Institutionalized (song)

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Suicidal Tendencies - Institutionalized (Single).jpg
Single by Suicidal Tendencies
from the album Suicidal Tendencies
Format 7-inch single
Label Frontier
Producer(s) Glen E. Friedman
Suicidal Tendencies singles chronology
"Possessed to Skate"

"Institutionalized" is a song by American crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies. It was released in 1983 as the only single from their debut album, Suicidal Tendencies . "Institutionalized" is one of the band's most popular songs and has remained a live staple since it was first played in 1982. [1] The song was re-recorded on the band's 1993 album Still Cyco After All These Years ; this version was nominated for the Grammy for Best Metal Performance in 1994, but lost to Ozzy Osbourne's live version of "I Don't Want to Change the World".

Crossover thrash is a fusion genre of thrash metal and hardcore punk. The genre lies on a continuum between heavy metal and hardcore punk. Other genres on the same continuum, such as metalcore and grindcore, may overlap with crossover thrash.

Suicidal Tendencies American crossover thrash band

Suicidal Tendencies are an American crossover thrash band formed in 1980 in Venice, California by vocalist Mike Muir, who is the only remaining original member of the band. Along with D.R.I., Corrosion of Conformity, and Stormtroopers of Death, they are often credited as one of "the fathers of crossover thrash". Their current lineup includes Muir, guitarists Dean Pleasants and Ben Weinman, bassist Ra Díaz and drummer Dave Lombardo. Notable musicians who have contributed to the band's studio or live activities include guitarists Rocky George and Mike Clark, bassists Louiche Mayorga, Robert Trujillo, Josh Paul and Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner, and drummers Amery Smith, Jimmy DeGrasso, Brooks Wackerman, David Hidalgo Jr., Thomas Pridgen and session musician Josh Freese.

<i>Suicidal Tendencies</i> (album) 1983 studio album by Suicidal Tendencies

Suicidal Tendencies is the debut studio album by American crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies. The album was released on July 5, 1983, through Frontier Records with the catalog number FLP 011. It became one of the best-selling punk albums at the time and launched the band into its future success. Suicidal Tendencies has received positive reviews from music critics, and by 1993, the album had sold at least 400,000 copies. "Institutionalized" was released as a single to promote the album.


The original version of the song was featured on the long-out of print compilation album F.N.G. , while the Still Cyco After All These Years version appears on Prime Cuts and Playlist: The Very Best of Suicidal Tendencies , which was not endorsed by the band. The song was also included in the 12-inch EP Institutionalised, which was released exclusively in the UK in 1988 after Suicidal Tendencies had risen in popularity. [2]

<i>F.N.G.</i> (album) 1992 compilation album by Suicidal Tendencies

F.N.G. is a compilation album by hardcore/crossover band Suicidal Tendencies.

<i>Prime Cuts</i> (Suicidal Tendencies album) 1997 greatest hits album by Suicidal Tendencies

Prime Cuts is a compilation released by American crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies. It was released in 1997 on Epic Records.

<i>Playlist: The Very Best of Suicidal Tendencies</i> 2010 greatest hits album by Suicidal Tendencies

Playlist: The Very Best of Suicidal Tendencies is a 2010 best-of compilation album released on Sony Legacy, featuring a collection of Suicidal Tendencies' music with the label.

Song structure

The music was written by Louiche Mayorga [3] when he was in Suicidal Tendencies and lyrics by Mike Muir. The music video follows what is presumably a teenage Muir through a series of social conflicts with friends and, more significantly, parents. The protagonist's friends notice his behavior and suggest talking about it, only for him to refuse any help. This then continues with his parents, who are convinced that he is on drugs and needs help with his mental health. Once again, this results in retaliation and denial from the protagonist, who suggests that everyone else needs help with their mental health. The lyrics in the verses are not sung, but spoken in a run-on sentence style. They are complemented by the lead guitar, subdued at the start of the verses, but becoming more frantic and powerful with the protagonist's confrontations and emotional outbursts.

