Bad Brains performing in Baltimore in 2007
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|Origin||Washington, D.C., United States|
Bad Brains are an American rock band formed in Washington, D.C. in 1977. They are widely regarded as among the pioneers of hardcore punk,though the band's members have objected to this term to describe their music. They are also an adept reggae band, while later recordings featured elements of other genres like funk, heavy metal, hip hop and soul. Bad Brains are followers of the Rastafari movement.
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, the first president of the United States and a Founding Father. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually.
Hardcore punk is a punk rock music genre and subculture that originated in the late 1970s. It is generally faster, harder, and more aggressive than other forms of punk rock. Its roots can be traced to earlier punk scenes in San Francisco and Southern California which arose as a reaction against the still predominant hippie cultural climate of the time. It was also inspired by New York punk rock and early proto-punk. New York punk had a harder-edged sound than its San Francisco counterpart, featuring anti-art expressions of masculine anger, energy, and subversive humor. Hardcore punk generally disavows commercialism, the established music industry and "anything similar to the characteristics of mainstream rock" and often addresses social and political topics with "confrontational, politically-charged lyrics."
Originally formed as a jazz fusion ensemble under the name Mind Power,Bad Brains developed a very fast and intense punk rock sound which came to be labeled "hardcore", and was often played faster and more emphatically than many of their peers. The unique factor of the band's music was the fact that they played more complex rhythms than other hardcore punk bands, also adapting non-punk style guitar riffs and solos into their songs.
Jazz fusion is a music genre that developed in the late 1960s when musicians combined jazz harmony and improvisation with rock music, funk, and rhythm and blues. Electric guitars, amplifiers, and keyboards that were popular in rock and roll started to be used by jazz musicians, particularly those who had grown up listening to rock and roll.
Punk rock is a rock music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, fast-paced songs with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels.
A guitar solo is a melodic passage, instrumental section, or entire piece of music written for a classical guitar, electric guitar or an acoustic guitar. In the 20th and 21st century traditional music and popular music such as blues, swing, jazz, jazz fusion, rock and metal guitar solos often contain virtuoso techniques and varying degrees of improvisation. Guitar solos on classical guitar, which are typically written in musical notation, are also used in classical music forms such as chamber music and concertos.
Bad Brains have released nine studio albums (one of which is entirely composed of instrumental versions of their early material). The band broke up and reformed several times over the years, sometimes with different singers or drummers. Since 1994, the "classic" lineup of singer H.R. (Human Rights), guitarist Dr. Know, bassist Darryl Jenifer, and drummer Earl Hudson has reunited, albeit performing sporadically. In 2013 keyboardist Jamie Saft was recruited to play with the band, fulfilling both live and studio roles. Chogyi Lama performed with the group live 2016–17.
I & I Survived is the seventh full-length studio album by hardcore punk pioneers Bad Brains.
Paul D. Hudson, known professionally as H.R., is an American musician who leads the hardcore punk band Bad Brains. His vocal delivery has been described as diverse, ranging from a rapid-fire nasal whine, to feral growling and screeches, to smooth near-crooning or staccato reggae rhymes. He has departed the band periodically to pursue solo efforts that are more reggae than Bad Brains' punk/metal sound. He is the older brother of Earl Hudson, Bad Brains' drummer.
Gary Miller, better known by his stage name Dr. Know, is the guitarist for Bad Brains, regarded as one of punk rock's most innovative and important bands. Critic Rick Anderson praises Miller's "ability to meld the raw directness of hardcore punk with an almost supernatural virtuosity without sacrificing the power of either approach".
The band was first founded in 1976 as a jazz fusion ensemble called Mind Powerin the mold of bands such as Chick Corea's Return to Forever and John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra as well as R&B musician Stevie Wonder. In 1977, their friend Sid McCray introduced 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 "good". Despite their burgeoning punk sound, the early Bad Brains, after seeing Bob Marley in concert, also delved deep into reggae music and the Rastafari movement. Sid McCray became their first singer but left in the early days of the group's hardcore punk era, and guitarist H.R. became the band's new singer.
