79 Black Dots 256kbps
80 Omega Sessions 256 vbr
81 Pay to Cum: 79-81 (Bootleg) 210 vbr
82 Attitude - The Roir Sessions 320 vbr
82 Bad Brains 320kbps
82 Live at CBGB's 320 kbps
83 Rock for Light 320kbps
83 Rock for Light ('91 Remaster) 192kbps
84 Live 224kbps
86 I Against I 320kbps
87 The youth are getting restless 224kbps
89 Quickness 320kbps
93 Rise 320kbps
95 God of Love 320kbps
02 I & I Survived 256kbps
03 Banned in DC: Greatest Riffs 320
07 Build a Nation 320kbps
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Origin Washington, D.C., USA
Genre(s) Hardcore punk Reggae Crossover thrash Heavy metal
Years active 1977-1984, 1986-1995, 1999-present
Label(s) ROIR, Caroline, SST, Epic, Maverick, Megaforce
Israel Joseph I
Bad Brains are an American hardcore punk band formed in Washington, D.C. in 1977. They are widely regarded as being among the pioneers of hardcore punk,though the band's members objected to the term "hardcore" to describe their music.
Originally formed as a jazz fusion ensemble under the name Mind Power, Bad Brains developed a very fast and intense punk rock sound, which was both musically complex, and was often played faster and more emphatically than the music of many of their peers. They were also an adept reggae band, in a sort of Jekyll-and-Hyde arrangement, while later recordings featured elements of heavy metal and funk. Bad Brains are also notable as religious followers of the Rastafari movement.
Bad Brains broke up and reformed several times over the years, sometimes with different singers and/or drummers. The band's classic and current lineup is singer H.R., guitarist Dr. Know, bassist Darryl Jenifer, and drummer Earl Hudson.
Bad Brains were ranked #99 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
Though the official name of the band is Bad Brains, they are often referred to as The Bad Brains, sometimes even by the band members themselves. The Beastie Boys were huge Bad Brains fans, and they intentionally selected a name with the initials B.B. because of this.
* 1 History
o 1.1 From Fusion to Hardcore (1977-1985)
o 1.2 Change of Style (1986-1992)
o 1.3 Lineup Change and Reunions (1993-2000)
o 1.4 New Millennium (2001-present)
o 1.5 Soul Brains
* 2 Controversy
o 2.1 Homophobia
+ 2.1.1 1982 Flipside Interview
+ 2.1.2 Confrontation with Big Boys & MDC
+ 2.1.3 1982 Forced Exposure Interview
+ 2.1.4 "Don't Blow Bubbles"
* 3 Discography
o 3.1 Studio albums
o 3.2 Live albums
o 3.3 EPs
o 3.4 Compilations
o 3.5 Videos
o 3.6 Singles
o 3.7 Other appearances
* 4 Legacy and influence
* 5 References
* 6 External links
From Fusion to Hardcore (1977-1985)
The band was first founded as a jazz-fusion ensemble called Mind Power (1975), with singer Sid McCray, in the mould of bands such as Chick Corea's Return to Forever and John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra. McCray was later replaced by H.R., older brother of drummer Earl Hudson.
In 1977, McCray introduced the rest of the band, who were already interested in bands such as Black Sabbath, to punk rock, including the Dickies, the Dead Boys, and the Sex Pistols.
Mind Power became obsessed with punk rock and changed their name to "Bad Brains", after the Ramones song "Bad Brain" but with the word "bad" in the sense of "powerful". Despite their burgeoning punk sound, the early Bad Brains also delved deep into reggae music.
The band developed an early reputation in Washington D.C., due in part to the relative novelty of an entirely African-American band playing punk rock, but also due to their high-energy performances and undeniable talent.
The band's considerable musical technique, due in part to their jazz and progressive rock roots, set them apart from other Washington punk groups, who were typically earnest but often amateurish performers. Bad Brains' emphasis on extreme speed, especially in their early records and performances, are often regarded as establishing hardcore punk.
Their music still contained hints of their progressive rock past, with quick time changes and H.R.'s fluctuating vocal dynamics. H.R. was a muscular and unpredictable stage performer with a very wide vocal range, who often leapt into the audience or onto amplifiers.
In 1979, Bad Brains found themselves the subject of an unofficial ban among many Washington D.C. area clubs and performance venues (later addressed in their song, "Banned in D.C."). The band subsequently relocated to New York City.
