Black Flag - Damaged (Cover Artwork)

Black Flag

Black Flag: DamagedDamaged (1981)
Black Flag

Reviewer Rating: 5
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Contributed by: ChemicalWarfareChemicalWarfare
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Black Flag. The legendary American punk/hardcore band from California. Many as do I refer to them as THE hardcore band. They built their name off a bunch of classic ep's and lp's and relentless touring. Many love the name, but most of the time, it matters who's backing that name up. Most peopl.
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Black Flag. The legendary American punk/hardcore band from California. Many as do I refer to them as THE hardcore band. They built their name off a bunch of classic ep's and lp's and relentless touring.

Many love the name, but most of the time, it matters who's backing that name up. Most people know Black Flag has had many members come and go. In a way, it's the name that made people take notice, no matter who was behind it. Black Flag was much more than a band, it was a machine.

I honestly admit, I think Keith Morris era Black Flag is the best, and most will agree, but the fact remains that they only put out a 4 song e.p. with him at the helm. (And the Chavo/Dez era didn't break much ground)

It was a Washington DC Ice Cream shop owner who brought Black Flag to legendary status. In 1981, Henry Rollisn hopped on stage at a Black Flag NYC show to sing a song, which led to him taking over vocals. Love him or hate him, Henry Rollins made Black Flag reach that mythic status they hold now.

Keith Morris was a madman, but Rollins was just one disturbed pissed off kid. This was before he was writing his poetry, working out, and making movies. Before all that extra luggage there was one thing on the mind of Rollins and the entire Black Flag. World Domination.

Thats right, the 5 members of the band at that time, wanted it. By "it" I mean everything. They wanted to blow every band off the stage. They wanted to reach every area they could in this country, a band that truly helped this scene thrive and grow. Only few bands if any have played as many shows as Black Flag has in such a short in time.

And it wasn't just about playing everywhere. It was about converting those people that came to see you, whether 10 or 1000 Black Flag played as intense as any band of any genre EVERY night, and will remain one of the bands that made this scene survive, much more so then the Sex Pistols.

So what was Black Flag's peak? Damaged. A definitive album in teenage angst, lashing out at the world. Cynicism, fury, anger, and a dose of humor helped make this album classic.

Anthems like "Rise Above", pure old-school punk. The way it should be. "Six Pack", "Spray Paint", "Depression" all show off the moods many of us will go through as kids, destroying everything we see, drinking, hate....It's all there.

"Gimmie, Gimmie" (The superior version) one of Black Flags best cuts, and again shows off the mentality many of us have when were younger. "Police Story", a great song, no real need to explain, we all have a police story from somewhere in our life.

Then theres the classic "TV Party". You can't hate this song, sure, if your a Black Flag fan, you've probably heard it a thousand times, but from the humor, singalong chorus and verses, and perfect cynical lyrics. Black Flag is at its best.

Sure after this a pathetic lawsuit would hamper the band, Rollins would eventually despise most of the scene that he grew up in (Who wouldn't after all the bullshit that "fans" gave him) , and SST would file bankruptcy. This is punk, hardcore, old-school whatever you want to call it, at some of it's best.

And though Black Flag would later drag itself on a bit too far for thir own good, their impact will remain, and this album has and can stand the test of time, somewhere in everyones life you've been a bit damaged.


People who liked this also liked:
Descendents - Milo Goes To CollegeMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyOperation Ivy - Operation IvyBad Brains - Bad BrainsThe Clash - London CallingNOFX - Punk In DrublicRancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesThe Clash - The ClashBad Religion - SufferBad Religion - No Control

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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.
gankdude1 (August 3, 2014)

Doesn't get better than this.

SaintBrock (March 14, 2014)

Easily the greatest punk album released

flexyourhead231x (July 20, 2013)

Henry Rollins is amazing on this album

bergman913 (July 6, 2013)

One of the greatest hardcore albums of all time.

BorgieBaby (April 20, 2012)

the first album i ever bought on vinyl and it was amazing, Of course Ive heard better albums but this one's is never gonna leave my mind or my collection

scruff207 (June 29, 2010)

Anytime I'm upset about anyhthing, this album is the cure.

nedsammy (May 31, 2010)

awesome, feiry stuff. i'll admit i like the more punky and shambolic stuff (TV Party, Rise Above, Six Pack) and the hardcore stuff (Depression, Spray Paint) more than the more abrasive stuff, but this is an amazing album altogether, thanks to the underappreciated musicianship (in that respect Greg Ginn really does Rise Above) and the horrifying frontman, young Mr. Rollins. wish i'd been around to catch them live

cheddar (September 2, 2009)

this record deff changed my life. this band in general changed my life. this got me into hardcore without even knowing that was what i was listening to. this band in general is someone as young as 12 or 13 just getting into punk can enjoy, to someone who has been around for a decade and a half can love too. I dont think i will ever not like this band. alot of people when they are younger listen to real shitty bands like the casualties and think, wow this stuff is so great and eventually, you grow out of it... this is not the case for black flag.

505Misfit (May 4, 2008)

Pure adreneline . . . . . . . Rise Above??? Yes the PUnks are. . .. . .. . .

TommyPickles (April 6, 2008)

Classic album.