Louiche Mayorga American musician

Louiche Mayorga is best known for his bass playing in the Venice Beach punk band Suicidal Tendencies. He co-wrote many of their earlier songs including the punk classic "Institutionalized" from their 1983 debut album on Frontier, as well as" "War Inside My Head," "Possessed to Skate." and the title track "Join the Army" from their second release on Caroline. He has also played for Venice bands; Los Cycos, Uncle Slam, Horny Toad, AgainST and most recently joined forces with his long-time friends Beowülf playing bass on their new album, entitled Jesus Freak. Mayorga is currently playing bass in Luicidal, who plays songs from Suicidal Tendencies' first three albums and has released original material.

Mike Muir American musician

Michael Allen "Mike" Muir is the lead vocalist of the Venice, California crossover thrash bands Suicidal Tendencies, Los Cycos and the funk metal band Infectious Grooves. He has also released several solo albums under his nickname Cyco Miko. Muir's trademark is wearing bandanas, jerseys with the number 13, and hats with block style letters that read "suicidal."


Although "Institutionalized" was never a hit in the charts, the song received regular airplay on the Los Angeles radio station KROQ, when DJ Rodney Bingenheimer added it to their playlist, and it was ranked #23 on the radio station's "Top 106.7 Songs of 1983" countdown list. [4] "Institutionalized" was also the first hardcore punk song to receive significant airplay on MTV and is considered to be one of the songs that defines both genres. [5] Along with "Subliminal", "I Saw Your Mommy" and "I Shot the Devil", "Institutionalized" is one of the most played songs from Suicidal Tendencies, [6] and has frequently been performed at the band's concerts since its live debut in 1982. [1]

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of nearly four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.

KROQ-FM Alternative rock radio station in Los Angeles

KROQ-FM is a radio station licensed to Pasadena, California serving the Greater Los Angeles Area. Owned by Entercom, it broadcasts an alternative rock format, branding itself as The World Famous KROQ.

Rodney Bingenheimer American DJ

Rodney Bingenheimer is an American radio disc jockey who was on the Los Angeles rock station KROQ. He joined SiriusXM's Little Steven's Underground Garage on July 16, 2017. He is notable for helping numerous bands become successful in the American market. His contribution to the music business has been described as important. He developed a reputation for being the first American D.J. to identify new artists and play "edgy new bands" such as Blondie, the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, Van Halen, Guns N' Roses, Duran Duran, The Cure, Joan Jett, Hole, Symbol Six, No Doubt, Blur, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, The Bangles, X, Germs and many others.

Music video

The original video for "Institutionalized" was premiered on MTV in 1984. Slayer's Tom Araya appears in the video, along with actors Jack Nance and Mary Woronov. The video follows Muir as he walks through the streets and skate parks of his hometown while never breaking eye contact with the camera. It features his "mom" and "dad" building Muir a homemade padded room from which he escapes with the help of his friends. Muir is later seen on stage, until the end of the video when he returns home. Although Rocky George did not play on the album version of "Institutionalized", he can be seen in on stage in the video performing the song with Suicidal Tendencies.

MTV American pay television channel

MTV is an American pay television channel launched on August 1, 1981 that serves as the flagship property of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom headquartered in New York City.

Slayer American thrash metal band

Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman and vocalist and bassist Tom Araya. Slayer's fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer's current lineup comprises King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Hanneman and drummers Dave Lombardo and Jon Dette are former members of the band.

Tom Araya American singer and bassist

Tomás Enrique Araya Díaz is a Chilean-American musician, best known as the lead vocalist and bassist of the American thrash metal band Slayer. Araya is ranked fifty-eighth by Hit Parader on their list of the 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time.

A video was also made for the Still Cyco After All These Years version. In the video, Muir's parents are locked up and try to escape. The scientist who attempted to lobotomize Muir in the video for "Trip at the Brain" appears in the video as well.

"Trip at the Brain" is a song by American crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies. It is the first track on their 1988 third album How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today and was the album's first single. It is also the first track on the 2010 compilation album Playlist: The Very Best of Suicidal Tendencies, which was not endorsed by the band.

