Out of Step (album)

Out of Step is the sole studio album by American hardcore punk band Minor Threat. It was released on 45 RPM vinyl in April 1983 through Dischord Records. Although Out of Step has only been released on CD in limited quantities, it has been repressed on vinyl as recently as 2010,[1] and all tracks from the album are available on Minor Threat's 1989 compilation album Complete Discography.

Out of Step
Minor Threat - Out of Step.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 1983
RecordedJanuary 1983 at Inner Ear Studios in Arlington, Virginia
GenreHardcore punk
ProducerDon Zientara and Minor Threat
Minor Threat chronology
In My Eyes
Out of Step
Minor Threat

It is considered as an elementary piece of the punk rock (specifically hardcore punk) genre and has been cited by many critics and magazines as one of the best progressions for the history of rock music, which specifically helped shape the path of many genres of underground musical currents (alternative music). Its influence is notorious in future bands that would boost the youth crew movement, also in other genres such as grunge, post-hardcore, 90's skate punk and thrash metal, as well in the development of the New York hardcore music scene and aesthetics style.

This album’s increased complexity in songs, with more elaborate riffs and arrangements, is its main distinguishing factor compared to the band’s previous recordings.[citation needed] The bass octaves retain the dynamics of the guitar line. For this album Brian Baker became second guitarist and Steven Hansgen joined the bass.

The lyrics of the majority of the songs reflect self-reflection, youth frustration, personal problems and difficulties with friendships, in contrast to that of Minor Threat's first recordings (which contained a politically critical message and as opposed to drug use).[citation needed]

Background, recording and reissuesEdit

After a temporary break-up in 1982, Minor Threat entered Inner Ear Studios in January 1983 to record Out of Step. The album was produced and engineered by Don Zientara. The lyrics on Out of Step deal mainly with friendships and problems associated with them, unlike their previous recordings which were an outlet for MacKaye's message.[citation needed] The album artwork was drawn by Cynthia Connolly.

In May–June 1983, Southern Studios founder John Loder traveled from England to New York where Minor Threat would play a show, and there he offered the band to release Out of Step in the UK. The band knew that he was working with Crass which led them to accept the offer, starting a long-standing relationship between Dischord Records and Southern Studios.[2]

The first vinyl pressing of the album (with plain black cover) appears on the Complete Discography compilation. After the second pressing, the band remixed the album and this version remained in print on vinyl until the 2000s. The latter is distinguishable by a colored stripe with suggested retail price across the front, and "Dischord 10 UK" and "Utopia" in the dead wax. The biggest differences between the original mix and the remixed version are in the songs "Out of Step" and the initially untitled "Cashing In".

In the mid-2000s, the album was remastered on vinyl by Chicago Mastering Service, with no stripe.


Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [3]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [4]
Spin Alternative Record Guide9/10[5]

Out of Step was met with positive reviews and ratings. Ned Raggett of AllMusic awards it four-and-a-half out of five stars and states: "Building on the promise and fire of the band's earlier singles, Out of Step instantly became iconic for American hardcore, not to mention for the D.C. scene, for years to come, as well as any number of bands who conflated personal and social politics."[3]


Out of Step has received a number of accolades and is cited as a landmark album of the hardcore punk genre. It is mentioned in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Publication Accolade Rank
Pitchfork Media Top 100 Albums of the 1980s 100[6]
Spin Ten Reasons Why We Wish SPIN Had Started in 1984 9[7]
Loudwire Top 80 Hard Rock & Metal Albums Of The 1980s 19[8]
FACT The 100 Best Albums of the 1980s 7[9]
NME The 15 Best Hardcore Albums of All Time unranked list[10]

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Minor Threat.

2."It Follows"1:50
3."Think Again"2:18
4."Look Back and Laugh"3:16
5."Sob Story"1:50
6."No Reason"1:57
7."Little Friend"2:18
8."Out of Step"1:20
9."Cashing In" (uncredited track on original vinyl version)3:43
Total length:21:36




  1. ^ "Minor Threat - Out Of Step at Discogs". discogs. Retrieved 23 September 2017.
  2. ^ Brannigan, Paul (2011). "Ian MacKaye on Minor Threat, Fugazi and the power of Punk Rock". LouderSound. Washington, D.C. (published April 16, 2014). Archived from the original on January 9, 2019. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. "Out of Step – Minor Threat". AllMusic. Retrieved March 20, 2010.
  4. ^ Kemp, Mark (2004). "Minor Threat". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 544. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  5. ^ Weisband, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.
  6. ^ "Top 100 albums of the 1980s". Retrieved November 5, 2011.
  7. ^ "List of Out of Step Accolades". Acclaimed Music. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2012-04-08.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ nme

External linksEdit