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Circle Jerks

Formed in 1979 by Black Flag vocalist Keith Morris and Redd Kross guitarist Greg Hetson, the Circle Jerks combined the rebelliousness of the Sex Pistols and Ramones with the aggressive athletic elements of the surfer/skateboarder crowd from Hermosa Beach. This coastal city just south of Los Angeles ignited the initial explosion of hardcore bands. Including bassist Roger Rogerson and drummer Lucky Lehrer, the band recorded their debut album, Group Sex, in 1980 on Frontier Records. Containing 14 tracks, the songs ranged in length from 1:35 to 27 seconds, taking the hyper blast of punk to the next extreme. With the release of the album, an appearance in the documentary film about L.A. punk The Decline of Western Civilization, and their incendiary live performances, the group's stature was assured in the budding hardcore community. Their second LP, 1982's Wild in the Streets, continued the intensity while injecting a humorous slant into the music by covering '60s pop hits "Just Like Me"/"Put a Little Love in Your Heart," applied with their slamdancing aggression. The joke was expanded on Golden Shower of Hits, their third album, released in 1983. The second time around they tackled "Along Comes Mary," "Afternoon Delight," "Having My Baby," and "Love Will Keep Us Together." Golden Shower also marked the incorporation of a few longer songs that hovered around the three-minute mark, including "Under the Gun," "High Price on Our Heads," and "Rats of Reality." At this point the band took a two-year break, which found Hetson joining the newly formed Bad Religion, taking on guitar duties for both bands well into the next decade. In 1985 the Circle Jerks returned with two new bandmembers, Keith Clark on drums and bassist Zander Schloss, releasing the metal-tinged Wonderful album on the Combat label. The group's new approach received mixed reviews, as their hard and fast thrash was slowed down and replaced by an explicit hard rock thump, which carried over to their next Combat release in 1987, VI. The band kept a low profile into the '90s, with the only Circle Jerks record being the 1992 anthology of concert performances titled Gig. By 1995, the band released its first new studio album in eight years, Oddities, Abnormalities and Curiosities, their major-label debut on Mercury. A highlight among the 12 tracks was a cover version of the Soft Boys' "I Wanna Destroy You," featuring a truly odd vocal appearance by Circle Jerks' fan Debbie Gibson, who would sporadically show up at gigs and perform the song with the band! By 1996 the years of rough touring caught up with the bandmembers and once again they went on hiatus. Morris in particular had been plagued by serious health problems, including a back injury that forced him to wear a brace, colon and stomach problems including appendicitis, and a 1999 diagnosis of adult onset diabetes. Since Morris had no health insurance, benefits were held to curtail his enormous medical bills, allowing the now dreadlocked lead singer to begin recuperating. In 2003 Morris was well enough to play live gigs with his spoken word jazz-punk ensemble Midget Handjob, and also tour with the Circle Jerks and the Rollins Band. An appearance on the Henry Rollins' orchestrated benefit album Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three would bring Morris full circle with a performance of "Nervous Breakdown," a track he initially recorded in 1978 with the first incarnation of Black Flag. ~ Al Campbell
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Stations Featuring
Circle Jerks

    Classic Punk

    Classic Punk
    27 songs

    Punk U

    Punk U
    2 songs

Albums by
Circle Jerks

Top Songs by
Circle Jerks

  1.   Song
  2.   Live Fast Die Young
  3.   Coup D'Etat
  4.   World up My Ass
  5.   Wild in the Streets
  6.   I Just Want Some Skank
  7.   Wasted
  8.   Political Stu
  9.   Question Authority
  10.   Product of My Environment
  11.   Operation
  12.   Back Against the Wall
  13.   Brick
  14.   Deny Everything
  15.   Bad Words
  16.   Golden Shower of Hits (Jerks on 45): Along Comes Mary/Close to You/Af
  17.   Defamation Innuendo
  18.   Under the Gun
  19.   Put a Little Love in Your Heart
  20.   In Your Eyes
  21.   Dude
  22.   22
  23.   Red Blanket Room
  24.   Karma Stew
  25.   I & I
  26.   Behind the Door
  27.   Parade of the Horribles
  28.   Anxious Boy
  29.   Wonderful
  30.   When the Shit Hits the Fan
  31.   Paid Vacation
  32.   Rook House
  33.   Killing for Jesus
  34.   High Price on Our Heads
  35.   Making the Bombs
  36.   Career Day
  37.   Mrs. Jones
  38.   Casualty Vampire
  39.   I Wanna Destroy You
  40.   Trapped
  41.   Stars and Stripes
  42.   Leave Me Alone
  43.   Don't Care
  44.   Beverly Hills
  45.   Fortunate Son
  46.   Status Clinger
  47.   Tell Me Why
  48.   Rats of Reality
  49.   Making Time
  50.   Shining Through the Door
  51.   Meet the Press
  52.   Shining Through the Dark
  53.   Beat Me Senseless
  54.   Nervous Breakdown
  55.   Solitary Confinement
  56.   Back Up Against the Wall
  57.   Another Broken Heart for Snake
  58.   15 Minutes
  59.   American Heavy Metal Weekend
  60.   Firebaugh
  61.   Just Like Me
  62.   Exhaust Breath
  63.   Grey Life
  64.   Dog
  65.   Fable
  66.   Sinking Ship
  67.   Teenage Electric
  68.   Forced Labor
  69.   Moral Majority
  70.   Murder the Disturbed
  71.   86'd (Good As Gone)
  72.   Red Tape
  73.   Group Sex
  74.   American Way
  75.   Living
  76.   I'm Alive
  77.   Protection
  78.   Patty's Killing Mel
  79.   Letter Bomb
  80.   All Wound Up
  81.   I Don't
  82.   Junk Mail
  83.   I, I And I
  84.   The Crowd
  85.   High Price on Your Heads
  86.   Wild in the Streets
  87.   What's Your Problem
  88.   Don't Care / Live Fast, Die Young

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