Armando Anthony "Chick" Corea is an American jazz pianist/electric keyboardist and composer. His compositions "Spain", "500 Miles High", "La Fiesta" and "Windows", are considered jazz standards. As a member of Miles Davis's band in the late 1960s, he participated in the birth of jazz fusion. In the 1970s he formed the fusion band Return to Forever. With Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Tom Coster, and Keith Jarrett, he has been described as one of the major jazz piano voices to emerge in the post-John Coltrane era.
Return to Forever is a jazz fusion group founded and led by pianist Chick Corea. Through its existence, the band has had many members, with the only consistent bandmate of Corea's being bassist Stanley Clarke. Along with Weather Report and Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever is often cited as one of the core groups of the jazz-fusion movement of the 1970s. Several musicians, including Clarke, Flora Purim, Airto Moreira and Al Di Meola, first came to prominence through their performances on Return to Forever albums.
John McLaughlin, also known as Mahavishnu John McLaughlin, is an English guitarist, bandleader and composer. His music includes many genres of jazz, combined with elements of rock, Indian classical music, Western classical music, flamenco, and blues. He is one of the pioneering figures in fusion.
The band developed an early reputation in Washington D.C., due in part to the relative novelty of an entirely black band playing punk rock at the time, but also due to their high-energy performances and undeniable talent.
In 1979, Bad Brains found themselves the subject of an unofficial ban among 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, where they would serve as a catalyst for that city's burgeoning hardcore scene. At first, the Brains stayed with their NYC friends in the bands The Mad and The Stimulators.
Joji Tani, known as Screaming Mad George, is a special effects artist, film director, and former musician. He was born in Osaka, Japan, and emigrated to the United States, where he has become known for his surreal, gory special effects. He has collaborated with director and producer Brian Yuzna on many films.
The Stimulators were a punk rock band from New York City, US. Although they have a limited discography, they are notable for being consistently cited as an important transitional band between the late-1970s New York City punk rock scene and New York hardcore, and for being the musical entry point for future Cro-Mags founder Harley Flanagan.
Their self-titled debut album was released on Neil Cooper's ROIR on "cassette only" on February 5, 1982, followed in 1983 by Rock for Light , produced by Ric Ocasek of The Cars.
In 1985, Bad Brains' song 'Pay To Cum' was featured in Martin Scorsese's film After Hours.
In 1986, Bad Brains signed with SST Records and released I Against I ,which, in addition to their hardcore punk and reggae sounds, introduced a heavy metal/funk hybrid sound. H.R. provided the vocals for "Sacred Love" over the phone from the Lorton Reformatory while doing a bid for a cannabis charge. Also critically praised was H.R.'s performance: Rick Anderson wrote on AllMusic that, "[HR] 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, H.R. quit the band again, taking his brother Earl with him after spending most of 1987 touring. 1988 dates for the I Against I tour were done with Taj Singleton on vocals and Mackie Jayson on drums. In 1988, Bad Brains signed with Caroline Records, who released their fourth album Quickness the following year. Since vocalist H.R. and his brother, drummer Earl Hudson were unavailable for the recording sessions, Quickness was originally recorded with Taj Singleton on vocals and Mackie Jayson on drums but before Quickness was ready for mastering, H.R. returned, rewrote the lyrics and overdubbed the vocals for Quickness replacing Taj Singleton's recorded lyrics and vocals.
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 and sessions, 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 rock.
H.R. experienced financial problems after an unsuccessful European tour with the group Human Rights and Bad Brains touring replacement singer Taj Singleton did not fit well with the band, so H.R. and Earl both returned for the Quickness tour. After the Quickness tour, H.R. and Earl left once again and H.R. was replaced by former Faith No More vocalist Chuck Mosley. Soon afterwards, Bad Brains broke up yet again.
In 1990, Bad Brains backed longtime friend, fan, and protégé 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 .
