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Bad Religion

Out of all of the Southern Californian hardcore punk bands of the early '80s, Bad Religion stayed around the longest. For over a decade, they retained their underground credibility without turning out a series of indistinguishable records that all sound the same. Instead, the band refined their attack, adding inflections of psychedelia, heavy metal, and hard rock along the way, as well as a considerable dose of melody. Between their 1982 debut and their first major-label record, 1993's Recipe for Hate, Bad Religion stayed vital in the hardcore community by tightening their musical execution and keeping their lyrics complex and righteously angry.

Bad Religion formed in the northern suburbs of Los Angeles in 1980, comprising guitarist Brett Gurewitz, vocalist Greg Graffin, bassist Jay Bentley, and drummer Jay Ziskrout. Gurewitz established his own record company, Epitaph, to release the band's records. Between their self-titled EP and their first full-length record, Pete Finestone replaced Ziskrout as the group's drummer. How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, their debut album, was released in 1983 and gained them some attention on the national U.S. hardcore scene. After its release, the group's lineup changed, as bassist Paul Dedona and drummer Davy Goldman joined the group.

In the meantime, the band's lineup was undergoing some more shake-ups. Gurewitz had to take 1984 off to recover from various substance abuse problems, leaving Graffin as the band's only original member. In addition to Graffin, the 1984 incarnation of the band featured former Circle Jerks guitarist Greg Hetson, bassist Tim Gallegos, and returning drummer Pete Finestone. Bad Religion's next release, the harder, punkier Back to the Known EP, restored faith among the group's devoted fans. After its release, the group went on hiatus for three years.

When Bad Religion returned in 1987, the band featured Gurewitz, Graffin, Ziskrout, Hetson, and Finestone. They released Suffer the following year, a record that re-established the group as prominent players in the U.S. underground punk/hardcore scene. They followed with No Control (1989) and Against the Grain (1990). By the time of their 1993 album, Recipe for Hate, alternative rock had become popular with the mainstream; in addition, the band's following was quite large. These two factors contributed to Bad Religion signing a major-label contract with Atlantic Records.

Recipe for Hate was originally released on Epitaph, but it was soon re-released with the support of Atlantic. The group's first proper major-label album was 1994's Stranger Than Fiction; it was also Gurewitz's last album with the group. Before the release of Stranger Than Fiction, Epitaph had an unexpected hit with the Offspring's Smash, causing Gurewitz to spend more time at the label; reports also indicated that he was displeased with Bad Religion's major-label contract. The group replaced Gurewitz with hardcore veteran Brian Baker for their supporting tour, which proved to be their most successful to date.

Bad Religion released their second major-label album, The Gray Race, in early 1996, but it didn't achieve the same results as its predecessors. No Substance followed in 1998, and two years later the band returned with New America, which was produced by Todd Rundgren. Although it featured Bad Religion's best work in years, Atlantic subsequently dropped the band, and they returned to Epitaph. In the summer of 2001, Gurewitz rejoined the lineup after a six-year absence, and the group began work on The Process of Belief. The album appeared in February the following year, and was widely hailed for its recalibration of the Graffin/Gurewitz axis.

Bad Religion's next project was the remastering and issuing of their early catalog. The discs began appearing in April 2004 with the release of Generator and How Could Hell Be Any Worse? The former included relevant 7" material from the era, while Hell took the place of 80-85, which had previously accounted for the band's earliest output. Both were fully remastered, as were subsequent reissues of Suffer, No Control, and Against the Grain. Bad Religion then returned in June of that year with The Empire Strikes First, a typically acerbic LP that reflected the surge of anger and defiance in the punk and indie music communities toward the policies of the Bush administration.