Their self-titled debut album was released on New York's ROIR Records on "cassette only" in January 1982, followed in 1983 by Rock for Light, produced by Ric Ocasek of The Cars. These two albums, containing hardcore thrash punk and mellow reggae, were landmarks, influencing an entire generation of musicians, including the Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, 311, Black Flag, Living Colour, Zack de la Rocha, Iron Boots and countless others.
The band fought constantly with volatile singer H.R., who was very expressive. H.R. seemed to reflect Bad Brains' music: one minute calm and espousing peace and love, and the next minute an aggressive, sometimes violent man. In 1984, Bad Brains broke up; it was the first of many splits. H.R. began a solo career devoted to all genres of music, calling music "Transcendental" and saying "acceptance of all music is what I feel will be the unification of all nations under one" releasing many albums from 1984, 86', 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 2000.
Change of Style (1986-1992)
In 1986, Bad Brains reunited. SST Records released I Against I, seen by some as their finest recording. As the title track demonstrated, Bad Brains could still play extremely fast, but there was also a new variety; there was much more melody, slower grooves, and straight-ahead heavy metal (but, surprisingly, no reggae). Dr. Know sounded a bit like a punked-out Eddie Van Halen, there was an outright love song in "She's Calling You," and H.R. famously provided vocals for "Sacred Love" over the phone from the Lorton Reformatory while doing a bid for a drug charge. Also critically praised was H.R.'s performance: "he digs deep into his bag of voices and pulls them all out, one by one: the frightening nasal falsetto that was his signature in the band's hardcore days, an almost bel canto baritone, and a declamatory speed-rap chatter that spews lyrics with the mechanical precision of a machine gun". The title track's video was shown on MTV's then-new 120 Minutes program, for which the band appeared in promotional footage. Despite the success of I Against I, Bad Brains broke up again after spending most of 1987 on the road.
The group signed with Caroline Records in the late 1980s to release Quickness in 1989. The album continued where I Against I had left off, yet with a heavier sound and featuring the return of reggae with "The Prophet's Eye".
Bad Brains were plagued by internal tensions nearly from their beginning. Aside from the problems with H.R., who sometimes refused to perform at scheduled concerts, he and his younger brother, drummer Earl Hudson, also wanted to devote the band strictly to reggae, while Dr. Know and Darryl Jenifer were increasingly interested in heavy metal music. After the Quickness tour, H.R. was replaced by former Faith No More vocalist Chuck Mosely. Soon afterwards, Bad Brains broke up again.
In 1990, Bad Brains backed longtime friend/fan/protege Henry Rollins on a cover version of The MC5's "Kick out the Jams". The recording appears on the soundtrack to the film Pump Up the Volume.
Lineup Change and Reunions (1993-2000)
As bands influenced by Bad Brains (such as Living Colour and Fishbone) enjoyed commercial success, Dr. Know was approached by Epic Records in 1993, offering the band a major-label record deal. However, H.R. and Earl weren't interested, as they were concentrating strictly on reggae. Dr. Know and Darryl Jenifer replaced them with former Cro-Mags drummer Mackie Jayson (who had played as a session musician on Quickness), and vocalist Israel Joseph I. Rise was released in 1993 to some confusion as original vocalist H.R. had been billed as "Joseph I" on the Rock for Light album back in 1983. Mixing jazz, punk, reggae, pop, funk, and rock, Rise was by far the most diverse album the group had released. In addition to a mix of reggae and hardcore, the album also featured thrash and even heavy metal overtones as well. However, sales were unimpressive, reviews were mixed, and Israel and Jayson were fired to make room for the return of H.R. and Earl Hudson.
With the original band back together for the first time in five years, Bad Brains signed to the Maverick Records label for the 1995 release God of Love.
At a show at The Bottleneck in Lawrence, Kansas in 1995, H.R., (some say while high on mushrooms), bashed a microphone stand against the skull of an audience member, severely injuring him. After this incident the band called it quits yet again. Earlier that year, while on tour with the Beastie Boys, the band was arrested with drug paraphernalia while crossing into Canada. Then, while in Canada, H.R. attacked their manager Anthony Countey and brother Earl before a show in Montreal with the Beastie Boys. This incident caused them to miss the next show, which was at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Two years later the band worked together to remaster some very early studio recordings which were then released as the EP The Omega Sessions by Victory Records. In 1999, the original lineup toured under the name "Soul Brains". A live album, A Bad Brains Reunion Live from Maritime Hall was released in 2000.
