Saturday, June 23, 2007

Bad Brains - Rock For Light [original PVC pressing]

Bad Brains - Rock For Light [Original Pressing]
Label - PVC
Released - 1983
Style - Punk/Hardcore/Dub/Reggae


A1 Coptic Times (2:13)
A2 Attitude (1:12)
A3 We Will Not (1:40)
A4 Sailin' (1:50)
A5 Rally Round Jah Throne (4:44)
A6 Right Brigade (2:30)
A7 F.V.K. (0:48)
A8 Riot Squad (2:02)
A9 The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth (3:43)
B1 Joshua's Song (0:34)
B2 Banned In D.C. (2:05)
B3 How Low Can A Punk Get (1:56)
B4 Big Takeover (2:40)
B5 I And I Survive (5:13)
B6 Destroy Babylon (1:25)
B7 Rock For Light (1:25)
B8 At The Movies (2:20)

LEGITIMATE Review (excellent - by somebody whose been around)
ILLEGITIMATE Review (worthless, but unintentially hilarious)

I assume anyone who found my blog already knows the deal with this music and with Bad Brains specifically. So instead of doing a straight review, I'd rather review a review of the record I found recently. The review in question is from and the only good part of this review is the reviewer's name (Smooth_BM). The original review seems more like a joke than anything else, but I think the fool is actually serious (link: Points/counterpoints...

"Rock For Light is one of the most annoying albums I've heard in my life."

- Not even four sentences deep into the review, and this dude requires a proper curbstomping.

"Mr. Ocasek must not be familiar with black people and music. It's all about the bass, listen to rap, funk, reggae, R&B. The bass is drowned way into the backround, to the point if you can hear the bass, it sounds like a palm-muted guitar."

- We've now hit the fourth sentence and the nagging seedling of stupidity has blossomed into a fullgrown, stupid ignorant tree. Must kill. Or 'palm-mute' at the very least. Fuck you.

"This makes the reggae numbers abysmal, I'd rather listen to No Doubt's ska or whatever the hell people call it than this garbage."

- That comma needs to be a semi-colon or period, fuckface.

- - abysmal;
a·bys·mal –adjective
1. of or like an abyss; immeasurably deep or great.

- - - Yes, the reggae/dub explorations of Bad Brains were immeasurably deep and great. You completely lost credibility by mentioning No Doubt in a Bad Brains review. The two bands are not even slightly comparable in any context. Fuck you x2.

"I bet Lee Perry turned over in his grave when this was released, assuming he's dead, but I'm not sure."

- He didn't, because he's not, and you're an idiot. Fuck you x3, x4, and x5.

"Bad Brains' reggae/ska was mediocre for the most part, on their debut it was actually really good, but this stuff...terrible."

- IT'S NOT SKA. You are mediocre in every aspect. And most importantly - FUCK YOU x6.

"Excluding the reggae, the songs are top notch, but the production and HR ruin everything."

- What the hell are you talking about??? HR makes everything better, including Beatles songs. Fuck You x7 (lucky numba!)

"Like with the debut, there's two guitars layered in the mix. One plays rhythm, while the other handles solos (I'll just say lead for lack of a better word)"

- OK I slightly agree with you on the guitar solos. But Fuck You x8 anyways. Bad Brains are one of the few bands that can get away with the questionable guitar solos and still rock your face off. But wait - who are you to critique guitar solos on a Punk review forum? Punk was defined by its lack of musicianship and anti-hero ethos, so don't try and compare Dr. Know to Yngwie Malmsteen or Eddie Van Halen. That brings us up to FUCK YOU x9 (very unlucky! black cats hiss in your face as they walk under ladders with hats on every fucking bed in the house on Friday the 13th)

"The debut made me get up and kick ass, while listening to this makes me just sit there. The absense of the bass drains out those awesome ass-grabbingly good beats."

- You sound like an undercover raver to me. Who the hell says "ass-grabbingly good beats"??? If you want bass, pick up some 2 Live Crew and bass it up. If you think you can handle it, beat your meat to the bass-friendly Egyptian Lover. Go ahead and google some Maggotron, bitch. FUCK YOU x10!!!

The comments section for this mockery of a review was equally entertaining...

"I bet Lee Perry turned over in his grave when this was released, assuming he's dead, but I'm not sure"

He's still quite alive, actually.


