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The Germs - M.I.A.: The Complete Anthology (Cover Artwork)

The Germs

The Germs: M.I.A.: The Complete AnthologyM.I.A.: The Complete Anthology (1993)
Rhino

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: waste_elitewaste_elite
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Essential, is the word that comes to mind when thinking of this album... MIA is a complete discography of sorts for the Germs, one of the first (and greatest) punk bands to make a name for themselves in Los Angeles. It contains their first few singles, the entirety of the legendary GI album, and .
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Essential, is the word that comes to mind when thinking of this album...

MIA is a complete discography of sorts for the Germs, one of the first (and greatest) punk bands to make a name for themselves in Los Angeles. It contains their first few singles, the entirety of the legendary GI album, and other various odds and ends. There are a handful of songs absent from this release, but unless you are obsessive, this is the only thing you need from these guys.

There has been so much written about the Germs, that I feel it to be rather unnecessary to dissect the history and significance of the band and charismatic trainwreck of a lead singer, Darby Crash. Instead of giving a history lesson that most of you are probably already familiar with, I'll get to describing how much ass they kicked.

MIA is fascinating in how it chronicles the progression of the band. The album kicks off with Forming, which, to my knowledge, is the first punk single to surface in LA. It's a simplistic, primitive rocker that sounds like it was made by a band that was still learning how to play their instruments. The song's a classic in it's own right, but it was obvious the band was still in the process of becoming a cohesive unit. From there, the album moves on showing the band tightening up and developing the sound that would make them legends.

For those of you unfamiliar with the sound of the Germs, think a faster, tighter, more aggressive Sex Pistols and add the Ramones' sense of melody. This is pushing it really, but it is the closest comparison I could come up with. The band really was doing their own thing, and one listen to this album will tell you that a million bands past and present blatantly cribbed from them. It should also be noted that the roots of what was to become Hardcore can be found in several of these songs.

Now on the topic of Darby Crash, a regular punk icon and legend in the vein (no pun intended... seriously) of Sid Vicious. The guy was a fucking maniac that unfortunately adhered to the old punk mythos of living fast and dying young (he overdosed on heroin at the age of 22). What fascinates me is that the kid was incredibly bright, something you wouldn't expect from the first generation of needles and nihilism punk rockers. His lyrics are surprisingly poetic and insightful, standing in stark contrast to the way he spits them out at you. Truly an interesting character.

I could go on forever about the significance of the Germs, but I'll leave it like it is. If you enjoy early punk (or any punk, really) this record is a necessary purchase. You won't be disappointed.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Bad Brains - Bad BrainsMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeAdolescents - AdolescentsOperation Ivy - Operation IvyBlack Flag - DamagedThe Clash - London CallingThe Clash - The ClashRamones - RamonesNOFX - Punk In Drublic

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Manglenn (January 16, 2014)

Not All Right

Manglenn (January 16, 2014)

I can hear the laughter

bergman913 (July 6, 2013)

There is something great about Darby Crash that many people won't see. Which is definitely okay, there are many people who just look for sound, and miiiiiight not like The Germs for that reason.

Darby Crash doesn't sing... I don't really even know what you would call it. Normally it just sounds like he's dying, or really drunk, but some of the lyrics he wrote were so incredible that you wouldn't believe they came from him.

majorthreat (October 29, 2011)

Overrated as fuck

C-Men (June 29, 2008)

the germs are awesome. i love Darby Crash's amazing vocals in this album! R.I.P. Darby Crash

WHAT WE DO IS SECRET!
SECRET!

TommyPickles (March 21, 2008)

I love the Germs.

dontwantaname (January 19, 2008)

THE GERMS kicked fuckin' ass and made great punk songs. Shit, give 'em their 5 fuckin' *'s assholes!

tittytwisterbudy (April 4, 2007)

i really think the germs are overrated

totalstranga (July 25, 2006)

the lyrics to No God give me goosebumps. Darby Crash: he meant it maaaan! ;)

Anonymous (May 26, 2006)

great bands, amazing music

Anonymous (March 24, 2006)

Hell yeah the germs kick so much ass their best song is lexicon devil fuck yeah
r. I. P. Darby crash

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

Hell yeah the germs are fuckin awsome they are better than greenday and the other bands the germs kick so much ass!!

doccantgetme (September 28, 2004)

this album is great. they are the most well loved punk band that nobody listens to, but everybody claims to play constantly.

