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Circle Jerks

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