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Circle Jerks

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