Anonymous (February 13, 2003)

"If punk is dead, then where does that put all of us?"

Whoa... Imagine trying to do something OUTSIDE of a group... Thats hard, isn't it. The Heartbreakers... simple rock n' roll? I mean, it's great that you love them... But I personally think Johnny Thunders was a million times more "punk" than Henry Rollins... I love early Black Flag, but when Rollins went crazy and made My War and got into straight edge and stuff, out went the individuality. And yes, I am the reason the cops have been busting you for the last 20 years(?). Ramones were singing about girls a LONG time before any political punk band was around, and if you think that's all they sung about, then you haven't heard enough of them to judge. They sung about drugs, mental problems, and mass murders also. Legs may be an asshole... Don't know, because frankly, I've never met the guy. I still stand by the thought that punk's original idea has been lost... But that isn't an automatic thought... I've given about two minutes of thought.

waste_elite (February 13, 2003)

the germs were originals. i made a weak attempt at trying to liken them to two more popular contemporaries in order to give a slight idea of what the band sounded like.

the band really was doing their own thing.

Anonymous (February 12, 2003)

and about originality, who in your list was obscenely fast, raw, upset and pissed off? ramones? they were singing about love and girls when darby crash and pat smear were playing songs about communism, mind control, and dead presidents. Eat shit, you yuppie elitist fuck. It's people like you that give all of us a bad name, that got us in trouble with the cops for the past 20 years, that would speak about your "founding" of the scene while you sipped tea on the other side of town from the punk rock show.

Anonymous (February 12, 2003)

hey the anti punk rock guy- Legs mcNeil is an asshole, believe me, hes an elitist old fart that has tried for years to hold down any band that wasn't friends with him, believe me, he held down two of my bands from playing gigs on the east coast. And about the germs being part of a genre and not being a punk band, awesome you think that, but i could give a shit about opinions you are WRONG. i like all the bands you named, except television, who was grossly overrated. But Blondie? rock with an edge of disco, that began in an early punk scene. Heartbreakers? definately a great band, i like them more than the germs but they are of a type of music called rock n' roll, maybe you've heard of it. Now the germs, they were aggressive, pissed off, and had fun. I love their songs and obviously people on this board do, and they were a punk band just as much as Black Flag was, as the pistols or the damned were, as the criminals or nirvana or afi or channel 3 or tsol or ANYONE that is in this genre is. Punk never died, as much as you artsy-yuppie fucks wanted it to, and it only grows and grows. It has become categorized as a form of music, but thats the way it was planned. It does have horrible bands representing it today (good charlotte, simple plan, thursday, new found glory) but there are just as many good bands represting it as well, and even more bands that just wouldnt die. If punk is dead, then where does that put all of us?

Anonymous (February 12, 2003)

"For those of you unfamiliar with the sound of the Germs, think a faster, tighter, more aggressive Sex Pistols and add the Ramones' sense of melody."

A prime example of what I mean...

Anonymous (February 12, 2003)

"He credits himself as creating the name, but to be truthful, hes just a guy who got paid by vh1 to tell some stories about blondie and television."

Do you know what you're talking about? He and his pal created PUNK magazine. That was how the term "punk" was created. And, I hate to say it, Television, the Voidoids, early Blondie, the Ramones, and Heartbreakers were much more "punk" than this band for the sole reason that they were totally original. That was the purpose of "punk". Now it is just another musical genre. And yes, unpopular kids tend to get into it alot more and that's good for them. I'd rather hear a Germs, Pistols, or Clash record any day than the shit most kids listen to, but the fact still remains that "punk" has become just as repetitive as any other genre. I like it better than most other different rock groupings, but realize that it has lost its meaning. The fact is, punk was better when every group had their own sound. Almost every review on this site compares the record to another band in certain aspects, ie "sounds like mid-80s Ramones" or "sounds like London Calling era Clash". In the prime days of punk, such things would never have been written. Try to compare Television to any other band... You get what I mean.You can't. And how are the Ramones pop-punk? Pop punk is mixing popular rock music with punk simplicity... The Ramones never did that.