New Millennium (2001-present)
In 2002, the band released I & I Survived, an album devoted entirely to dub and reggae; many fans had been pushing for such an album for years.
In 2004 rap singer Lil' Jon, another longtime fan of the band, recruited Dr. Know, Jenifer and Earl Hudson to back him on a version of his song "Real Nigga Roll Call," which interpolated the music of I Against I's "Re-Ignition." The recording appears on the limited-edition release of Lil' Jon's album Crunk Juice. The accompanying DVD features footage of the session.
That same year, H.R. Performed the song "Whos Got the Herb?" with the band 311 on June 22, 2004, in Long Beach, California.
In 2005, Darryl Jenifer told Billboard magazine that the band was in the studio recording their first proper studio album in ten years, to be released later in the year. Beastie Boy Adam Yauch also gave interviews indicating that he was producing the sessions, for which basic tracks featuring the original lineup had been recorded. H.R. was said to be on board for the new album, slated to emphasize a return to their early hardcore sound.
In late 2005, it was announced that Bad Brains would headline a two-date show at New York City's legendary CBGB's, which was scheduled for February 24 - 25, 2006. Tickets for both dates quickly sold out. After sets from a handful of other hardcore punk acts, Bad Brains came to the stage, as billed in print, "with John Joseph" of The Cro-Mags filling in for H.R. and former Bad Brains drummer Mackie Jayson filling in for Earl Hudson. Meanwhile, H.R. and Dubb Agents played gigs under the Global Rock Showcase event brand in California.
May 28, 2005, to Sept. 8, 2006, H.R. & Dubb Agents headlined a seris of Global Rock Showcase dates across the United States. Dates include Little Steven Van Zandt's "Save CBGB Rally" concert in Washington Square Park, New York City, August 31, 2005. H.R. has a long time association with Global Rock Showcase organizers D.I.A. Records, and released an album through them titled Out Of Bounds.
On hiatus from Global Rock Showcases, in the fall of 2006, H.R. reunited with Bad Brains for two dates at CBGB's on October 9th & 10th, as part of the continuing celebration of the venue's legacy and imminent closing. Due to tickets selling out within mere minutes, unsurprising due to the band's devoted following, a third show was added for Wednesday, October 11th. During the course of the three day bill, H.R. announced that the new Bad Brains album was "forthcoming." He also stated that the band's next set of tour dates would be called The Re-Ignition Tour. However, the tour eventually was not billed as such.
While H.R. & Dubb Agents geared up to tour Global Rock Showcases '07 dates, in early January 2007, Bad Brains revealed the title of the new album. Build a Nation was released on June 26th, 2007. The album debuted at #100 on the Billboard 200, and also garnished overwhelmingly positive reception from fans and critics alike. Scheduled between Global Rock Showcase dates, Bad Brains played five dates including Sasquatch Fest, June 27, 2007, George, Washington, and Virgin Fest, Aug. 5, 2007, Baltimore, Maryland. Bad Brains' California dates were Sept. 22 to 28, 2007, followed by a European tour is set for October, 2007. Upon return to the U.S. the band took stage in Chicago for the multi-billed Riotfest rock concert. Bad Brains, as of 2006-07, appear to be a more stable unit, and are enjoying successes that did not come to fruition previously. The internet has also contributed to the band's resurgence as it is now possible to view old and new concert footage via Youtube, or read archived interviews.
On May 15, 2007, it was revealed that System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian would be directing the first video from Build a Nation.
The video for the song "Give Thanks and Praises" can be seen online on the band's MySpace page as of August 2007. Director Shavo Odadjian makes an appearance at the end of the concert video with frontman H.R.. The two are seen charismatically walking stageside, passing and smoking a marijuana joint.
Before the release of the new album, Dr. Know stated he was eager for the band to record more albums. As of 2007, Dr. Know, Darryl Jenifer, and H.R. all have solo albums in the works. H.R. will continue to tour solo with DIA Records Global Rock Showcase through the remainder of 2007, with his instrumental section Dub Agents. The title of bassist Darryl Jenifer's upcoming solo effort is Blackvova Universal Sound.
In January 2008, the band announced they are working on a box set of 7" vinyl records.
Bad Brains toured South America during April of 2008 with singer Isreal Joseph (from the Bad Brains album Rise) filling in for H.R.
