Slacker Logo


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
Read More Read Less

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

Artists Related to Circle Jerks