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Banned in DC: Bad Brains' Greatest Riffs [Astralwerks]

Bad Brains 4/8/2003


Culled from Bad Brains' late-'70s and '80s albums, the superb 2003 anthology, Banned in DC: Bad Brains' Greatest Riffs, offers a detailed sketch of the Washington group's early influential punk sound. Bridging the gap between rambunctious, lo-fi '70s hardcore, '80s metal, and even prefiguring '90s grunge, Bad Brains' fluid combination of punk and reggae, played from the hip with a loose, jazz-infused adroitness, remains as staggeringly mind-blowing today as it was on 1982's eponymous Bad Brains. For most casual listeners, starting, and perhaps even ending, with that 1982 eponymous album, will be the most logical and satisfying primer to the group's sound. However, the band kept raging throughout the '80s, reaching another apex with the equally as inspired, and more mature 1986 album I Against I. Although there have been several Bad Brains collections, Banned in DC works the best at fully encompassing the group's transformation over the years. Thoughtfully compiled by the group's longtime manager Anthony Countey, Banned in DC starts with Bad Brains' 1978 demo, Black Dots, and runs through their classic 1982 eponymous full-length debut, with stop-offs at 1983's Rock for Light, 1986's I Against I, and 1989's Quickness. Pretty much all of the major Bad Brains touchstones are here including, "Pay to Cum," "Regulator," "F.V.K. (Fearless Vampire Killers)," "Sail On," "With the Quickness," "I Luv I Jah," "Riot Squad," and others. Ultimately, no album can fully replace 1982's Bad Brains as the definitive entryway for neophyte punks on a pilgrimage to Bad Brains mecca, but Banned in DC goes the furthest toward laying out the complete picture of the group's own journey toward D.I.Y. enlightenment. ~ Matt Collar
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Pay to Cum Bad Brains 1:30
  3. 2 Don't Bother Me Bad Brains 2:32
  4. 3 Regulator Bad Brains 1:19
  5. 4 Sailin' On Bad Brains 1:50
  6. 5 How Low Can a Punk Get? Bad Brains 2:31
  7. 6 At the Movies Bad Brains 2:16
  8. 7 With the Quickness Bad Brains 2:43
  9. 8 Soul Craft Bad Brains 3:4
  10. 9 Voyage to Infinity Bad Brains 3:10
  11. 10 Banned in D.C. Bad Brains 2:2
  12. 11 Big Takeover Bad Brains 2:51
  13. 12 Joshua's Song Bad Brains 0:33
  14. 13 I and I Survive Bad Brains 5:16
  15. 14 The Meek Bad Brains 3:34
  16. 15 The Prophet's Eye Bad Brains 4:22
  17. 16 Riot Squad [Unreleased Master] Bad Brains 2:22

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