#1 Bad Brains – Rock For Light
‘Rock For Light’, Bad Brain’s sophomore album, with its 20 flawless tracks it sounds like a “Greatest Hits” album that any other band would have released! It is one of the most influential and original albums, a landmark in music’s history and easily one of the top 50 rock/metal albums of all time! Rock for light was the hardest, fastest hardcore album with by far the best musicianship from all the other hardcore releases of its time! It is chock-full of blurring speed and power but also catchy melodies and soul! Due to the album’s 20 tracks, it is a grower, so give it a few listens to fully appreciate it. ~Mr. Metalised
Released in 1983 by PVC, Caroline (re-issue)
Best Songs: Attitude, We Will Not
Interesting Facts: Bad Brains are widely regarded as among the pioneers of hardcore punk, though the band’s members objected to this term to describe their music. Despite their burgeoning punk sound, the early Bad Brains, after seeing Bob Marley in concert, also delved deep into reggae music and the Rastafari movement! Originally formed as a jazz fusion ensemble under the name Mind Power, Bad Brains developed a very fast and intense punk rock sound which came to be labeled “hardcore”, and was often played faster and more emphatically than the music of many of their peers. The unique factor of the band’s music was the fact that they played more complex rhythms than other hardcore punk bands, also adapting non-punk style guitar riffs and solos into their songs.
The band developed an early reputation in Washington D.C., where they come from, due in part to the relative novelty of an entirely black band playing punk rock, but also due to their high-energy performances and undeniable talent. In 1979, Bad Brains found themselves the subject of an unofficial ban among many Washington D.C. area clubs and performance venues (later addressed in their song, “Banned in D.C.”). The band subsequently relocated to New York City.
Rock for Light is the band’s second full-length album. A previous album, ‘Bad Brains’, was released in 1982 but only on cassette, therefore making ‘Rock for Light’ Bad Brains’ first proper album. The 1991 re-issued version has some extra tracks, an altered track order, significantly different mixes and a speed increase of the master which results in a raising of the pitch by one-half step. The album contains a number of re-recorded songs from the band’s first album, Bad Brains, as well as a number of new hardcore punk and reggae tracks. On the band’s subsequent releases, they experimented with funk, soul and heavy metal.