-The Guy who first said punk was dead.

Anonymous (February 11, 2003)

Anthologies like the germs MIA should be regarded as important documents of the scene they were a part of, a moment in time. Lets not compare scenes or styles or even musical abilty. For those that were there, MIA is a scrapbook. For those that were'nt it's a window into a moment in punk history.
Another good example of this is the Cheifs-Hollywest Crisis. A scrapbook of or window into the Holly/West scene.
Maybe I'll review it here.-Sopor

waste_elite (February 11, 2003)

that last post was excellent.

it's always refreshing to hear from an older punk that isn't caught up in being jaded and cynical.

Anonymous (February 11, 2003)

hey buddy punks not dead, no matter how many times you hear simple plan on the radio and swear its a travesty, there is always gonna be some kid somewhere who decided no to be popular anymore (or wasnt in the first place) and decided that having a cheerleading girlfriend and a nice haircut and clean clothes wasnt how he was gonna spend his life. Thats how it was for me. Anyways, yea it will never die. And it is being reinvented, I'm sure some of you have noticed that in the past few years especially, there is a new genre of punk ("screamo" or "new hardcore") that is taking shape, and absolutley no band has broken yet, unless you count At The Drive In (who were kinda out there for hardcore) or Refused (still not quite), but believe me kids its there, go check it out. yea anyways , sorry got off track. Back to the point....Legs McNeil is not an authority to punk rock, I've met the guy, hes just some artsy guy from New York that liked cocaine a lot. He credits himself as creating the name, but to be truthful, hes just a guy who got paid by vh1 to tell some stories about blondie and television. Myself being around back in LA, we always figured that the fashion came from England, the mentality came from New York(ramones/hell/thunders/dolls/misfits, not new wave bs), the music came from where we were and was doing the same in dc, whom for whatever reason were in California a lot. And about Slash, the label, they were somehwat independent back in the day, but what they were back then should be compared to....Epitaph records today, because they did get some attention and had somewhat good distribution(if you lived in nebraska you could still find an X record pretty easily) so you kids that dont like Epitaph today, thats what i was like back then. Adios

Anonymous (February 10, 2003)

At the time the germs were around, punk was not dead. Not in LA at least. The Germs were about more than just music. They kind of had a cult following. It was a lifestyle. This is a band that played at the Masque with The Weirdos, F-Word, The Zeros, and my personal favorite Black Randy (ok maybe not favorite, but he was damn amusing). Maybe the revolution seemed over in the U.K. and New York, but it was still moving in Hollywood.

Anonymous (February 10, 2003)

Punk was really dead by this time. By the time the Germs were around, Punk was no longer an idea, but a musical genre. And punk, as a musical genre, is no more listenable than raw garage rock. "Punk" was originally about getting up on a stage and playing what you wanted because you thought what they were playing on the radio sucked. In other words, complete and total underground originality. This is not just MY definition of punk, it is also Legs McNeil's, who coined the phrase "punk". So anything that doesn't fit that isn't really punk, but raw garage rock played to spiky headed people. Bands like Television and Richard Hell and the Voidoids exemplify this. Of course, there were bands in the 80s that carried this on, like Joy Division and almost the entire Manchester scene. But alas, those bands are all gone (with the exception of the Buzzcocks), and so are the true punks. I like the Germs for what they are: raw, fast rock. But they are hardly punk, in its original sense.

TheOneTrueBill (February 10, 2003)

"also, you pointed out the fact that the germs along with X caught flak for being signed to a label. slash at that point was an indie label, so why would the kids make a big deal about it?"

because they weren't "DIY" like the SST folks.

waste_elite (February 10, 2003)

"if you don't have any factual knowledge or anything don't try to show up someone that does."

christ, i'm not claiming to be a Germs' encyclopedia and i'm not attempting to show anyone up. i'm just using logic here. i know that the germs sucked in the beginning, i know that people laughed at them and they couldn't play their instruments. you can listen to a live track to hear all of that. it was obviously more about being crazy on stage as opposed to playing coherent music.

