28 Songs, 55 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

How Could Hell Be Any Worse? was an impressively realized debut for a group that was barely out of high school at the time of its recording. Part of Bad Religion’s seasoning came from having already recorded a demo and an EP in advance of its full-length debut. That first EP—1981’s Bad Religion—is included in the bonus tracks of this set, as is 1984’s Return to the Known, another abbreviated album that served as a statement of purpose for the young band. At a time when Southern California hardcore was turning increasingly nihilistic, Bad Religion represented a new form of conviction in intellectualism. The songs here are primarily biting satires of American oppression, with a particular focus on the hypocrisy of imperialism and religion. While the band was as fast and brutal as the meanest California hardcore outfits, something in Greg Graffin’s voice was warm and wise—a cross between Joe Strummer and a young Neil Diamond. Meanwhile, the chiming acoustic guitars and pianos of “We’re Only Gonna Die” showed the band’s willingness to look beyond punk’s codes to illuminate the movement's true values.

EDITORS’ NOTES

How Could Hell Be Any Worse? was an impressively realized debut for a group that was barely out of high school at the time of its recording. Part of Bad Religion’s seasoning came from having already recorded a demo and an EP in advance of its full-length debut. That first EP—1981’s Bad Religion—is included in the bonus tracks of this set, as is 1984’s Return to the Known, another abbreviated album that served as a statement of purpose for the young band. At a time when Southern California hardcore was turning increasingly nihilistic, Bad Religion represented a new form of conviction in intellectualism. The songs here are primarily biting satires of American oppression, with a particular focus on the hypocrisy of imperialism and religion. While the band was as fast and brutal as the meanest California hardcore outfits, something in Greg Graffin’s voice was warm and wise—a cross between Joe Strummer and a young Neil Diamond. Meanwhile, the chiming acoustic guitars and pianos of “We’re Only Gonna Die” showed the band’s willingness to look beyond punk’s codes to illuminate the movement's true values.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
62 Ratings

62 Ratings

The Tossers Rule ,

Hell Yeah

This cd made history! Its amazing so many classics here. I'd tell you my favorites but every song is good, I'm serious EVERY SONG IS GOOD! Bad Religion is an incredible band they have really smart and relevant lyrics (and they were only teenagers during this era). The added tracks are really cool too, they sound more modern but if your like me you like br's new and old sound. so don't miss those either. All in all this is a fantastic album one of the power houses of 80's punk!

just max ,

great comp

It's a great comp album, made of several of Bad Religion's early albums. Reccomendations are: We're only gonna die (of our own arrogance,) Latch key kids, F**k armageddon... this is hell, and Voice of God is government.

clamp down ,

the essential hardcore album..just like social distortion!!

im just so tired or hearing other bands like avril lavine, fall out boy, good charlolette, sum 41,or rise against being considered punk..THEY DONT KNO what the term "punk "means.
this is an album done by four teens in the valley all BY THEMSELVES w/o a major label!! THAT'S a punk
if you looking for an essential punk album..get this one and social distortion's Mommy's Little Monster...XP

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