Into the Unknown (Bad Religion album)

Last updated

Into the Unknown
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 30, 1983 (1983-11-30) [1]
StudioPerspective Sound, Sun Valley, California
Label Epitaph
Bad Religion chronology
How Could Hell Be Any Worse?
Into the Unknown
Back to the Known

Into the Unknown is the second studio album by Bad Religion, which was released on November 30, 1983. [1] The album marks a distinct departure from the band's previous album; instead of featuring hardcore punk, the album is characterized by slower tempos, use of electronic organ and pianos, and a prog-influenced hard rock sound. Into the Unknown is the only Bad Religion album to feature Paul Dedona on bass and Davy Goldman on drums. Dedona was ejected from the band before their next recording and replaced by Tim Gallegos, [7] while former drummer Pete Finestone returned to the band in 1986. The album also features Bad Religion's longest track to date, "Time and Disregard", which is seven minutes long.


Into the Unknown proved to be the band's most controversial release; despite favorable reviews from music critics, it was a commercial failure, and was characterized as a "misstep" by guitarist Brett Gurewitz. It was not reissued on any format until 2010, when it was issued on vinyl as part of the box set 30 Years of Bad Religion, and has never been reissued on its own.


Gurewitz commented on the album's production on the official Bad Religion website, stating that the album was quickly produced after the release of the band's debut, How Could Hell Be Any Worse? , because the band did not take themselves seriously and didn't think it would last very long, despite the success of their debut and popularity on the underground music scene. [8] Gurewitz said that "not much thought" was put into the album's production. [8] Drummer Pete Finestone and bass player Jay Bentley quit the band as the result of the change in musical style. [8] Bad Religion hired producer Thom Wilson to collaborate with the band during the album's production. [8]

Musical style and influences

Gurewitz and the other band members were very much into progressive rock before getting into punk rock, and wanted to record an album reflecting a prog and avant-garde influence. [8] The album is characterized by slower tempos and use of electronic organ and piano-driven melody. [5] [9]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [5]
Christgau's Record Guide A− [9]

Because of the band's success, they produced more copies of this album than they had of their debut. [8] Gurewitz joked about having "[sent out] ten thousand copies and [getting] eleven thousand back." [10]

In a positive review of the album, The Village Voice critic Robert Christgau said, "I find myself moved by its anthemic ambition--and achievement." [9] John Dougan of AllMusic says that Into the Unknown is "a bit off-putting at first blush, mainly because the tempos are slower and more deliberate, and because of the use of swirling organs and pianos", while he calls it a "terrific record that was perhaps more daring than anyone realized at the time of its release." [5]


Into the Unknown is Bad Religion's most controversial release. [11] The band broke up after the album's release, but reformed in 1985. [11] Gurewitz characterized the album as a "terrible misstep". [8] Although Into the Unknown has never been officially released on CD, bootleg CDs of the album exist. [11]

Greg Graffin recalls that the band only performed material from this album once when it was released; when Bad Religion premiered the material live, only 12 people turned out for the concert because fans learned that the band was going to bring keyboards on stage. The band then decided not to bring keyboards on tour with them and return to their hardcore punk sound. [8] In October 2010, the band performed "Billy Gnosis", the first time in 27 years that Bad Religion had performed any songs from the album in concert. [11] In December, the band released the vinyl box set 30 Years of Bad Religion, which reissued all 15 of the band's LPs, including Into the Unknown. [11] The band's website offers commentaries from Greg Graffin and Brett Gurewitz. [11] "The Dichotomy" was repeatedly played live in 2019.

Only four songs have been played live off this album: "It's Only Over When...", "Billy Gnosis", "The Dichotomy" and "...You Give Up".

Track listing

Side one
1."It's Only Over When…"Graffin3:36
2."Chasing the Wild Goose"Gurewitz2:50
3."Billy Gnosis"Gurewitz3:31
4."Time and Disregard
  • Part I
  • Part II
  • Part III
  • Part IV"
  • 1:19
  • 1:48
  • 1:58
  • 1:57
Side two
5."The Dichotomy"Gurewitz4:52
6."Million Days"Graffin3:47
7."Losing Generation"Graffin3:37
8."…You Give Up"Graffin2:55
Total length:32:11


Related Research Articles

Bad Religion American punk rock band

Bad Religion is an American punk rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1980. The band's lyrics cover topics related to religion, politics, society, the media and science. Musically, they are noted for their melodic sensibilities and extensive use of three-part vocal harmonies. The band has experienced multiple line-up changes, with singer Greg Graffin being the band's only constant member, though fellow founding members Jay Bentley and Brett Gurewitz have also been with the band for most of their history while guitarist Brian Baker has been a member of the group since 1994. Guitarist Mike Dimkich and drummer Jamie Miller have been members of the band since 2013 and 2015 respectively. To date, Bad Religion has released seventeen studio albums, two live albums, three compilation albums, three EPs, and two live DVDs. They are considered to be one of the best-selling punk rock acts of all time, having sold over five million albums worldwide.