As bands influenced by Bad Brains (such as Living Colour and Fishbone) enjoyed commercial success, Dr. Know was approached by Mundane Records in 1992, offering the band a major-label record deal. The former Cro-Mags drummer Mackie Jayson (who had played as a session musician on Quickness), and vocalist Israel Joseph I joined at this time. Rise was released in 1993. The Rise tour began in 1993 with Mackie Jayson on drums and finished in 1994 with drummer Chuck Treece.
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 .In support of the album, Bad Brains opened for the Beastie Boys on the Ill Communication tour, and headlined a U.S. tour with then-unknown Deftones. However, the reunion did not last for long, because of H.R.'s erratic behavior while performing with the band, such as verbally attacking their manager, beating a skinhead and a security guard in separate incidents throughout the tour. These incidents prompted the Bad Brains to break up once again.
Two years later, the band worked together to remaster some early studio recordings which were then released as the EP The Omega Sessions by Victory Records.
From 1998 to 2001, the original lineup toured under the name Soul Brains.A live album, A Bad Brains Reunion Live from Maritime Hall , was released in 2001.
H.R. appeared on the track "Without Jah, Nothin'", on P.O.D.'s Satellite (2001). In 2002, Bad Brains released I & I Survived . In 2004, Lil Jon 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 "Re-Ignition". The recording appeared on the limited-edition release of Lil Jon's album Crunk Juice . The accompanying DVD featured footage of the session.
H.R. performed his song "Who's Got the Herb?" with the band 311 on June 22, 2004, in Long Beach, California. H.R. was also featured in a live song version of "Shame in Dem Game" with Sublime, who are also from Long Beach, California.
In 2005, Darryl Jenifer told Billboard that the band was in the studio recording their first proper studio album in ten years, to be released later in the year. Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys gave interviews indicating that he was producing the sessions, for which basic tracks featuring the original lineup had been recorded. While homeless and faced with severe poverty, H.R. reunited with Bad Brains for two dates at CBGB. While H.R. & Dubb Agents geared up to tour Global Rock Showcases '07 dates, in early January 2007, Bad Brains had Build a Nation released on June 26, 2007. The album debuted at No. 100 on the Billboard 200. Bad Brains played five dates including Sasquatch Fest (June 2007). These were followed by concerts in California and a European tour in October 2007. Upon return to the U.S., the band took stage in Chicago for the Riotfest rock concert. 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. Before the release of the new album, Dr. Know stated he was eager for the band to record more albums. H.R. was ripped off due to poor management through the remainder of 2007. The title of bassist Darryl Jenifer's solo effort is In Search of Black Judas.
In January 2008, the band announced they are working on a box set of 7" vinyl records. Bad Brains toured South America during April 2008 with former singer Israel Joseph I (who was in the Bad Brains from 1991–1994 and appeared on the album Rise), temporarily filling in for H.R. The band performed at the Smoke Out festival in San Bernardino, California on October 24, 2009.As of 2009, two documentaries of the band were in production as well as a documentary focusing on H.R. Bad Brains were planning a three-date tour of Australia in June 2010, but were forced to cancel due to health reasons.
In March 2011, it was reported that Bad Brains had begun work on new material for their follow-up to Build a Nation.In April 2012, H.R. revealed the album would be called Let's Have Fun. However, the title was changed to Into the Future and the album was released on November 20, 2012.
Bad Brains played a short U.S. tour in support of Into the Future including a sold-out show at Howard Theater, Washington, DC, on April 20, 2012. On March 22, 2014, Bad Brains posted a picture of Darryl Jenifer and Dr. Know in the studio on their Facebook page, which indicated that the band has been working on new material.In November 2014, a book was released titled Punk! Hardcore! Reggae! PMA! Bad Brains! by author Greg Prato, which recounted and studied the band's history. The band appears on the HBO documentary Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways .
On May 30, 2015, Bad Brains (minus H.R.) recorded a new EP in a studio in Woodstock, New York in front of approximately 70 people. The EP is part of a series aptly titled, The Woodstock Sessions, and for unknown reasons, H.R. did not participate in the sessions; Jamaican singer Jesse Royal filled in for him.At first it was unclear if H.R. was no longer a member of Bad Brains, but when asked if he would work with him again, guitarist Dr. Know replied, "Only Jah know."