J-syn (September 26, 2007)

This Album Is Incredible!...Other than never mind the bollocks by the Sex Pistols and the early Ramones Albums This is probably the best punk album ever!.....Raw emotion And Passion fuel this disk for every single track.

lokes182 (January 22, 2007)


essa é umass das bandas

mais fodas de todass

muito loko

The_Wayfarer (January 19, 2007)

Great album with their frsit solid lineup... but not as good as "My War."

Anonymous (November 11, 2006)

I love this album. Everyone who doesn't love it should at least respect it. Chances are that this album influenced the bands that you listen to

upthepunx13 (September 22, 2006)

this album is just amazing its definately one of my favorites.

Mr_Streetcore (July 3, 2006)

great albumn this is one of the best u.s punk albumns i have borought

FuckYouOiOiOi (February 4, 2006)

this album is amazing. if you don't have it your a fool.

"the world's got problems. i got problems of my own."

fucking brilliant.

Anonymous (October 30, 2005)

i lovee this album. every song is the direct line to what the fuck it is all about.

Bastardzach (August 26, 2005)

Good, but no where near as great as some people give it credit for.

Anonymous (July 27, 2005)

its ok with bf but this cd sucks a hairy ball

Anonymous (May 28, 2005)

Hands down the best hardcore record of all time.

RiseAbove (May 18, 2005)

Great album, definitely one of the best in my collection.

Anonymous (March 28, 2005)

This album is one of my favorites. Right up there by Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables.

Anonymous (February 3, 2005)

This album will never fail to blow me away whenever I listen to it. It's harsh, beautifully under-produced, and all in all, a classic hardcore record.

''Rise Above'' remains one of my favorite punk songs of all time.


Anonymous (January 28, 2005)

very boring, very simple, very predictable? Granted you're entitled to your opinion but still...it's only predictable because 10,000 bands have tried to copy them since.

Anonymous (November 3, 2004)

I'm partaged between the fact that the band was totally devoted to music and the fact that Henry Rollins and Greg Ginn were both too nihilistic and unfriendly during the Black Flag era for me (I know, I'm just not punk enough)

Minutemen and Minor Threat for me...

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

forgot to give it a score ^

Anonymous (September 22, 2004)

very boring, very simple, very predictable, very shit recording....this band blows. I like alot of old punk rock/hardcore bands like Bad Brains, The Misfits, Jawbreaker etc but Black Flag suck! Seriously there is nothing that promotes this album and the only reason I picked it up was because it (somehow) influenced bands such as Converge who are awesome....straight back to the store it went :)

Anonymous (September 17, 2004)

Wierd - I bought this album after hearing 'Rise Above', and I fucking hated it the first time I listened to it. The other songs just seemed sloppy compared to that first song. Then the second time I listeded to it, I thought it was average, but only because I realised that 'Six Pack', 'TV Party' and 'Gimme Gimme Gimme' were great songs, too. Then I put it on again a week later, and it just blew me away! Now it's one of my favourite albums ever!

Anonymous (January 16, 2004)

its one of the greatest punk albs

Anonymous (March 30, 2003)

"This album kicks the shit out of anything to come out of California in the hardcore days."

GI is better than this...

seek (July 25, 2002)

there aren't as many comments because the album was added back before this site became mega-popular, so the only way people can read it is by browsing the reviews archive, something not many people do. i just finished my review for this album myself, perhaps it'll get posted on here.

waste_elite (July 18, 2002)

i wouldn't say this album kicks the shit out of everything to come out of california in the hardcore days. dead kennedys buddy. still this album is easily one of the best to come from that era. fucking love it. i love ginn's guitar "solos". that's how all punk solos should sound.

Anonymous (July 6, 2002)

This album kicks the shit out of anything to come out of California in the hardcore days. Beats the shit out of most other hardcore albums too.
It's scary than listening to Black Sabbath, because instead of lyrics about witches and whatnot, these are about real emotions and problems. The double guitar assualt makes it one of the heaviest albums I've heard, including Slayer's Reign In Blood. Rollins is screaming like a man pocessed. He doesn't sound like this on any other album. He screams untill he's horse.Keith Morris was a great singer, but he quit or was fired because he didn't want to try anything different musically. He just wanted 3 chord Ramones style rock. Had he got his way with the rest of the band, Black Flag might've ended up washed up, no talent bums like the Circle Jerks.

Anonymous (May 9, 2002)

Black Flag was ground breaking and they still are original today. I just read a biography on Henry Rollins, you can't help but understand why he left the punk/hardcore scene. Great, truly classic album.

Anonymous (April 30, 2002)

This album is pure gold. why is there only 5 comments for this album, and like a million for Sum41/Blink182?
that is just scarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry!!

Anonymous (August 6, 2001)

My version of this album was printed by Roadrunner. I don't think it's an import but it was so long ago who knows. Regardless, a true classic and I agree about keith morris. If your young and like Flag, get this or perhaps Everything Went Black, which has different versions of all the early stuff by the different singers. I'd also recommend Slip It In which came out a few years later, I still love the title track.

Anonymous (August 4, 2001)

ChemicalWarfare here,

There was a lawsuit after they released Damaged on their own label (SST), I'm pretty sure, cause the original label Unicorn, wouldn't release it, because the album was deemed to offensive.

On a good note, I just got back from the NYC Warped Tour, Rollins may be 40, but he can still level an audience.

maverick (August 4, 2001)

Really good review, I was just curious: what is the lawsuit that you're referring to? I had never heard of one against Black Flag, but then again, I've never been much of a fan.

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