"They did not get good, nor did people start to really like the until a few months before Darby died."

the pre-gi tracks (lexicon devil, no god, etc.) and GI itself are fucking masterpieces. anyone with ears can tell that they were an excellent band at that point in time. now live? i don't know i wasn't there, but you can't listen to those songs and call the band "a fucking joke".

anyway, this argument is absolutely pointless. scene politics and the exact point at which the germs became "good" is trivial. just listen to MIA and be glad the band existed.

Anonymous (February 10, 2003)

I'm not the guy that part of the late 70's/early 80's so-cal punk scene but still to the dude below me, if you don't have any factual knowledge or anything don't try to show up someone that does. The dude is right, the germs were a fucking joke. They were total fuck ups on stage. All playing different, random songs while darby would cut himself on stage or give himself germ burns. Then after a few songs they would get kicked out of the particular venue for good. That was basicaly the typical germs show. They did not get good, nor did people start to really like the until a few months before Darby died. In which time they didn't really play many shows cause Darby was into starting his own band, becoming an Adam Ant guru, and having relationships with under age boys. Though, I won't deny that they did get pretty big towards the end. If you want some more info read Lexicon devil or We got the neutron bomb. You should get TONS of info from both of those books.

waste_elite (February 9, 2003)

lexicon devil is definitely something i've been wanting to read, i'll have to check that out. i can see the germs being seen as somewhat of a joke early in their career (around the time Forming was released and prior). however, they released lexicon devil and their other pre-GI songs shortly afterwards. those songs are fucking razorsharp, i couldn't imagine people NOT taking them seriously at that point. that was '78 i believe, two years before the germs called it quits for good.

also, you pointed out the fact that the germs along with X caught flak for being signed to a label. slash at that point was an indie label, so why would the kids make a big deal about it?

if you were there, that's awesome. i'm not trying to be a smartass or anything, i just want to bounce a few things off of you.

Anonymous (February 9, 2003)

I heard Black Flag didn't get along well with the Adolescents. Don't know if that's true. The Adolescents were probably just jealous.

Anonymous (February 9, 2003)

check out the lexicon devil book (held by anthony from RHCP beginning of some video)it will explain exactly what was up with darby and mind control.
OK...myself being part of the scene back then, I don't have any intentions of making you feel inferior, its just that the truth has gotten blurred over the years. First, the germs were never popular in Cali until, maybe, their last show, but they were no where near as big as X ever was. The Germs (although great, and yes, Paul did use a microphone) were always considered a joke band. NEVER taken seriously. They truthfully werent that great back then until the last few months, they could barely play.
SECOND- the LA scene was split up- There was the trendy, artsy older bar scene that included X, Weirdos,and the Germs. Then there were the young kids, who would book shows and were HATED by the trendy scene. This scene was composed of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, TSOL, Adolescents, etc... these were the kids that started hardcore, they would bring cool bands in, they always caused problems. ANYWAYS thats how it was

Luzzew (February 9, 2003)

No reviews of Fear albums here, which sucks... I don't have any full Fear albums so I can't review one.. I think someone should, huh?

WEZ

Anonymous (February 9, 2003)

Didn't Darby Crash refuse to sing with a microphone?

TheOneTrueBill (February 8, 2003)

What about the Weirdos!?!?! i was looking through the archives not too long ago and i saw a review of "Weird World" and it only had around 50-60 hits, and no comments for 6 months. A travesty

Anonymous (February 8, 2003)

the screamers are amazing, im glad im not the only person whose into them. As for the germs, richie dagger and communist eyes are brilliant, Mr.Brett said he wrote lyrics the way he did early on because Darby Crash hadn't been afraid of being intilligent and using large words (gasp), and that influenced him alot.

Anonymous (February 8, 2003)

Those Germs were a nifty band. It's a shame Darby Crash tried to be like that moron Sid Vicious.

Speaking of Rik L Rik, wasn't he in Negative Trend with with future Flipper members Steve Depace and Will Shatter? That's a good band too.

Anonymous (February 8, 2003)

Get"beach blvd" from posh boy records and check out F-word with Rik L Rik on vocals and get an LA punk history lesson. They are completely overlooked but no less influential to the LA scene.-Sopor

evildeadalive (February 8, 2003)

Good, good, good.

Anonymous (February 8, 2003)

I am obsessed with this album.