The powerful New Maps of Hell, released in 2007, continued on the path of discontent and railed at what the band saw as rampant apathy in the face of global crisis. Coinciding with Bad Religion's 30th anniversary in 2009, the bandmembers announced they would be going into the studio to record their 15th studio album. Titled The Dissent of Man, the album was released the following year on Epitaph. Rumors circulated that the group might be disbanding, but Graffin denied that there were any such plans, and in 2013 Bad Religion released True North, as well as a Christmas album, the aptly titled Christmas Songs. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Follow for follow (Please read my bio)
I've yet to hear a song by Bad Religion that I haven't just f**king loved.
joncooler
They never mention Bad Religion's second album, Into The Unknown. It's not like any Bad Religion you ever heard. Very psychedelic sound
cruzornelas
Don't read this because it actually works you will get kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. However if you don't post this comment you will die in 2 days.Now that you've started reading don't stop. Put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters. This is scary but it actually works. Don't read this because it actually works you will get kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. H
Where is The Gray Race? I miss "A Walk"....
BENLZ
Saw these guys in Colorado. Great band even though I dont agree with their politics.The y got a lot better as they got older. The first couple of albums sounded all the same
So do what you must, do all you can, break all the f**king rules and go to hell like Superman and die like a champion YAHAY!!!
Been listening to them since '86. Still love 'em now !!
Greg would own all of you and Christianity takes away individualit y from people and free thinkers
love there shows
staciesurowi a k
Suffer is one of the best albums of all time!
nunnayobiz42 0
:) TY'all! {{{hugz}}}&h a p p y dancin' !
34 years of service, Bad a**, Bad Religion! SD has 2 more years of service!
I hear tiny voices.
My skate music
Love this band, brings back lots of skateboardin g memories.
Why are you guys missing The Gray Race?
Why are you guys missing The Gray Race?
lazycarl.sch u l z e
Seeing them and the offspring live this summer! Can't wait!
Love this effing song
Smart man!
Love this song
Just amazing I saw them at roit fest awesome
Its pretty f-in simple if you don't like it don't listen. Daaa
art comes in many colors....my pallet does not include the color of religion. Just not interested. Believe in what you want. I believe in M&Ms.
I like the music, even though I'm not Christian
Religion is the opiate of the masses ala Marx is a crock! Buy into that and satan seeps into the mainstream
@chris.f.hul l While you may believe Christianity has halted society and wields immense power over it,you have failed to state the obvious most powerful religion that has more practicing atheist members and do far more to suppress freedom of speech and promote the destruction of any culture that opposes it. Education is indoctrinati o n when controlled by a central organization . Atheism is the tool of communism and the syynagogue of satan
chris.f.hull
@t.antley12 Atheists speak out against Christianity because Christianity holds more power over society than the other religions (in most of the world, at least the ones where atheists have the ability to speak out against religion). They are upset because they believe Christianity has halted progress in many areas of society, including civil rights and education, so they believe Christianity HAS done things to atheists.
Why do atheists always seem to speak out against Christianity ? Why not other religions? Why any religion at all? You will never see me, as a Christian, expressing hatred towards atheists. We haven't done anything to you so why are you mocking us? What is the overall goal? To let everyone know how much hatred is in your heart?
shane.handsc h i n
So many of their songs cause you to think. So many of their songs cause your heart to skip a beat.
As a Christian I would hate to get into a religious discussion with Greg because I know he would own me.
All bands from California kick a**
toferlewis
Met Greg at the GSA covnention in 2004 in Denver, they were also playing a show that night. He was there looking for a publisher. His masters is in Geology and did reserach in Colorado near my field area for my Masters in Geology. He was shocked that I knew who he was and said that most BR fans don't recognize him when he's doing academic acitivties. We walked around the convention floor for about 30 minutes and then I mentioned that I had been so busy that I forgot to buy tickets. He pulled out
Yes!
this good song to here
Kingofanarch y 7 , yes, the "king" of a non-hierarch a l / a u t h o r i t a r i a n movement has so much credibility
Bad Religion was largely responsible for my musical as well as my intellectual devolpement. Mr. Graffin is a wonderful individual.
Bad religion, probably my favorite band ever.
Bad religion is bad a** and they can still whoop your wannabe a** and they are old as balls
They arent considered sellouts if alot of people know about them. They have been making music for 30 god damn years
If no one knew who they were they'd fail as musicians.
Kingofanarch y + moomoo go have hipster buttsex and get the f**k over yourselves.
Lol far from sellouts if anything greenday is a radio sellout they turned into what radio wants Bad Religion has a new album and still have there roots
19taylor89
moomoo.. your a f**king retard. kill your self
the lead singers a Jew fyi
I love this band!!!!!
Radio friendly sell outs.
I LOVE YOU
"You and me have a disease, you effect me .. You I infect me." V.V
Awesome show at the Reason Rally in Washington, D.C. 2012. Thank you atheists of America!
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