Usage and covers

A cover of the song is included in the music video game Guitar Hero II for PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360. The song was also featured in the game Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX 2 (2002). It was also popularly covered by the band Senses Fail, and this version can be heard in skateboarding video game Tony Hawk's American Wasteland (where one notable difference is that "Buddy" replaces "Mike" on the lyrics). Thrash metal band Evildead covered the main riff on their first release, the track was entitled "S.T. Riff".

The song appears in the films Iron Man , Repo Man , The Brady Bunch Movie , and also on television. In an episode from the second season of Miami Vice, the band appeared as themselves, playing it in a bar scene. [7] The video for the song was also favorably featured in an episode of Beavis and Butt-head

A 2012 tribute album to the Repo Man soundtrack, A Tribute to Repo Man by American Laundromat Records, featured a cover of the song by Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra. [8]

"Institutionalized" is referenced in the Sage Francis song "Slow Down Gandhi" in the line "It's death penalty vs. suicidal tendencies / All I wanted was a fucking Pepsi / Institution / Making you think you're crazy is a billion dollar industry." Part of the song "My Chemical Imbalance" by punk rock band Guttermouth parodies this song. Australian band Cloud Control use the line "I'm not crazy/You're the one that's crazy" in their song "Moonrabbit" from their album Dream Cave. Limp Bizkit and Cypress Hill have both made references to the "All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi" line.

A version of this song also appeared on Kiki and Herb's 2004 CD Kiki and Herb Will Die for You: Live at Carnegie Hall along with some of the character's fictional backstory on a track called "Institutionalized".

The Portland Cello Project and guitarist/vocalist Alan Sparhawk (from Minnesota bands Low and Retribution Gospel Choir) performed a version of the song in May 2012 for The A.V. Club 's A.V. Undercover series. [9]

The Radioactive Chicken Heads recorded a novelty cover of the song for their 2000 album Keep On Cluckin', featuring high-pitched vocals mirroring Alvin and the Chipmunks. According to lead singer Carrot Topp, the choice to record the cover as such stemmed from his disappointment with the song selection on the 1980 Chipmunks album Chipmunk Punk . The cover was later re-released on their 2009 rarities album Poultry Uprising.

Body Count covered the song on their 2014 album Manslaughter as Institutionalized 2014, with lyrics updated to mirror more current social issues.

Andy Merrill has covered the song in the character of Brak from the animated television show Space Ghost Coast To Coast for a Dr. Demento compilation of punk covers. [10]

Related Research Articles

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Still Cyco After All These Years is the seventh studio album by American crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies, released in 1993. The album is composed of re-recorded songs from the band's 1983 debut album, Suicidal Tendencies, re-recordings of "War Inside My Head" and "A Little Each Day" from the band's second album, Join the Army, and "Don't Give Me Your Nothin'" which was previously released as a b-side to "Send Me Your Money". Despite containing re-recordings of previously released material, Still Cyco After All These Years has been classified as a studio album rather than a compilation.

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  1. 1 2 "Institutionalized by Suicidal Tendencies Song Statistics". Retrieved 2014-03-21.
  2. "Suicidal Tendencies – Institutionalised (Vinyl)". Discogs . Retrieved 2013-05-27.
  3. "Louichi Mayorga - Punk Globe"
  4. "The KROQ Top 106.7 Songs of 1983". Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  5. :: Suicidal Tendencies
  6. "Suicidal Tendencies - Tour Statistics". Retrieved 2014-03-21.
  7. Murphy, Tom (16 April 2013). "Suicidal Tendencies' Mike Muir on being on Miami Vice and tangling with the Secret Service". Westword . Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  8. Nelson, Michael (September 17, 2012). "Amanda Palmer & The Grand Theft Orchestra – "Institutionalized" (Suicidal Tendencies Cover)". Stereogum .
  9. "The Portland Cello Project and Alan Sparhawk of Low cover Suicidal Tendencies" . Retrieved March 31, 2013.
  10. "Please Enjoy Brak Covering Suicidal Tendencies' "Institutionalized"". Stereogum. 12 January 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2018.