<i>Generator</i> (Bad Religion album) 1992 studio album by Bad Religion

Generator is the sixth studio album by the punk rock band Bad Religion. Although the album was completed in the spring of 1991, it was not released until 1992; the band was not happy with the artwork and packaging, and went through several ideas that were eventually scrapped. Generator was the band's first release with drummer Bobby Schayer, who replaced Pete Finestone during the Against the Grain tour.

<i>Suffer</i> (album) 1988 studio album by Bad Religion

Suffer is the third album by American punk rock band Bad Religion, released on the Californian independent record label Epitaph Records on September 8, 1988. It was the first album that was both released and distributed by the label. Following the release of the EP Back to the Known (1985), Bad Religion went on a temporary hiatus, then reunited with its original members and went to work on their first full-length studio album in five years.

Greg Graffin American singer and academic

Gregory Walter Graffin is an American singer and evolutionary biologist. He is most recognized as the lead vocalist and only constant member of punk rock band Bad Religion, which he co-founded in 1980. He embarked on a solo career in 1997, when he released the album American Lesion. His follow-up album, Cold as the Clay, was released nine years later. His newest solo work is Millport, released in 2017.

Brett Gurewitz American guitarist

Brett W. Gurewitz, nicknamed Mr. Brett, is an American musician best known as the lead guitarist of Bad Religion. He is also the owner of the music label Epitaph Records and a number of sister labels. He has produced albums for Bad Religion as well as Epitaph Records labelmates NOFX, Rancid, and Pennywise, among others. Gurewitz also had a project called Error, which also featured Atticus Ross, Leopold Ross, and Greg Puciato. He is also the co-founder of comic book and graphic novel publisher, Black Mask Studios.

<i>Stranger Than Fiction</i> (Bad Religion album) 1994 studio album by Bad Religion

Stranger than Fiction is the eighth full-length studio album by American punk rock band Bad Religion, released in 1994. It was a major breakthrough for Bad Religion, being certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America and becoming the band's first album to chart on the Billboard 200, peaking at 87.

<i>The New America</i> 2000 studio album by Bad Religion

The New America is the eleventh studio album by punk band Bad Religion. It was released in 2000 and is their last album on Atlantic Records.

<i>No Control</i> (Bad Religion album) 1989 studio album by Bad Religion

No Control is the fourth album by American punk rock band Bad Religion, released on November 2, 1989, through Epitaph Records. Bad Religion began work on the album while touring in support of their previous album, Suffer (1988). No Control is stylistically faster than its predecessor, owing more to hardcore punk. Additionally, it was the first Bad Religion album not to feature a lineup change from the previous album.

<i>Recipe for Hate</i> 1993 studio album by Bad Religion

Recipe for Hate is the seventh studio album by American punk rock band Bad Religion, released on June 4, 1993. It was their last album on Epitaph Records for nine years and the band had switched to Atlantic Records, who re-released the album several months after its release.

<i>The Gray Race</i> 1996 studio album by Bad Religion

The Gray Race is the ninth full-length album of the punk rock band Bad Religion, which was released in 1996. It was the follow-up to the band's highly successful 1994 album Stranger Than Fiction.

<i>S&M Airlines</i> 1989 studio album by NOFX

S&M Airlines is the second studio album by the American punk rock band NOFX. It was released on September 5, 1989, through Epitaph Records. It was also the group's first release on Epitaph. A music video was made for the title track. The album was recorded and mixed in only six days at Westbeach Recorders. Bad Religion's Greg Graffin and Brett Gurewitz appear on the final track, a cover of the Fleetwood Mac song "Go Your Own Way". They also did harmonies on a few other songs. Bassist/singer, Fat Mike considers it to be the first real NOFX album. It was heavily inspired by Bad Religion and Rich Kids on LSD, and showed the band moving more towards a melodic and metallic sound. The album sold 3,500 copies upon its release.

