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Family Man is the third full-length studio album by the American hardcore punk band Black Flag. Released in 1984 through SST Records, it features spoken word tracks by the vocalist Henry Rollins and jazz-indebted instrumental tracks. "Armageddon Man" is the only track on the album in which Rollins and the instruments are together.

Family Man
Black Flag - Family Man cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 1984
RecordedDecember 1983, June 1984
LabelSST (026)
Black Flag chronology
My War
Family Man
Slip It In

The album, along with Jello Biafra's recordings with the Dead Kennedys, is credited for introducing "alternative" spoken word to a larger audience.[2]


Music and compositionEdit

The album features one LP side of spoken word performances from Henry Rollins and another of instrumental music from the Black Flag lineup of guitarist Greg Ginn, bassist Kira Roessler and drummer Bill Stevenson. AllMusic's Pemberton Roach, who described the record as Black Flag's most "experimental", compared the spoken word material to Jim Morrison's works on live The Doors releases.[2] AllAboutJazz's Trevor Maclaren stated: "It opens three points of interest: Rollins as the Beat Poet—sort of—the stoned dirge influence of Black Sabbath, and the instrumental jazz driven metal/punk that Ginn would utilize after dissolving Black Flag." Maclaren also added: "The distorted guitars and atonal feedback of players like Sonny Sharrock and James Blood Ulmer reign supreme in a sludgy Black Sabbath riff."[1]

Cover artEdit

The cover art, which was created by Raymond Pettibon, pictures a man holding a gun to his own head, while his wife and kids lie slaughtered nearby. The caption on the cover of reads: November 23rd, 1963.[3]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [2]

AllMusic critic Pemberton Roach wrote: "Although sounding at times like a high-school garage band attempting to perform Rush covers, Ginn and company play with a sense of desperation and punk rock fury that makes much of the music positively electrifying." Roach also added: "Overall, Family Man is an essential, if atypical, part of the Black Flag canon and should appeal to fans of Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, or the New York "noise" scene as well."[2] AllAboutJazz's Trevor Maclaren stated that "for those who seek a real adventure and think that Last Exit was perhaps too extreme, Black Flag's Family Man and The Process of Weeding Out are choice lost gems."[1]

Track listingEdit

All tracks written by Henry Rollins, except where noted.

Side A
1."Family Man" 1:17
2."Salt on a Slug" 1:30
3."Hollywood Diary" 0:32
4."Let Your Fingers Do The Walking" 2:30
5."Shed Reading (Rattus Norvegicus)" 1:23
6."No Deposit – No Return" 0:40
7."Armageddon Man"Ginn/Rollins9:12
Side B
8."Long Lost Dog of It"Ginn/Roessler/Stevenson2:03
9."I Won't Stick Any of You Unless and Until I Can Stick All of You"Ginn5:48
10."Account for What?"Ginn4:18
11."The Pups Are Doggin' It"Ginn/Roessler/Stevenson4:13



Chart (1984) Peak
UK Indie Chart[4] 14


  1. ^ a b c Maclaren, Trevor (February 1, 2006). "Black Flag: Family Man & The Process of Weeding Out". AllAboutJazz. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Roach, Pemberton. "Black Flag - Family Man". AllMusic. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  3. ^ Goldberg, Michael (July 18, 1985). "Black Flag, Hüsker Dü and the Replacements Lead Punk's New Wave". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on July 21, 2017. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  4. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1989. Cherry Red Books. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2014.

External linksEdit