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