Soul Brains was the name used by the original Bad Brains from 1999 to 2001. It is rumored that Bad Brains took this name because they had temporarily lost legal rights to the original band name. Darryl Jenifer, though, stated several years ago that the actual reason was a 'spiritual change' of H.R., who found it inappropriate for some time to use the word 'bad' in the band's name. The other band members, who (according to Jenifer) didn't care too much about the name Bad Brains as long as they could play their music, then decided to replace the word 'bad' with 'soul'.
There have been many charges of homophobia directed at Bad Brains which caused controversy in the politically charged Punk/Hardcore scene, where the homophobic stance seemed at odds with the prevailing spirit against prejudice, racism, homophobia, etc and with Bad Brains own call for unity. Some of this has been attributed to the increasing influence of Rastafarian religious beliefs into their lives, but there is controversy about whether or not Rastafari is itself inherently homophobic, although as bassist Darryl Jennifer pointed out in a 2007 interview, "In Rastafari and even in Christianity, they disagree with homosexuality. That's a known fact.". In the same interview, he also distanced himself from his earlier homophobic statements, saying "So the point being here, when we first were discovering Rastafari - like any young men or any young women getting into anything - you're overzealous. Back in 1988, I might have been saying, "Fire burn..." I'm 25 years old! You've got to understand that I'm a young man growing, getting into something. Now I'm 46 years old and I've learned that that's ignorant. I've learned through the years that we're all God's children, regardless of your race, creed, color, sexuality, any of that.", although it is unclear if the rest of the band shares his change of heart.
1982 Flipside Interview
In a 1982 interview with Flipside Fanzine, in issue #31, H.R. made a few offensive homophobic remarks near the start of the interview. He said San Francisco (where they had just played some shows) had "...too many faggots" and said that "...most of them (homosexuals) act so crazy even out in public, it disturbs me, makes me want to go and shoot one of them.".
Confrontation with Big Boys & MDC
During a 1982 tour, Bad Brains played in Austin, TX with local band Big Boys, whose singer Randy Turner was homosexual. They also incurred a debt to Turner, some sources indicate the debt was from loaning Bad Brains money, some indicate the debt was from Turner buying the band marijuana, regardless of the cause, monies were owned to Turner from the band. When H.R. learned that Turner was homosexual, an argument erupted, with a particularly heated exchange between H.R. and MDC singer Dave Dictor, who is also homosexual, leading to Bad Brains leaving Austin without repaying their debt to Turner and instead leaving a note that allegedly read "burn in hell, bloodclot faggot" and vandalizing Turner's house. Big Boys seemed to gloss over the incident; in an interview after the incident in Suburban Punk #7 they refuse to discuss the issue and refer to Bad Brains as "...one of the best live bands I've ever seen". MDC on the other hand referred to the incident often in interviews and even wrote a song about it called "Pay To Come Along".
1982 Forced Exposure Interview
In a 1982 interview with Forced Exposure Fanzine, in issue #2, there was a discussion with H.R. about changes in the band (becoming a reggae band and abandoning Punk Rock, moving out from the city to "the land", becoming "survivalists"). When asked about what lead to the final decision to make these changes, H.R. responded "I guess the final decision was made about a couple months ago, halfway through the tour when we went out to California and we saw all the faggots and we went to Texas and seen all the punk rock bands. Out there the in thing was being gay and all the hardcore bands were gay. That was the last straw, I couldn't take no more. I had to say somebody got to go out there and show the youth the truth, man."
"Don't Blow Bubbles"
On the 1989 Quickness album, a song titled "Don't Blow Bubbles" had lyrics that were generally interpreted as being homophobic and suggesting that AIDS was God's cure for homosexuality. When asked about the song, guitarist Dr. Know said that "We wrote that song as kind of an angry warning to homosexuals. We didn't really mean to insult them, but a lot of people we knew seemed to be living with their eyes closed.". In a 2007 interview where bassist Darryl Jennifer called their previous homophobic views "ignorant" he was asked about the song and the furor over the lyrics and replied "They don't understand that we've grown. Just like anyone, I'm not ashamed to say, Maybe I could have been..." Damn right, I was a homophobe! I shouldn't have to explain that to the world because everyone will do that. That's wisdom. You have to grow to be wise."
Bad Brains personnel (1977-1990)
* H.R. vocals
* Dr. Know guitar
* Darryl Jenifer bass
* Earl Hudson drums
1982 Bad Brains ROIR Records
1983 Rock for Light Caroline Records
1986 I Against I SST Records
1989 Quickness Caroline Records
1993 Rise Epic Records
1995 God of Love Maverick Records
2002 I & I Survived DC Records
2007 Build a Nation Megaforce Records
On March 25th Bad Brains posted abulletin with the subject "Bad Brains Vinyl Box Set Coming In April!" and the body "More details and an announcement shortly."
