20 random things about Bad Brains

1. Bad Brains are the best punk band to come from Washington, D.C. Yes, that includes Minor Threat.

2. Singer H.R. and drummer Earl Hudson are brothers; H.R. was born in London, Earl in Alabama.

3. All the members of Bad Brains are at least 50 years old, with the exception of bassist Darryl Jenifer, who's only 48.

4. In the first, jazz-funk iteration of the band, vocal duties were handled by a guy named Sid McCray; when he left, guitarist H.R. began singing too.

5. Bad Brains are the best punk band to record for SST. Yes, that includes Black Flag.

6. H.R.'s homophobic utterances throughout the years have been pretty troublesome.

7. Darryl Jenifer has tried to apologize for those utterances, but it hasn't really done any good.

8. I still don't get the deal with "Don't Blow Bubbles."

9. H.R. studied pre-med for three years, but gave it up to tour with Bad Brains.

10. Bad Brains were the best live band touring the underground-punk circuit in the early and mid-'80s. Yes, that includes the Minutemen.

11. For many people, the self-titled cassette released on ROIR in 1982 is the pinnacle of Bad Brains' raw punk assault. The 1981 sessions are blistering in their straightforward approach and signify a high-water mark for hardcore.

12. At least they did until 1996, when Caroline Records reissued the four-track recordings Bad Brains made in 1979 at Don Zientara's studio as the Black Dots album. These earlier sessions are, ironically, recorded with more clarity, resulting in an even rawer but more explosive impact.

13. Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys not only lent his cred to the marketing of a recent reissue of the ROIR sessions but also lent his skills behind the board for the recording of Bad Brains' most recent album, 2007's Build a Nation.

14. Nonetheless, that album sucked.

15. "Pay to Cum" contains the best use of cowbell in any song, ever. Yes, that includes "Honky Tonk Women."

16. Ric Ocasek of the Cars produced Bad Brains' seminal 1983 album, Rock for Light, an album that found the band fusing their love of reggae with their love of hardcore. It contains a number of re-rerecorded versions of songs that appeared on Bad Brains.

17. Ocasek also recorded 1995's God of Love album. It was the first album of new material by the original Bad Brains lineup since the semi-metallic Quickness disc in 1989.

18. Nonetheless, that album sucked.

19. The only two members of Bad Brains to be in every iteration of the band are Dr. Know and Darryl Jenifer.

20. Bad Brains are the best American hardcore band ever. Yes, that includes the band you just thought of.

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