GI (album)

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GI, stylized as (GI), is the only studio album by American punk rock band the Germs. Often considered the first full-length hardcore punk album,[2] it was released in the United States in October 1979[8] on Slash Records with catalog number SR 103. The album was later released in Italy in 1982 by Expanded Music with the catalog EX 11. The album's title is an acronym for "Germs Incognito", an alternate name the band used to obtain bookings when their early reputation kept them out of Los Angeles-area clubs. After (GI)'s release, the band would only undertake one more recording session, for the soundtrack album to Al Pacino's 1980 film Cruising. On December 7, 1980, a year after the release of (GI), vocalist Darby Crash died by suicide.

Studio album by
the Germs
ReleasedOctober 1979
StudioQuad Teck
41:39 (cassette version)
LabelSlash (SR 103)
ProducerJoan Jett
Germs chronology
Lexicon Devil
What We Do Is Secret
Professional ratings
Review scores
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[6]
Spin Alternative Record Guide9/10[7]

The entire album was included on the 1993 compilation CD (MIA): The Complete Anthology. In 2012, (GI) was reissued on CD with "Caught in My Eye" as a bonus track, after "Shut Down".

Production edit

After the Germs recorded for Chris D.'s Tooth and Nail compilation in late 1978, the (GI) sessions took place in 1979 at Quad Teck recording studio in Los Angeles.[9][10] Lead singer Crash had originally wanted former Paul Revere & the Raiders vocalist Mark Lindsay to produce, but while Lindsay was willing to do the job, he turned out to be too expensive for Slash Records to afford. Joan Jett, a longtime friend and heroine of many of the band members since her time in the Runaways, was asked to produce the album.[9][11][12]

Recorded in about three weeks with audio engineer Pat Burnett,[9] the album's clarity redefined the Germs for California audiences, who had only seen the band thrash around onstage while an intoxicated Crash avoided singing into the mic as much as possible.

A lone outtake from the sessions, "Caught in My Eye", would later appear on the posthumous EP What We Do Is Secret and on the Warner Bros.-distributed cassette reissue of (GI), at the end of side 1.

The album's final track, "Shut Down (Annihilation Man)", was recorded live in the studio, using improvisation at the end of the lengthy track, which the band usually closed their concerts with. The posthumous Cat's Clause release included a live "Never Ending Version" which was pressed with a locked groove.

According to Bob Biggs, Slash Records founder, the album cost the label $6,000 to produce.[9]

Reception edit

NME placed G.I at number 90 on their "101 Albums to Hear Before You Die" list.[13]

In 2021, G.I was placed at number 430 on the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die book series.[14]

Track listing edit

All tracks are written by Darby Crash and Pat Smear, except where noted

Side one
1."What We Do Is Secret" 0:43
2."Communist Eyes" 2:15
3."Land of Treason" 2:09
4."Richie Dagger's Crime" 1:56
5."Strange Notes"Crash1:52
6."American Leather"Crash1:11
7."Lexicon Devil"Crash1:44
9."Our Way" 1:56
10."We Must Bleed"Crash3:05
Side two
11."Media Blitz" 1:29
12."The Other Newest One" 2:44
13."Let's Pretend"Crash2:34
14."Dragon Lady" 1:39
15."The Slave" 1:01
16."Shut Down (Annihilation Man)" (live)Germs9:40
17."Caught in My Eye" (Only appears on the 2012 CD release and the cassette) 3:25

On the Warner Brothers 1988 cassette reissue, "Caught in My Eye" was appended to the end of side 1, after "We Must Bleed".

Personnel edit

The Germs edit

Additional performer edit

  • Donnie Rose – piano on "Shut Down (Annihilation Man)" (credited only on some European editions)

Production edit

  • Joan Jett – producer, mixing
  • Pat Burnette – engineer
  • Geza X – mastering
  • Darby Crash – cover art
  • Melanie Nissen – photography

References edit

  1. ^ Ensminger, David A. (2011). Visual Vitriol: The Street Art and Subcultures of the Punk and Hardcore Generation. University Press of Mississippi. p. 161. ISBN 9781604739688.
  2. ^ a b O'Connor, Rob (March 16, 2012). "25 Essential Punk Albums". Yahoo! Entertainment. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  3. ^ Raggett, Ned. "(GI) – Germs". AllMusic. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  4. ^ "Germs: (GI)". Mojo. p. 105. [A] crisp, vicious 1979 classic of LA punk...
  5. ^ Bloom, Madison (October 27, 2019). "Germs: (GI)". Pitchfork. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  6. ^ Geller, Debbie (1983). "The Germs". In Marsh, Dave; Swenson, John (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Record Guide (2nd ed.). Random House/Rolling Stone Press. p. 197. ISBN 0-394-72107-1.
  7. ^ Weisbard, Eric (1995). "Germs". In Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig (eds.). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. p. 165. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  8. ^ The album was released in Oct. 1979 according to the liner notes in the 1993 CD (MIA): The Complete Anthology. The information of the booklet can be read online in the discogs entry for the compilation.
  9. ^ a b c d Spitz, Marc; Mullen, Brendan (2001). We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk. Three Rivers Press. p. 207. ISBN 9780609807743.
  10. ^ Luerssen, John D. (2014). Nirvana FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Most Important Band of the 1990s. Backbeat Books. ISBN 9781617135880.
  11. ^ Hurchalla, George (2016) [2005]. Going Underground: American Punk 1979–1989 (2nd ed.). PM Press. p. 13. ISBN 9781629631134.
  12. ^ Blush, Steven (2010) [2001]. American Hardcore: A Tribal History (2nd ed.). Feral House. p. 16. ISBN 9781932595895.
  13. ^ "101 Albums to Hear Before You die". NME. 7 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Goodreads".