On November 3, 2015, Bad Brains announced on their Facebook page that Dr. Know (Gary Miller) was hospitalized and on life support, after many other musicians reported so. Bad Brains later announced, on November 10, that Dr. Know had come off life support and was "under close care" after a heart attack and subsequent organ failure.His bandmates were asking fans to help via a GoFundMe campaign to pay his expenses for rehabilitation. After nearly three months in the hospital, he was transferred to a medical rehabilitation facility for the physical therapy and other necessary treatment he needed to make a full recovery.
On March 15, 2016, it was reported that Bad Brains frontman H.R. was diagnosed with a rare type of headache called SUNCT, and was seeking $15,000 to fight the "Suicide Syndrome" using methods not covered by health insurance; as a result, a GoFundMe page was created. According to the GoFundMe page, H.R. had dealt with "several health issues" in recent years that he had been able to overcome.
In a December 2016 interview with Rolling Stone , where Dr. Know and bassist Darryl Jenifer talked about the band members' health issues and the status and future of Bad Brains, it was revealed that the band hopes they will record the follow-up to Into the Future, titled Mind Power.
On June 8, the band played an unannounced short gig in Darryl Jenifer's art exhibition. They played three songs with H.R. on vocals, two songs with Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe on vocals and one song with Sid McCray singing with the band for the first time in 39 years.
On April 2017, it was announced the Bad Brains would play an exclusive 40th anniversary set at Riot Fest in Chicago's Douglas Park.On September 16, 2017, they made that Riot Fest appearance, playing ten songs with H.R. on vocals and three songs with Randy Blythe on vocals.
Bad Brains' music has been described as hardcore punk, alternative rock and reggae.Bad Brains have influenced many acts. They were ranked No. 99 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. On October 18, 2016, Bad Brains were nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 but failed to be inducted. They have been eligible since 2008.
I Against I is the third studio album by the American hardcore punk band Bad Brains. It was released in November 1986 through SST Records with the catalog number SST 065. The best-selling album in the band's catalog, I Against I is an album that mixes American hardcore punk with funk, soul, reggae and heavy metal. It is also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The album featured an MTV video for the title track directed by Paul Rachman who later went on to direct the documentary feature film American Hardcore.
Darryl Jenifer is the bassist for the hardcore punk band Bad Brains and for the rap-rock group The White Mandingos. He appeared in TV's Illest Minority Moments presented by ego trip and the three-part ego trip's Race-O-Rama on VH1.
Black Dots is a collection of early songs recorded by Bad Brains. It was recorded at Inner Ear Studios in 1979, which at the time was in Don Zientara's basement. In between songs Zientara's son can be heard talking to H.R. The album was released in 1996 with a complete set of liner notes.
Bad Brains is the debut studio album recorded by American hardcore punk/reggae band Bad Brains. Recorded in 1981 and released on the cassette-only label ROIR on February 5, 1982, many fans refer to it as "The Yellow Tape" because of its yellow packaging, much in the way that the Beatles' self-titled record is often called "The White Album". Though Bad Brains had recorded the 16 song Black Dots album in 1979 and the 5-song Omega Sessions EP in 1980, the ROIR cassette was the band's first release of anything longer than a single.
Rock for Light is the second full-length album by hardcore punk pioneers Bad Brains, released in 1983. A previous album, Bad Brains, was released in 1982 but only on cassette, therefore making Rock for Light Bad Brains' first proper album. It was produced by Ric Ocasek of The Cars. The 1991 re-issue was remixed by Ocasek and bass player Darryl Jenifer. The re-issued version has some extra tracks, an altered track order, significantly different mixes and, on most tracks, a speed increase of the master which results in a raising of the pitch by one-half step.
The Youth Are Getting Restless is a live album from hardcore punk and reggae pioneers Bad Brains, recorded live at the Paradiso Theater in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1987 by the VPRO. The show was part of the band's I Against I tour. It remains one of the group's best selling albums.
