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Along with Black Flag and the Circle Jerks, Fear helped define the sound and style of L.A. hardcore. Although they actually formed during the first wave of punk back in 1977, Fear didn't release an album until five years later, by which time they'd honed a blistering, thrashy attack that, for all its fury, was surprisingly tight and sometimes even intricate. Which is to say that, musically, the band wasn't as crude as frontman Lee Ving's outrageous, humorously offensive lyrics, which were geared to piss off anyone within earshot, particularly women and homosexuals; his vulgarity was equaled only by his sincere love of beer. Fear's original incarnation fell apart after just two albums, but Ving began touring with new lineups again in the '90s. Fear were formed in Los Angeles by vocalist Lee Ving (whose past is shrouded in mystery, though he's rumored to be a Vietnam veteran), with the rest of the original lineup including lead guitarist Philo Cramer, bassist Derf Scratch, and drummer Johnny Backbeat. Rhythm guitarist Burt Good became a member for a short time in 1978, but became unnecessary when Ving decided to take up the instrument. The same year, Backbeat was replaced by Spit Stix. Fear issued their debut single, I Love Livin' in the City, at the beginning of 1978 on Criminal Records. They were in no rush to record an album, however, and spent the next few years without a record deal; instead, they mostly played punk clubs around the Los Angeles area, cultivating a volatile, confrontational stage presence. Fear's explosive appearance in director Penelope Spheeris' punk chronicle The Decline of Western Civilization cemented their legend, and they found a devoted fan in comedian John Belushi, who talked Saturday Night Live into having the band on as a musical guest for the Halloween episode in 1981. Not a band to behave in a public forum, Fear invited a pack of skinhead slam-dancers on-stage for their performance, resulting in costly studio damage and a bit of on-mike profanity. Now notorious on a national level, Fear finally landed a record contract with Slash in 1982, and released their debut album, The Record, which most critics still agree was their best and funniest outing. Scratch left the band later on in the year, and was replaced first by Eric "Kitabu" Feldman (who appeared on the late-1982 single Fuck Christmas), then the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea; in 1984, Flea was in turn replaced by the Dickies' Lorenzo Buhne. Fear took some time off for side projects in 1983; Stix went to Europe and joined Nina Hagen's band, Cramer formed a band called M'Butu Ngawa, and Ving pursued a successful acting career, playing assorted tough guys in films like Flashdance (the strip club owner) and Streets of Fire, among others. In 1985, Fear released their second album, More Beer, but soon drifted apart into other projects; they disbanded in 1987. In 1991, most of Fear's prime lineup -- Ving, Cramer, and Stix, plus new bassist Will "Sluggo" McGregor -- reunited and began playing concerts again. Live...For the Record was released later that year. Cramer and Stix both quit in 1993, ending the reunion; Ving began touring with another group, Lee Ving's Army, which included guitarist Sean Cruse, former Frank Zappa bassist Scott Thunes, and drummer Andrew Jaimez. This group eventually became the new Fear lineup, and entered the studio in 1995 to record the band's first album of new material in a decade, Have Another Beer with Fear, which was released by Sector 2. Over the next few years, Thunes was replaced by Mondo Lopez, and Cruse by Richard Presley; in 2000, the revamped Fear returned on the Hall of Records label with American Beer, another all-new album. After a poor public response and fed up with legal disputes, Ving spent the ensuing years resting on his laurels, while touring the old hits under the Fear name with a rotating lineup. Eventually, in 2012, he delivered the ultimate middle-finger salute to the music industry bigwigs with The Fear Record, a completely unnecessary but otherwise inspired re-recording of the band’s iconic The Record, released on indie label The End. ~ Steve Huey
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Stations Featuring

    Classic Punk

    Classic Punk
    4 songs

Albums by

Top Songs by

  1.   Song
  2.   I Don't Care About You
  3.   Gimme Some Action
  4.   New York's Alright If You Like Saxophones
  5.   Let's Have a War
  6.   I Love Livin' in the City
  7.   The Mouth Don't Stop (The Trouble with Women Is)
  8.   Beerfight
  9.   Neighbors
  10.   Beer: 30
  11.   If I Were (I Was Not)
  12.   Minority
  13.   And the Spiders Crawl
  14.   Here I Am
  15.   What If God's Not One of Us
  16.   What Is Best in Life
  17.   Null Detector
  18.   Beef Boloney
  19.   New York's All Right
  20.   Beef Bologna
  21.   Hard "Cotto" Salami
  22.   Free Beer
  23.   Untermenschen
  24.   Honor and Obey
  25.   Legalize Drugs
  26.   Chaos
  27.   Back into Battle Again
  28.   Acoustic Torn Apart
  29.   More Beer
  30.   Responsibility
  31.   Scotty Doesn't Know
  32.   Out of Here
  33.   Day by Day
  34.   Fire at Will
  35.   Phantom
  36.   Spider Island
  37.   Kah No!!!!!
  38.   Dream Forever
  39.   Burt
  40.   Dorian
  41.   We Gotta Get Outa This Place
  42.   Give Me Some Action
  43.   No More Nothing
  44.   Getting the Brush
  45.   Fresh Flesh
  46.   We Gotta Get Out of This Place
  47.   Camarillo
  48.   Lost in Los Angeles
  49.   (I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man
  50.   The Bud Club
  51.   Surgery
  52.   Public Hangings
  53.   Drink Some Beer
  54.   I Believe I'll Have Another Beer
  55.   Ugly as You
  56.   Bad Day
  57.   Demons Sticking Pitchforks in My Brain
  58.   I Am a Doctor
  59.   Hey
  60.   Party Song
  61.   Solo Piece Torn Apart (Solo)
  62.   Solo Forever (Solo)
  63.   Strangulation
  64.   Disconnected
  65.   We Destroy the Family
  66.   Foreign Policy
  67.   I Don't Care Without You
  68.   Another Christmas Beer
  69.   Cat Fight
  70.   *uck Christmas
  71.   Waiting for the Meat
  72.   Welcome to the Dust Ward
  73.   Have a Beer with Fear
  74.   U.S.A.
  75.   Garage Demo Fire at Will
  76.   Night Like This
  77.   Missing in Action
  78.   Scrote
  79.   Last Chance
  80.   Now Your Dead
  81.   Beerheads
  82.   "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"/"Another Christmas Beer"
  83.   Halfway Home
  84.   Cold Hands
  85.   Meat and Potatoes
  86.   33rd & 3rd
  87.   Bomb the Russians
  88.   Time of Your Life
  89.   Take the Pain
  90.   F-You Let's Rodeo
  91.   What Are Friends For?
  92.   Let's Have a War - 2009
  93.   Fear Anthem
  94.   Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  95.   We Got to Get Out of This Place
  96.   Jimi Burns the Phone Down
  97.   Torn Apart
  98.   Wounds Rat Bleed