Great Punk/Metal Albums of 1983: Suicidal Tendencies

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In the mid 1980s, there would be the full coming together of punk and heavy metal. They would even have a love child called thrash as many of these new bands would site influences from both. However, if there was one album that could be identified as the one who spear headed this union, it would have to be the 1983 debut album from Suicidal Tendencies. While the album is labelled hard core punk on wikapedia and by other so called experts, millions of metal heads have taken this band and this album in particular into their metal bosoms. I, for one, would be responsible for unleashing it onto unsuspecting British students in 1986. Not that they ever complained.

There are no complex reasons as to why Suicidal Tendencies is widely accepted by both the metal and punk followings. The opening song answers any questions right off the bat. It starts out as a hard core frenzy that would have people banging themselves about in a mosh pit only to slow down in order for the listener to take in Mike Muir’s genius lyric writing. In fact, it’s the lyrics on many of these songs that make this album so brilliant. So instead of rambling on about it in paragraphs, I thought I’d do something different and share.

I Shot the Devil- Opens with “I shot Regan!” After Lebanon, I wanted to do that myself. Closing lyrics: “I shot Regan and I’ll do it again and again and again.” 

Subliminal- “Mind control the easiest way, sponsored by the CIA. It’s a weapon you can not see, it’s propaganda subliminally. They’re fucking with me, subliminally.” 

Institutionalized- “My mother started screaming Mike, Mike and I said what’s wrong mom? She said what’s wrong with you? I said nothing mom, I was just thinking. She said, “No, you’re on drugs!” No, I’m okay mom, I was just thinking why don’t you get me a Pepsi? She said, “No, you’re not thinking, you’re on drugs, normal people don’t argue that way.” I said, “Mom, will you get me a Pepsi please?” All I wanted was a Pepsi and she wouldn’t give to me. All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi and she wouldn’t give it to me.” 

I Saw Your Mommy- “I saw your mommy and your mommy’s dead. I saw her lying in a pool of red. Chewed off toes on her chopped off feet. I took a picture because I thought it looked neat. But the thing I liked seeing the best was the rodents using her hair as a nest. I saw your mommy and your mommy’s dead.” 

I Want More- “Working like a maniac give yourself a heart attack on the minimum wage.” 

Suicidal Failure- “I took all my mother’s sleeping pills, jumped off a tall bridge. I drank three kinds of poisons, drove my car off a ridge. I gave myself a bag, put a noose around my head. I overdosed on heroin but I’m still not dead. I’m a suicidal failure, I got to have some help. I’ve suicidal tendencies but I can’t kill myself.” 

In between these songs are some short, to the point punk/thrash songs that would be a favourite in any mosh pit today. Another reason why metalheads love this album is there are some metal snobs out there who think punk musicians aren’t up to standard. Yeah, I know. One can’t fault any of the musical work by the band on the album. It’s all good and why even the metal snobs love it.

Track Listing:

  1. Suicide’s an Alternative
  2. Two Sided Politics
  3. I Shot the Devil
  4. Subliminal
  5. Won’t Fall in Love Today
  6. Institutionalized
  7. Memories of Tomorrow
  8. Possessed
  9. I Saw Your Mommy
  10. Fascist Pig
  11. I Want More
  12. Suicidal Failure
Suicidal Tendencies

Suicidal Tendencies

Mike Muir- lead vocals

Grant Estes- guitar

Louiche Mayorga- bass, backing vocals

Amery Smith- drums

When I introduced the album to my new friends in the UK, they pretty much spent the rest of the year singing or quoting lyrics from “I Saw Your Mommy” and “Institutionalized.” That is the profound effect this album had on them. It had the same effect on anyone, punk or metalhead, who heard it. Suicidal Tendencies didn’t know it at the time but their debut album was a cornerstone in joining the camps of these two genres.

Next post: Lee Aaron’s First LP

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

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10 Responses to “Great Punk/Metal Albums of 1983: Suicidal Tendencies”

  1. This cover always freaked me out. Still does. It’s a statement!

    I have never heard this album. I know Institutionalized of course.

    I have a documentary here on VHS, the Judas Priest trial. You’ve probably seen it. One of the teens that was intrerviewed in that documentary quotes the lyrics from Suicidal Failure. “I’m a suicidal failure, I got to have some help. I’ve suicidal tendencies but I can’t kill myself.” A very powerful moment in a critical metal documentary film.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE THIS LP!!! ‘just one Pepsi and she wouldn’t give it to me’ ….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve only ever heard this once when I was unlikely to fully appreciate it. One of those talked about albums that I discovered at the same time I discovered Nirvana and the whole Seattle thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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