Social Distortion Albums Ranked

Social Distortion is an American punk rock band formed in 1978 in Fullerton, California. The band currently consists of Mike Ness (lead vocals, lead guitar), Jonny Wickersham (rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Brent Harding (bass, backing vocals), David Hidalgo Jr. (drums), and David Kalish (keyboards). To date, Social Distortion has released seven full-length studio albums, two compilations, one live album, and two DVDs. They released two albums — Mommy’s Little Monster (1983) and Prison Bound (1988) — before signing a three-album contract with Epic Records in 1989. Social Distortion rose to fame with their 1990 self-titled third album, which produced their well-known hit singles “Ball and Chain”, “Story of My Life”, and the cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”, and was certified gold by RIAA. Many of their later albums, including their second gold record Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell (1992), were also well received. They are considered one of the best-selling punk rock bands, with more than three million albums sold worldwide. Social Distortion is currently working on a new album, which is tentatively due for release in 2022 and will be their first full-length since 2011’s Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes. Here are all of Social Distortion albums ranked.

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7. Prison Bound (1988)

Prison Bound [Explicit] by Social Distortion on Amazon Music -

“It’s a shame not many people know about this album, just look at the low amount of ratings. Anyway it’s not every hardcore punk fan’s cup of tea due to the strong cowpunk sound, but look beyond that and you’ll realize that this is their greatest achievement in many ways.”

6. Mommy’s Little Monster (1983)

Social Distortion – Mommy's Little Monster (2000, Vinyl) - Discogs

“It’s okay. It tends to get VERY repetitive. It’s a decent album, though; it has its strongest points (to me, the title track, Another State of Mind, All The Answers, and Moral Threat [the best]) and its weakest points (The Creeps and Telling Them), and then its in-the-middle-points (everything else) just as any other album would, but it’s one of those that’s really great. It’s a great album, but it’s just hard to listen to more than a FEW times. Then it just sounds repetitive and recycled. It’s good for the first few listens, though, and it’s a great representation of Punk and Hardcore, so go ahead and get it if you like that.”

5. Hard Times & Nursery Rhymes (2011)

Social Distortion - Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes | Discogs

“Overall a fine release. The only song that is a bit anoying is Bakersfield. Most songs are good upto great. I like it alot and think it needs to grow on me some more. Fore now 4 stars, but later maybe more. Looking forward to see this band live again!”

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4. Sex, Love And Rock N’ Roll (2004)

Social Distortion - Sex, Love And Rock 'N' Roll | Discogs

“This is a great album and stands along Social D’s best work. This is full of great punk blues with a good ol’ fashioned rock and roll vibe. My favorites are Reach for the Sky, Winners and Losers and Angel’s Wings which never get old for me even after a decade of listening. Once again the backing vocals add more melody in the choruses (kind of one of their trademarks that they have done forever) and the guitar solos and riffs are catchy, simple and effective. Fantastic release and one of my favorites of 2004.”

3. White Light, White Heat, White Trash (1996)

White Light White Heat White Trash | Discogs

White Light, White Heat, White Trash is a timeless album that unfortunately, most folks are gonna discover while connecting the dots to third wave artists like X, John Doe, Black Flag, Bad Religion, and Minor Threat … groups that understood the banner they were flying under, knew their instruments, and developed moving personal music that excised spiteful demons, demons that almost imploded the band before they got going; though once it did, there was no stopping the power makes up Social Distortion.

2. Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell (1992)

Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell - Wikipedia

“There is nothing wrong with being simple, catchy and straight to the point. The fact that they are great songwriters only makes this one better. Its a punk meets rock n roll album, acessibility without compromising long lasting value. Some really nostalgic tunes in here, its no wonder that my favorites are the ballads. Standouts are “making believe”, “born to lose”, “99 to life” and “this time darlin”.”

1. Social Distortion (1990)

Social Distortion - Social Distortion | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic

“Social Distortion aren’t any sort of punk genius, they have a formula and they stick to it, however when the end result are this great I cant really complain. The songs are upbeat, extremely catchy and a couple of these make for pretty nostalgic tunes. I really enjoy the rough but very melodic vocals, and the guitars also have something to offer when it comes to providing a good rhythm section. Should be a fine listen for anyone getting into punk, but even though it features some of the best songs the band has ever done I feel that their follow up albums are better when it comes to consistency. Standouts are “story of my life”, “ring of fire”, “ball and chain” and “let it be me”.