-freedom to oppress

waste_elite (February 8, 2003)

"hey its about time wussemorock reviewed a good alb- oh wait never mind"

what the hell's that supposed to mean?!

Anonymous (February 8, 2003)

Ok, lets get things straigh. The Germs were one of the first punk bands to come out of LA. I think the Screamers were probably the first. Secondly the germs WERE HUGE in LA. Not at first, but they got fucking huge toward the end. They were bigger in la than black flag was, but black flag WAS from Hermosa, so it's understandable.

inagreendase (February 7, 2003)

hey its about time wussemorock reviewed a good alb- oh wait never mind

waste_elite (February 7, 2003)

"Sorry to say though, but your review doesn't exactly do justice to Darby and ecognizing his ability to mind control, or Pat Smear and his life-long history of great music which started with this. BTW, Darby died of a suicide, not exactly just a heroin overdose."

i pretty much glossed over crash and whatnot because, well, i didn't really feel like giving an extensive history lesson. if you wanna learn all about darby crash, get a book or do a search on the internet. i'm not quite sure what you mean by "his ability to mind control", care to elaborate? and yes he did commit suicide, via an overdose like i said.

"AND the Germs may have been great, but they weren't the first LA punk band, and to be truthful, back in the day many people hated them because they were on a record label with X, whereas their peers usually just put things out the DIY way (SST,Dischord)."

i never said that they were the first punk band in LA, i said that they were one of the first. they were certainly the first to make a serious splash. and what's this about them being "hated", i've always read that they practically spearheaded the LA scene...

Anonymous (February 7, 2003)

i really like this band. definitely one of the old school greats. and pat smear has always been a cool guy. touring with nirvana then a stint with the foo fighters. i wonder what he's up to now.

Anonymous (February 7, 2003)

We do exsist, really! Unfortunately many of us are sorry loners cause our friends sold out and joined the system. Seeing Black Flag and circle jerks the cookoos nest, at age 15 will always be my favorite memories, but unlike ALL of my friends I'll be buying the new F-minus album this month and listening to it...alone!

Anonymous (February 7, 2003)

Props for the review, this is THE punk rock album of all time, excluding maybe Black Flag-Everything Went Black/First 4 Years, or Johnny Thunders/Heartbreakers-LAMF. Sorry to say though, but your review doesn't exactly do justice to Darby and ecognizing his ability to mind control, or Pat Smear and his life-long history of great music which started with this. BTW, Darby died of a suicide, not exactly just a heroin overdose. AND the Germs may have been great, but they weren't the first LA punk band, and to be truthful, back in the day many people hated them because they were on a record label with X, whereas their peers usually just put things out the DIY way (SST,Dischord).

Anonymous (February 7, 2003)

Where are old punks at now? I'm really curious. Ever person I have ever met that is in the age category that would have seen an LA band like The Germs or Black Flag knows nothing of them. Did all punks really die young!? lol

Anonymous (February 7, 2003)

Ritchie Dagger!

moldy (February 7, 2003)

great album, good review, deffintly one of the best punk albums ever. i finally picked this one up about a month ago and i just cant get enough of it.

Anonymous (February 7, 2003)

Good review! I agree with your point about the Germs getting slighted when it comes to punk rock history. I wish the young punks could see "The Decline of Western Civilization" (out of print) so they could appreciate the germs and other early punk bands. Another band that gets forgotten even more than the Germs is F-word. Rik L Rik (R.I.P.) was brilliant! -Sopor

waste_elite (February 7, 2003)

yeah, i doubt many people will even bother to look at this. i submitted this in hopes to persuade at least one kid to go out and pick up this album. seriously, everyone talks about the sex pistols, the clash, and the ramones but the germs have always been kind of the odd man out. it's a shame really, they are just as significant, and in my eyes, they rocked harder (not too take anything away from said bands, i love them all).

Anonymous (February 7, 2003)

i guarantee this review won't get more than 200 hits. a shame really, these young kids today wouldn't know who the germs are.

TheOneTrueBill (February 7, 2003)

"Essential, is the word that comes to mind when thinking of this album..."

my feelings exactly. everyone should own this.

Anonymous (February 7, 2003)

finally some real punk on this fucking site

rock on

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