Slacker Logo


Social Distortion

The enduring L.A. punk band Social Distortion has overcome numerous personnel shifts, the demise of the Los Angeles hardcore scene that spawned them, and the heroin addiction of singer/guitarist/bandleader Mike Ness to achieve a measure mainstream acceptance for their rootsy, hard-hitting punk without compromise. Inspired by the fertile L.A. punk scene, Ness formed the group in 1978 with drummer Casey Royer and brothers Frank (bass) and Rikk Agnew (guitar). When the brothers left to join the Adolescents, Ness' schoolmate Dennis Danell joined on bass; the next few years saw a revolving-door membership. When the group finally recorded its debut album, Mommy's Little Monster in 1983, the band consisted of Ness, Danell (now on guitar), bassist Brent Liles, and drummer Derek O'Brien. Their music was often described as a punk version of the Rolling Stones, and "Another State of Mind" was one of the few punk videos to air on MTV in 1984. However, the band took four years to record a follow-up, as Ness descended into heroin addiction and self-consciously rebellious behavior. Liles and O'Brien left, and Ness, after straightening himself out, finally regrouped in 1988 with John Maurer on bass and Chris Reece on drums. This lineup recorded Prison Bound, a mature album broadening Social Distortion's roots rock influences with a country feel. Their self-titled 1990 effort included a cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and returned the group to MTV via "Ball and Chain." Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell became their most popular album to date, producing a minor radio hit in "Bad Luck" and keeping with their now-established blend of punk, blues, country, and rockabilly. Social Distortion took an extended hiatus following the release of Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, returning in 1996 with White Light, White Heat, White Trash, which proved to be a moderate hit on MTV and modern-rock radio; former Black Flag and D.O.A. drummer Chuck Biscuits made his debut on the album, following the departure of Reece. Live at the Roxy followed in 1998, and a year later Ness issued a pair of solo albums, Cheating at Solitaire and the covers collection Under the Influences. Danell died February 29, 2000 of an apparent brain aneurysm; the guitarist was just 38-years-old. In the fall of 2000, Jonny Wickersham signed on as the group's new guitarist, and Charlie Quintana took over on drums from the often busy Biscuits. After extensive touring, the band went back into the studio in 2004 to record Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll. Another six years passed before Social D returned to recording. Produced by Mike Ness himself, 2011's glossy-but-muscular Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes featured a new lineup, with bassist Brent Harding and the son of Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo, drummer David Hidalgo Jr. joining Wickersham and Ness. ~ Steve Huey
Read More Read Less

Stations Featuring
Social Distortion

    Classic Punk

    Classic Punk
    6 songs

    Punk U

    Punk U
    15 songs

    '90s Alternative

    '90s Alternative
    4 songs


    1 song

    New Wave

    2 songs

    Rock Latino

    1 song

    '80s Alternative

    2 songs

    Top Alternative

    2 songs

    Alternative Mix

    2 songs

    Pop Rock

    2 songs

    Alt Country

    1 song

    Alternative Party

    1 song

Albums by
Social Distortion

Top Songs by
Social Distortion

  1.   Song
  2.   Ball and Chain
  3.   Ring Of Fire
  4.   Story of My Life
  5.   Bad Luck
  6.   I Was Wrong
  7.   Prison Bound
  8.   Mommy's Little Monster
  9.   Sick Boys
  10.   Far Behind
  11.   When She Begins
  12.   Cold Feelings
  13.   Machine Gun Blues
  14.   Reach For The Sky
  15.   The Creeps
  16.   1945
  17.   Mainliner
  18.   Indulgence
  19.   California (Hustle and Flow)
  20.   Under My Thumb
  21.   So Far Away
  22.   It Coulda Been Me
  23.   Angels Wings
  24.   Winners and Losers
  25.   King of Fools
  26.   Don't Drag Me Down
  27.   Let It Be Me
  28.   Untitled
  29.   Another State of Mind
  30.   On My Nerves
  31.   Alone and Forsaken
  32.   When the Angels Sing
  33.   Still Alive
  34.   Sometimes I Do
  35.   Down Here
  36.   Dear Lover
  37.   Through These Eyes
  38.   Don't Take Me For Granted
  39.   Footprints on My Ceiling
  40.   Pleasure Seeker
  41.   Drug Train
  42.   Diamond in the Rough
  43.   Nickels and Dimes
  44.   I Wasn't Born to Follow
  45.   Moral Threat
  46.   Gimme the Sweet and Lowdown
  47.   Death or Glory
  48.   Crown of Thorns
  49.   Justice for All
  50.   Down on the World Again
  51.   Writing on the Wall
  52.   Can't Take It With You
  53.   Gotta Know the Rules
  54.   Telling Them
  55.   Highway 101
  56.   Ghost Town Blues
  57.   This Time Darlin'
  58.   Bye Bye Baby
  59.   She's a Knockout
  60.   Anti-Fashion
  61.   Lonesome Train
  62.   I Won't Run No More
  63.   Take Care of Yourself
  64.   Bakersfield
  65.   Born to Lose
  66.   A Place in My Heart
  67.   All the Answers
  68.   Road Zombie
  69.   Far Side of Nowhere
  70.   Live Before You Die
  71.   Faithless
  72.   Making Believe
  73.   Lost Child
  74.   Lawless
  75.   I Want What I Want
  76.   Backstreet Girl
  77.   Hour of Darkness
  78.   Mass Hysteria
  79.   Maybeline
  80.   99 to Life
  81.   Like an Outlaw (For You)
  82.   [Untitled]
  83.   No Pain No Gain
  84.   It Wasn't a Pretty Picture
  85.   Playpen
  86.   It's the Law