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Bad Brains Explicit Lyrics, Original recording reissued

4.8 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Legendary hardcore-punk album from 1982, considered the definitive landmark for breaking the NYC hardcore scene. All material on this CD was recorded at 171-A Studios, NYC, during August, September, and October 1981, except "Pay to Cum," "I Luv I Jah," "Jah Clling Dub" recorded live at 171-A on May 16, 1981. Liner Notes by Ira Kaplan. With Lyrics.

Review

"The Best Hardcore/Punk Album Of All Time." -- Adam Yauch- Beastie Boys

"They've actually taken a genre, shaken it and reshaped it, totally and finally. 5 STARS." -- Sounds UK

"You say you want hardcore? I say the Brains'll give you hardcore coming straight up the ***." -- Greg Tate- Village Voice
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 1, 2016)
  • Original Release Date: April 1, 2016
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Explicit Lyrics, Original recording reissued
  • Label: ROIR
  • ASIN: B000001Q3T
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,711 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark A. Carter on April 18, 2006
Format: Audio CD
From lunatic speed/thrash/metal/punk hardcore to low-tempo reggae, this album is a frenzied mix of two styles with more hits than misses. You won't get any faster riffs than 'Don't need it' or 'Sailin on' & the drumming is just insane. Lyrics are sung so fast as to be indecipherable and are more like sonic accompaniment than lead vocals. All sneers, yelps and high-pitched wailing sung like a machine gun at breakneck speed. But what really sets this album apart is the musicianship on display. Every crazed lick seems deliberately placed and there are some truly awesome slower numbers like 'The Regulator' which are almost traditional classic rock. The reggae songs make a welcome change of pace & give you a chance to catch your breath before the next maniacal crescendo of sound assaults your ears. Great album. Lots of fun, energy and old-school oomph!
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Format: Audio CD
Before I bought this record, I had read about Bad Brains and thought I knew what they were all about. Nothing, however, could prepare me for the brutal reality of this monumental album. Shivers ran up my spine, my gut twisted in knots, and all I could do was sit there until it was over. A stunning lesson on the power of experience.
What makes these four men and their music great? They absolutely defy convention, like the Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin and the Sex Pistols before them. A group of rastafarians from D.C. influenced by white boys from Britain and a little place called Queens? Crazy fast and loud songs interspersed with reggae segues? Their eclectic mix of influences and unconventional messages work because they really believe in what they say and do. Their timing and placement of songs on the record are also flawless, keeping constant tension on the listener and always delivering.
I am a big fan of HR's lyrics, which mix the political fire of the Clash with the spiritual and emancipation facets of the gemstone that is Bob Marley. Occasionally at odds with the words, the music simply did not belong in the pop culture environment of the early 80's. This pleases me, because the less people that like a band, the more personal they seem to their fans. I'm not saying any further expansion of the Brains' fan base is prohibited, but anyone without a real appreciation of music need not apply. No complaining about unpolished prodution, either, because that does not matter one iota if the music has real feeling.
What else can be said of the band that birthed hardcore? They are the most intense musicians you are ever likely to hear in this lifetime, unless there is a revolution in the recording industry.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is a rollercoaster. The fastest punk/hardcore songs (i.e.: "sailin' on" , "don't need it", "banned in d.c.", etc) are the steep downhill drops. The few calm reggae masterpieces are the slow, steady uphill climbing sections before you reached the top and go whirling dowhill again. All of this album is enchanting. The only thing a first listener must get used to is the at-times-high-pitched voice of H.R., which as you listen to the music more you learn to love. The power cord usage and solos of guitarist Dr. Know prove his talent. This musicianship equally matches the throbbing basslines and intense drumming of Darryl and Earl. If you respect the best of the best music, the truest hardcore punk, listen to this Bad Brains work and you'll be hooked. Every second of this roller coaster is well worth one's time.
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Format: Audio CD
Make no mistake, if you have never heard Bad Brains before, they are not for everyone. At times they can make bands like Black Flag sound like Destiny's Child, and this album will just plain kick your teeth in. The first thing that will grab you is Dr. Know's whirlwind guitar that carries you through their barrage of speed and thrash, but it's all held together by a terrific rhythm section. Bad Brains were influenced by reggae from the very start and it shows on their albums, there are a couple of reggae tunes. If you like it hardcore and haven't heard them yet, start with this one.
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Format: Audio CD
Bad Brains can be credited with inventing hardcore, and along with Minor Threat, they proved that you could play incredibly loud and incredibly fast and still be very musical and intelligent. Not only are Bad Brains a great hardcore punk band, they're also a great reggae dub band as the tracks "Jah Calling" and "I Love I Jah" prove. As for the punk tunes, you can't get any better than "Sailin' On," "Pay To Cum," "Attitude," etc. No other band can really match the intensity of these guys. The sound quality on the self-titled release can be a little poor at times, but the songs themselves make you forget those problems. H.R.'s sometimes high-pitched vocals might take some time to get used to, but in the end, this should become a favorite record of yours. Every fan of hardcore/punk should own this.
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Format: Audio CD
Make no mistake: BAD BRAINS INVENTED HARDCORE. I'm serious -- even Minor Threat was a regular old punk band until they heard these guys play. Bad Brains got together as a jazz group in the late 70s, but they gradually turned into the founding fathers of high-speed mayhem, and this album says it all. Nearly every song is a hardcore standard, and nearly every riff has been stolen by a less talented band. Not only that, but they're possibly the only *positive* hardcore band out there -- none of the "you stabbed me in the back" lyrics that you hear WAY too much in N.Y.H.C.
Is this the best BB album? Lots of people argue about it. Black Dots sounds rawer, Rock for Light has more reggae songs, The Youth Are Getting Restless is a great live album, and I Against I (and the older Omega Sessions) has a more unique rock sound. Personally, I think that this album (Bad Brains) is their tightest group of hardcore songs, but the best way to settle the argument for yourself is to buy ALL of the albums I just mentioned. When you're done listening to them, I think you'll agree that this one band, especially this one album, set the standard for all loud-fast rock groups.
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