SOCIAL DISTORTION – Three Albums To Receive Vinyl Reissues Via Craft Recordings
August 14, 2019, 11 months ago
This fall, Craft Recordings will reissue three titles from Social Distortion’s independent catalog on vinyl. Set for a September 27th release, the LPs include the band’s 1983 debut, Mommy’s Little Monster, their 2004 studio album, Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll, and 1995's Mainliner (Wreckage From the Past), which compiles early singles and rare B-sides. Celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, the enduring So-Cal punk icons just kicked off their extensive, two-month North American tour with Flogging Molly yesterday (August 13th) in Dallas. Find preorder options here.
Social Distortion formed in Orange County, CA, with front man Mike Ness and guitarist Dennis Danell at the helm. With their distinctive blend of punk and primitive rock ‘n’ roll, the four-piece (whose bassists and drummers would fluctuate over those years) found equal influences in bands like the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, and the Clash as well as the early country music of Hank Williams and the classic blues of artists like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and Lightnin’ Hopkins. Their 1983 debut, Mommy’s Little Monster was released on the band’s own label, 13th Floor Records. Full of raw vocals, powerful guitar-driven hooks, and plenty of attitude, the seminal album gained Social Distortion a national following and went on to inspire the likes of the Offspring, Rancid and many other well-known artists. Standout tracks include “The Creeps (I Just Wanna Give You)” and “Another State Of Mind.”
The next two decades would bring the band continued lineup changes, a rehab stint for Ness—who has maintained his sobriety since 1985—a major label deal, some of their highest-charting singles (“I Was Wrong” and “Bad Luck”), and two Gold records (for 1990’s Social Distortion and 1992’s Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell). In the late ‘90s, the band returned to their indie roots and signed to Time Bomb Recordings.
2004’s much-anticipated Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll marked the group’s first studio album in eight years, following 1996’s White Light, White Heat, White Trash and two solo records from Ness. The band had also taken time to refocus after the sudden death of founding member Dennis Danell at just 38. Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll found a grieving Ness looking inward, but it also produced some of the band’s most acclaimed material. AllMusic called it “Potent, hard-hitting rock & roll with real heart and soul behind it.” Adding that Social Distortion had “Held onto what made them great while growing and changing in the best ways, and the result is one of the best albums this band has made to date.” Highlights include the opening track, “Reach For The Sky,” which became one of the band’s biggest hits, as well as the introspective "Live Before You Die," and the hopeful "Don't Take Me For Granted," written for Danell. Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll also featured a new guitarist, Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham, who remains with Social Distortion today.
The final reissue, Mainliner: Wreckage From the Past, offers Social Distortion’s earliest singles and B-sides from 1981, the majority of which never appeared on any of the band’s full-length albums. Released in 1995, the compilation gives fans a peek into the group’s creative development, when they were still teenagers, with fan favorites like “1945,” “All The Answers,” and “Moral Threat,” plus a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb.”
With a current lineup of Mike Ness on vocals, guitarist Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham, bassist Brent Harding, and Dave Hidalgo Jr. on drums, Social Distortion shows no sign of slowing down. With seven studio albums under their belt, the punk godfathers’ searing guitars and locomotive rhythm section sound as alive today as they did in the early ‘80s, as do Ness’ hard-luck tales of love, loss, and lessons learned. As Craft continues to celebrate the band’s immense 40-year (to date) legacy, stay tuned for more announcements coming soon.
(Photo by: Danny Clinch)