I know Willie Nelson didnt start country music but what i'm saying is that he has been very important in making it what it is today. But there was another guy (still cant remember his name) who was black who was a big influence on Willie Nelson.
Posted by CallingLondon on 2002-09-26 15:46:16

no doubt most certantly was a ska band back in the day. now, i don't know what the fuck they are. perhaps "shit" is the best description.
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, September 25, 2002 at 7:38 PM (EDT)

The reviewer is a dumbass. Bad Brains is not annoying;the singer from nfg is annoying. the African American culture practically invented all of the music we hear nowadays except country and polka. punk is a form of expression, and lets be honest it doesn't take an exceeded amount of talent to play punk.
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, September 24, 2002 at 12:48 PM (EDT)

No Doubt??? What the fuck was this guy on when he reviewed it, they suck, but I wouldn't mind boning that girl.
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, September 22, 2002 at 1:29 AM (EDT)

you sure are a fool. the reason why this record sounds so bad is because caroline fucked up and mastered it at the WRONG SPEED. which is why HR's voice is really high and the songs are too fast. stop being a poser and track down the original vinyl on PVC records from '83 and not this sad 90's reissue.
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 23, 2002 at 1:03 AM (EDT)

Unlike the non-offensive pop "punk" bands of today, bands like Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, Black flag, and Minor Threat couldn't afford glossy high production- in other words, they didnt' kiss ass- their live show was what mattered and records were secondary but still great. Also, it isn't the producer's fault, it's just the old and very minimalist equipment due to budet restraints you fucking idiots. Even with this low budget it blows the shit out of all that high gloss fake music like new found glory.
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 23, 2002 at 1:50 PM (EDT)

***** XMP SUGGESTS EVERYONE READING THIS TO PURCHASE THE BAD BRAINS - LIVE AT CBGB'S 1982 DVD!!! Fuck what you heard... This live show at CBGB's will blow your mind! For a band not even from NYC, all black and doing *very* risky shit for the early 80s in the punk/hardcore scene - their performance was absolutely fearless. You can see the expression on peoples' faces who are in the crowd, clearly NYC locals - they start out looking unimpressed and snobby. But halfway through the gig the expression changes to bewilderment and shock - obviously! They go from breakneck hardcore to chilled-out dub with no warning whatsoever. Cop that shit.


Slobodan Burgher said...

Lol!!!! Have this already obviously but being a nerd I'm grabbing to see if the rip is better than the one have...and without the pitched upspeed stuff etc etc. Love that review of the review. Classic.

XMP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
noahpoah said...

In the spirit of your review of a review, thank you x1, thank you x2, thank you x3, thank you x4, ..., thank you x10.

As both of my taped copies are wearing out, I just recently became obsessed with getting a high quality digital copy of the original vinyl version of Rock For Light, and lo and behold, here it is.

Again, thank you.

XMP said...


I got this shit down to a science. Takes a bit longer than your average, but I run my files through a series of processing algorithms to tighten that shit up. Interested to hear your opinion!

dom said...

I've got Rock For Light on white vinyl on the Line Records label. I hate reading reviews like that, none of what he said is true. I've never thought the sound was bad & as for the solos, they make songs like "Banned In DC", they're not so much solos as "orgasms". As for HR's voice, it is as distinctive & brilliant as any in rock music, particularly live when his rage is unmatched.

I saw the original line up play in 1989 during the "Quickness" tour in Manchester, England. It was probably the best gig I ever went to...Incidentally, they had the most extensive range of merchandise I've ever seen at a gig...badges, patches, posters, several different t shirts, hooded tops!

A shame they got bogged down in religion, dope & infighting, according to Scott "Wino" Weinrich, they could be arrogant & violent.

XMP said...

No shit that review is barely worth the laughs. I couldn't simply let it go - I almost feel like Bad Brains is family, so I tend to take it personally when people use their name in vain.

Quickness was another hot album. If I were a little bit older, I could have seen them at their prime :( Oh well... I did manage to see Jane's Addiction a number of times, so my childhood wasn't all bad.

Thanks for the insightful comments.

steve said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. I already have a copy of the CD remaster with its poor sequencing and sped up tracks, but this trumps that. Far superior. Cheers.