Minor Threat Songs Ranked

Minor Threat was an American hardcore punk band, formed in 1980 in Washington, D.C. by vocalist Ian MacKaye and drummer Jeff Nelson. MacKaye and Nelson had played in several other bands together, and recruited bassist Brian Baker and guitarist Lyle Preslar to form Minor Threat. They added a fifth member, Steve Hansgen, in 1982, playing bass, while Baker switched to the second guitar. Along with the fellow Washington, D.C. hardcore band Bad Brains and California band Black Flag, Minor Threat set the standard for many hardcore punk bands in the 1980s and 1990s. All of Minor Threat’s recordings were released on MacKaye’s and Nelson’s own label, Dischord Records. The Minor Threat EP and their only full-length studio album Out of Step have received a number of accolades and are cited as landmarks of the hardcore punk genre. Here are all of the Minor Threat songs ranked.

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15. Cashing In (Out of Step, 1983)

“As I continue to listen to hardcore punk albums (and EPs I guess, in this case), I continue to not understand why they have so much appeal. I swear all of these different hardcore bands sound like the same band too. Anyway, now that I’m done complaining about an entire genre, I’ll say this about Minor Threat: they do occasionally show us a pretty decent track, such as “Cashing In.”

14. 12Xu (First Two Seven Inches, 1984)

“I’m pretty sure none of the members of Minor Threat have ever been homophobic people – nothing in their history would suggest that. Besides, the “you” addressed in this song is very probably female.”

13. Out of Step (Out of Step, 1983)

“Maybe it’s don’t fuck instead of don’t fight because not everybody wants to fuck with random people. Like it says in the song, it’s no set of rules, it’s just how he felt. And it’s great when people think for themselves and not just follow the crowd. And I also think you don’t have to be a straight edge to listen to them, but I think everyone should respect his opinions. And if somebody wants to follow him there’s nothing wrong with that either. “

12. Bottled Violence (First Two Seven Inches, 1984)

“Possibly the greatest 54 seconds of hardcore. this is just pure satire of the binge drinking culture – and the kind of drug that alcohol generally is. you go out to get hammered, lose your judgment, start fights that you wouldn’t normally start. just generally reflecting Mackayes views on drink

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11. Steppin’ Stone (First Two Seven Inches, 1984)

“Written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart. According to the Monkees Box Set “Listen to the Band”, Paul Revere and the Raiders were the first to record it. It was on their album “Midnight Ride” which it says was released 6 months before the Monkees version. This Monkees box set also has a live version, which sounds a bit closer to the punk rock versions other bands did than to their studio version. The Monkees version was always one of my favorite Monkees tunes, but I like the Minor Threat version as well.”

10. Guilty of Being White (First Two Seven Inches, 1984)

“Racism is still a huge problem today. Yes, slavery ended before we were all born, but that doesn’t mean racism just magically evaporated the second it was abolished. I’m white and even I can figure that one out. Whatever hardships we face, it’s nothing compared to what black people deal with in this country. White people’s idea of racism is basically “Boohoo some black girl picked on me in middle school”. Black people’s idea of it: “I might not get that job. Statistically, I’m more likely to drop out of school (which leads to a lack of confidence in abilities). A cop might racially profile me and violate my rights. Everyone assumes shit about me, whereas white people are ‘the norm’ so are judged individually. Oh and some fuck nut with a gun might take it upon himself to shoot me to ‘protect his neighborhood'”.”

9. Stand Up (First Two Seven Inches, 1984)

“As with most MT songs the lyrics and underlying message is pretty self explanatory, so i don’t really need to touch on it. Just wanted to say it’s a good tune!”

8. Small Man, Big Mouth (First Two Seven Inches, 1984)

“It’s pretty obvious what he’s saying. It was actually about a specific person (lot’s of MacKaye’s lyrics — especially early on — dealt with things within the small DCHC scene itself) but like Moe said, we all know people that this applies to. Small people (physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.) who try to compensate by being aggressive assholes.”

7. In My Eyes (Minor Threat, 1984)

“This song explains how different things said mean different things for other people, it also touches on the fact that many people say things just to be trendy.”

6. Screaming at a Wall (First Two Seven Inches, 1984)

“I think that the wall is the defense or front that people put up and he’s trying to get to the real person inside but he’s built this wall up so much it’s impossible. and the “I don’t wanna have to use my hands” is talking about nonviolent resolutions but “Someday I’m gonna use my hands.” I agree with the minor threat though he is really pissed off. I get mad at people who have fronts like this.”

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5. Seeing Red (First Two Seven Inches, 1984)

“To me, it’s about someone judging you by your looks and they probably talk crap about you, but only when they’re with their little clique.”

4. Filler (First Two Seven Inches, 1984)

“Filler epitomizes all of Minor Threat’s songs. Obviously, Ian is attacking blind loyalty to anything, specifically religion and love here. I think this is one of the craziest songs ever musically. I only wish I could have seen Minor Threat live, since this song obviously would have torn the house down.”

3. I Don’t Wanna Hear It (First Demo Tape, 2003)

“It’s Minor Threat buffet on one disc. You can’t beat it. Unless you throw it on the ground and stomp on it. You can beat it that way.”

2. Straight Edge (First Two Seven Inches, 1984)

“This is the most hardcore 45 seconds ever recorded. Minor Threat is one of the most underrated bands ever. Minor Threat changed my life. I prefer ‘In my eyes’ over this song but it’s all the same message.”

1. Minor Threat (First Two Seven Inches, 1984)

“I think it’s about how teens are always in such a hurry to grow up. They want to move out before they’re sixteen and all of that shit. I love the line “The time is so little; the time belongs to us. Why is everybody in such a fucking rush?” Why do people want all that responsibility that comes with marriage and kids and all of that stuff? I’m with Ian on this one; I’d rather keep out of that as long as possible.”