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