Bad Brains Albums Ranked

Bad Brains are an American rock band formed in Washington, D.C. in 1977. They are widely regarded as among the pioneers of hardcore punk,  though the band’s members have objected to this term to describe their music. They are also an adept reggae band, while later recordings featured elements of other genres like funk, heavy metal, hip hop, and soul. Bad Brains are followers of the Rastafari movement. Bad Brains have released nine studio albums (one of which is entirely composed of instrumental versions of their early material). The band broke up and reformed several times over the years, sometimes with different singers or drummers. Since 1994, the definitive lineup of singer H.R. (Human Rights), guitarist Dr. Know, bassist Darryl Jenifer, and drummer Earl Hudson has reunited, albeit performing sporadically. In 2013 keyboardist Jamie Saft was recruited to play with the band, fulfilling both live and studio roles. Chogyi Lama performed with the group live 2016–17. Here are all of Bad Brains albums ranked.

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8. Quickness (1989)

“The song-writing, the changes, the versatility, and the overall style of this album are unmatched. Not to mention, this album contains some of Dr. Know’s most memorable/unbelievable riffs and solos. For instance: the guitar solo in “No Conditions” might be the best punk/metal solo ever.”

7. Spirit Electricity (1991)

“Spirit electricity is a breathtaking live EP. Return to heaven and Let me Help get all inside your soul, it sounds even better then the recording which was already perfect but you can tell the bad brains at this time were at a special place at a special time and the crowd goes bananas. This version of day tripper is very good, its a rocker.”

6. Live (1988)

“I absolutely love this record because to me, it’s one of their best sounding live records, and most of their early classics are on it. “I & I Survive” is a perfect example of Bad Brain’s greatness in a live setting-they kill this song live.”

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5. The Youth Are Getting Restless (Live At The Paradiso, Amsterdam, 1987) (1990)

“This live album captures the Brains at what they did best, play mind-blowing shows. Being masters at both light-speed hardcore riffage and playing chilled out reggae and dub. This album combines both genres giving you a breather from the amazing and brutal hardcore assault with reggae interludes in between.”

4. Black Dots (1996)

“This album really rocks… but not in the Bad Brains punk way–more like Stooges… call it pre-punk. Some of the arrangements here almost sound like another band covering Bad Brains. Not that different, but it’s really odd for me to hear these tracks having listened to their other stuff for so long.”

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3. I Against I (1986)

“There is something about Bad Brains, especially this album, that is majestic/surreal. Even the beginning intro of the album can take you to a state of deeper/higher consciousness when you first here those guitar riffs, and that tribal drum beat and bass line. And then the song “I Against I” comes on and you can just feel the emotion of that song. When “House Of Suffering” comes on it’s so punk-rock nostalgic that it literally takes you back to the early 80s; the song almost has a gothic/hardcore feel to it. Now, “Re-Ignition” is, in my personal opinion, a gospel religious song.”

2. Rock For Light (1983)

“.This is one of the most visceral rock albums ever,brimming with a power that will make a lot of Nu-Metal clowns … in their pants!Although modestly produced (the guitar sound is weak, to say the least, by today’s standards, and the drums are not as loud as they should’ve been)it still manages to enthrall the listener with unapologetic attitude.Songs like “Riot Squad”,”Joshua’s song” and “How Low Can a Punk Get” are an all-out thrash fest, that would certainly have appealed to early Metallica and Slayer fans, while “At The Movies” and “I And Survive” show the more musical style of the band.”

1. Bad Brains (1982)

“Bad Brains is undoubtedly one of the major pioneers of straight-ahead, old-school hardcore as we know it today. Their self-titled debut is a mandatory addition to anyone’s music collection. It’s edgy, diverse, and most of all, perfect. If you haven’t already, also grab Minor Threat’s “The Complete Discography,” Agnostic Front’s “Cause For Alarm/Victim In Pain,” and The Misfits’ “Misfits.” You can’t go wrong with this or any of the honorable mentions. “