Bad Brains (album)

Bad Brains

1996 CD reissue cover.
Studio album by Bad Brains
Released February 1982
Recorded August – October 1981
May 16, 1981
Studio 171-A
Length 33:56
Label ROIR
Producer Jay Dublee
Bad Brains chronology
Bad Brains
Rock for Light
Alternate cover art
1989 reissue as Attitude: The ROIR Sessions.
Professional ratings
Review scores
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[2]
Spin Alternative Record Guide8/10[3]
The Village VoiceB+[4]

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.[5]


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".[1]


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".

Cover versions

Track listing

All tracks written by Bad Brains. 

No. Title Length
1. "Sailin' On"   1:55
2. "Don't Need It"   1:07
3. "Attitude"   1:19
4. "The Regulator"   1:08
5. "Banned in D.C."   2:12
6. "Jah Calling" (live in studio) 2:31
7. "Supertouch/Shitfit"   2:31
8. "Leaving Babylon"   4:10
9. "Fearless Vampire Killers"   1:07
10. "I"   2:05
11. "Big Take Over"   2:57
12. "Pay to Cum" (live in studio) 1:25
13. "Right Brigade"   2:27
14. "I Luv I Jah" (live in studio) 6:22
15. "Intro"   0:45
Total length:





  1. ROIR #A106
  2. In-Effect #88561-3002-2
  3. ROIR #RUSCD 8223
  4. ROIR #RUSLP 8223


  1. 1 2 Prato, Greg. "Bad Brains – Bad Brains". AllMusic. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  2. Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian, eds. (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 34–35. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  3. Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York City: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-67975574-8.
  4. Christgau, Robert (May 4, 1982). "Christgau's Consumer Guide - Bad Brains: Bad Brains (ROIR)". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  5. American Hardcore: A Tribal History by Steven Blush (2001)
  6. "john frusciante - sailin'on (bad brains cover)". 2008-03-30. Retrieved 2012-01-15.

External links

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