring H.R. on vocals; it appeared on their rare 1998 first album, LBDA & Friends.
- "Supertouch/Shitfit" was covered by Hatebreed on their covers album, For the Lions, and was sampled by experimental hip hop group Death Grips on the song "Takyon (Death Yon)" from their mixtape Exmilitary.
- "I" was covered by Mark Kozelek on his 2013 covers album, Like Rats, in a stripped down acoustic version highlighting the lyrics.
- "Sailin' On" was covered by Stone Sour on their second 2015 covers EP Straight Outta Burbank...
- "Fearless Vampire Killers" was covered by 88 Fingers Louie on their 1998 Back on the Streets album.
All tracks written by Bad Brains.
|2.||"Don't Need It"||1:07|
|5.||"Banned in D.C."||2:12|
|6.||"Jah Calling" (live in studio)||2:31|
|9.||"Fearless Vampire Killers"||1:07|
|11.||"Big Take Over"||2:57|
|12.||"Pay to Cum" (live in studio)||1:25|
|14.||"I Luv I Jah" (live in studio)||6:22|
|1996 CD reissue hidden bonus track|
|16.||"Jah the Conqueror"||2:11|
- 1 2 Prato, Greg. "Bad Brains – Bad Brains". AllMusic. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
- ↑ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 34–35. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
- ↑ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York City: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-67975574-8.
- ↑ Christgau, Robert (May 4, 1982). "Christgau's Consumer Guide - Bad Brains: Bad Brains (ROIR)". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
- ↑ American Hardcore: A Tribal History by Steven Blush (2001)
- ↑ "john frusciante - sailin'on (bad brains cover)". youtube.com. 2008-03-30. Retrieved 2012-01-15.
- Norton, Justin M. (October 17, 2012). "13 Essential DC Hardcore Albums: Bad Brains - Bad Brains (ROIR, 1982)". stereogum.com.