<i>Against the Grain</i> (Bad Religion album) 1990 studio album by Bad Religion

Against the Grain is the fifth album by American punk rock band Bad Religion, released on November 23, 1990. It was the last album recorded with drummer Pete Finestone, who left in 1991 to concentrate with his new project The Fishermen. Following his departure, the band's music would take a different direction on their next album, 1992's Generator. Against the Grain was also the first Bad Religion album not to feature a lineup change from the previous two albums.

Greg Hetson American musician

Greg Hetson is an American guitarist. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and has lived in the Los Angeles area since he was 2 years old. Active since 1979, Hetson is best known as the guitarist for the influential hardcore punk bands Redd Kross, Circle Jerks and Bad Religion. He is known for his high energy stage antics which people have coined the term "The Hetson Leap ". Hetson was a founding member of and also plays guitar in another supergroup, Punk Rock Karaoke, and the hardcore punk band G.F.P.

<i>Bad Religion</i> (EP) 1981 EP by Bad Religion

Bad Religion is the first official recording by the Los Angeles punk rock band Bad Religion. It was released in February 1981 by guitarist Brett Gurewitz's record label Epitaph Records, with the catalog number EPI 001.

<i>How Could Hell Be Any Worse?</i> 1982 studio album by Bad Religion

How Could Hell Be Any Worse? is the first full-length album by American punk rock band Bad Religion, released on January 19, 1982 by Epitaph Records. Released almost a year after their self-titled EP, it was financed by a $3,000 loan by guitarist Brett Gurewitz's father. Its success surprised the band when it sold 10,000 copies in under a year.

<i>Back to the Known</i> 1985 EP by Bad Religion

Back to the Known is the second EP released by American punk rock band Bad Religion. The name of the EP is a reference to the band abandoning the progressive rock influences of its previous album, 1983's Into the Unknown, and returning to its punk roots.

<i>Cold as the Clay</i> 2006 studio album by Greg Graffin

Cold as the Clay is the second solo album by Bad Religion's vocalist Greg Graffin. It was released on July 10, 2006 in Europe, and the following day in the United States. It follows on from Graffin's 1997 release of American Lesion.

<i>Along the Way</i> 1990 American film

Along the Way is the first live concert DVD from punk band Bad Religion. The concert footage was taken from fourteen different European stops on their 1989 tour for the album, Suffer. It was originally released on VHS in Germany in 1990 and in the United States in the following year, and on DVD for the first time in 2004, coinciding with the reissues of the band's pre-Recipe for Hate albums. Both the VHS and DVD have the same cover shown on the right, which depicts Jay Bentley with his bass, while the European VHS depicts guitarist Brett Gurewitz and singer Greg Graffin singing along with each other.

<i>80–85</i> 1991 compilation album by Bad Religion

80–85 is the first compilation album by Bad Religion, released in 1991. It is a collection of their early recordings, predating their third studio album Suffer (1988), excluding their controversial 1983 album Into the Unknown.


  1. 1 2 "Images for Bad Religion - Into The Unknown".
  2. Daly (March 1, 2018). "Throwback Thursday ~ Never forget that time punk rock legends Bad Religion released a "prog rock" album and really confused everyone". K Rock 105.7. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  3. "Bad Religion's Prog Record - Into The Unknown". Peace & Rhythm. January 27, 2017.
  4. Roche, Jason (November 25, 2013). "The Bad Religion Album Everyone Hated". LA Weekly .
  5. 1 2 3 4 Dougan, John. "Into the Unknown - Bad Religion | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic . Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  6. 1 2 Gamboa, Glenn (March 30, 2010). "Interview with Brian Baker, a Member of the Best Teen-Punk Band Ever and the Greatest 40-Something Punk Band Ever" . Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  7. Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Biography: Bad Religion". AMG . Retrieved May 7, 2010.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Into The Unknown". Bad Religion | New Album 'Age of Unreason'.
  9. 1 2 3 Christgau, Robert (1990). "B". Christgau's Record Guide: The '80s . Pantheon Books. ISBN   0-679-73015-X . Retrieved August 16, 2020 via
  10. Brett Gurewitz (2002). Punk-O-Rama DVD Volume 1 (DVD). Epitaph Records.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 The Bear (October 27, 2010). "Album Review: Bad Religion – "Into the Unknown"". Big Smile Magazine. Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. Retrieved December 29, 2010.
  12. "Bad Religion - Into The Unknown". Discogs.