Quickness is the fourth full-length studio album by hardcore punk pioneers Bad Brains. At the time of its release, it was the best selling Bad Brains album and also featured an MTV video for the lead-off track "Soul Craft" directed by Paul Rachman who later went on to produce and direct the feature documentary American Hardcore. Drummer Earl Hudson, though pictured on the cover, does not play on the record, as drum parts were instead performed by Mackie Jayson of the Cro-Mags. In an interview with MTV, guitarist Dr. Know said that the album's title comes from urgency and swiftness.
Rise is the fifth full-length studio album by hardcore punk pioneers Bad Brains. It is the first Bad Brains album to be released on a major label and is notable for the absence of two original members: here, a young Israel Joseph I replaces vocalist H.R. and Cro-Mags drummer Mackie Jayson, who was a session musician on the band's previous album Quickness, replaces drummer Earl Hudson.
God of Love is the sixth full-length studio album by the hardcore punk pioneers Bad Brains. It is the band's first album since "I Against I"; released in 1987 with its original lineup. It was released in 1995 on Maverick Records, after the band was signed to the label by Madonna.
A Bad Brains Reunion Live at Maritime Hall is the third live album from hardcore punk and reggae pioneers Bad Brains. It marks the reunion of the band after a four-year breakup. At the time, the band were unable to use the name "Bad Brains" as they were embattled in legal turmoil with their prior management company. For over three years, the band had to tour under the name "Soul Brains" even though the original lineup of Bad Brains was intact.
The Omega Sessions is a 5-song EP recorded by hardcore punk/reggae pioneers Bad Brains in 1980 and released in 1997. The tracks were recorded and mixed at the original Omega Recording Studios in Rockville, Maryland. The EP contains early versions of songs that eventually appeared on later releases, including a reading of "I Against I," which would not appear in its official format for another six years.
Spirit Electricity is an EP from hardcore punk and reggae pioneers Bad Brains recorded live in concert in 1988 during the same tour that spawned the live albums The Youth Are Getting Restless and Live. The EP includes several live classics as well as the only officially available live version of the rare "Return to Heaven."
American Hardcore: The History of American Punk Rock 1980-1986 is a documentary directed by Paul Rachman and written by Steven Blush. It is based on the book American Hardcore: A Tribal History also written by Blush. It was released on September 22, 2006 on a limited basis. The film features some early pioneers of the hardcore punk music scene including Bad Brains, Black Flag, D.O.A., Minor Threat, Minutemen, SSD, and others. It was released on DVD by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on February 20, 2007.
Live at CBGB 1982 is a live album and DVD capturing hardcore punk/reggae group Bad Brains in concert at the historic New York City club CBGB in December 1982. The show features several tracks from the first three Bad Brains albums - Black Dots, Bad Brains, and the soon-to-be-released Rock for Light. The album also contains previously unreleased material, such as the reggae tunes "King of Glory" and "I And I Rasta."
Banned In D.C. is a compilation of hardcore punk and reggae songs by Bad Brains. It is also a book published by Sun Dog Propaganda, a publishing company established by Cynthia Connolly, of photos and anecdotes illustrating the Washington, D.C. punk music scene from 1979-1985.
Build a Nation is the eighth full-length studio album by hardcore punk pioneers Bad Brains. Released on June 26, 2007 on Megaforce Records with distribution by Oscilloscope Laboratories, it was produced by Adam Yauch of Beastie Boys, a longtime friend of the band. This album marked the 30th anniversary of the band.
This is a comprehensive discography of Bad Brains, a Washington, D.C.-based hardcore punk band that also plays reggae and uses styles of funk and heavy metal into their music. To date, the band has released nine full-length studio albums, four EPs, four live recordings, two compilation albums and more than a dozen singles.
Into the Future is the ninth studio album by the American hardcore punk band Bad Brains, which was released on November 20, 2012 on Megaforce Records. It is a tribute dedication to Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys, a longtime friend of the band who died of cancer six months before its release, and produced their previous album Build a Nation. "Popcorn" first appeared on the Bad Brains tribute album "Tribute To Bad Brains", when the band appeared under the name Soul Brains.