* Live at CBGB's 1982 (recorded live in 1982 - released in 2006, MVD Records)
* The Youth Are Getting Restless (recorded live in 1987, released in 1990, SST
* Live (recorded live in 1984 - released in 1988, SST Records)
* A Bad Brains Reunion Live from Maritime Hall (recorded live in 1999, released
in 2001, 2B1 Records)
* The Omega Sessions (demo tracks recorded in 1980, Victory Records, released
as 10" record and 9" Picture Disk record as well as CD-EP in 1997)
* Spirit Electricity (1988, Bad Brains Records)
* Black Dots (recorded in 1979) (1996)
* Banned in D.C. (2003)
* Live at CBGB's 1982 (2006, Music Video Distributors)
* Pump Up the Volume Motion Picture Soundtrack (1990) (Song "Kick Out the Jams"
with Henry Rollins)
* H.R. appeared on the song "Without Jah, Nothin'" by P.O.D., being track 13 on
the 2001 album Satellite.
* H.R. also appeared on the song "New Sun" on Long Beach Dub All-Stars' 1999
debut album Right Back.
* The band contributed the music of their song "Re-Ignition" to a remix of Lil
Jon's "Real Nigga Roll Call".
* The song "I Against I" appeared on the video game Matt Hoffman's pro BMX 2 as
well as EA's skate.
* The song "Banned in DC" appeared on the video game Tony Hawk's Proving
* The song "Right Brigade" appeared on the video game Grand Theft Auto IV.
Legacy and influence
* Henry Rollins, who had been personally encouraged by H.R. to become a singer himself - even to the point where H.R. would drag the young Rollins onstage and make him sing a song with the rest of the band, long before Rollins formed State of Alert or joined Black Flag - considered Bad Brains among the most important rock bands, and Dave Grohl stated that they were the "greatest live band ever". Rapper and hip-hop producer Lil Jon also considers the 'Brains among his favorite bands.
* Moby covered their song "Sailin' On" for the Never Give In: A Tribute to Bad Brains (1999, Century Media) tribute album to the band. Living Colour, No Doubt, HIM, Some Days You Just Can't Get Rid Of A Bomb and John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers have also covered "Sailin' On".
* Dr. Know plays in Mos Def's backing band, Black Jack Johnson. He also played additional guitar on the Coheed and Cambria song "Time Consumer" featured on the album The Second Stage Turbine Blade.
* Billy Corgan credits Bad Brains' combination of thrash and reggae as a primary influence for The Smashing Pumpkins hybrid of soft and loud music after attending a live show by the band in 1986. Years later the Pumpkins had Bad Brains open for them for a show in Paris, which Corgan has cited as a highlight of his career.
* Post-Hardcore band The Bled covered their song "House of Suffering" for the Tony Hawk's American Wasteland soundtrack.
* On their album Soundsystem, 311 covered Bad Brains' song "Leaving Babylon".
* "Pay to Cum" was used in a scene in the 1985 Martin Scorsese film After Hours.
* "Big Takeover" was covered by John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers on his first solo album, Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt, released in 1994.
* "House of Suffering" was covered live by Sublime and is featured on their boxset Everything Under the Sun, released in 2006. Also featured on the boxset is a live performance of "Leaving Babylon".
* "Pay to Cum" was covered by the ska band Skankin' Pickle on their cover album The Green Album.
* Long-time friend and original Bad Brains singer Sid McCray still works with the band today, accompanying them on tour, setting up for shows, and in other capacities.
* Dutch skateboard brand Built To Destroy made a signature model for skateboarder Nelson Mosikili of which the artwork is directly adapted from the artwork from the Destroy Babylon single.
* The Beastie Boys' song "Pass The Mic" contains a guitar riff sample from the Bad Brains song "Big Takeover".
* The Hive song "Ultrasonic Sound," which is featured on The Matrix soundtrack is built off of a sample of Bad Brains' Re-Ignition.
* Brazilian metal band Sepultura covered the song "Gene Machine/Don't Bother Me" as a b-side for their 1998 single, Choke.
* Pro skateboarder Bucky Lasek, a Baltimore native, listed Bad Brains as his No. 1 musical artist on his blog on his official web site, buckylasekskate.com.