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Bad Religion - Into the Unknown (Cover Artwork)

Bad Religion

Bad Religion: Into the UnknownInto the Unknown (1983)
Bad Religion

Reviewer Rating: 0.5
User Rating:


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

First off this album is the punkest thing you'll ever hear in your lifetime... But really, I know you were just pleading for someone to review it weren't you? Since there's been much hype around the new Bad Religion album, I've decided there should be a review of the "outcast" album: "Into the Un.
Amazon


First off this album is the punkest thing you'll ever hear in your lifetime... But really, I know you were just pleading for someone to review it weren't you? Since there's been much hype around the new Bad Religion album, I've decided there should be a review of the "outcast" album: "Into the Unknown"

As a matter of fact, some Bad Religion fans don't even know this album exists, it's out of print, rarely mentioned by the band, and hasn't been played live (ever?) maybe because some of the members of Bad Religion would like if the album never did exist.

Synthesizers, Acoustics, and keyboards oh my. Back in 1983 this album was a sin to the punk community. I don't know if releasing it was a joke or what, but it caused almost all of BR's fan base to leave in an instant, even members of the band left after this album.

Sure BR redeemed themselves with Back to the Known ('84) a amazing punk album, but to this day, Into the Unknown leaves an rather sour memory. As a punk album, this album is complete and utter crap, but it's not a punk album, so it's unfair to say that.

When I listen to it, I actually think early-mid 70's arena-rock. To tell you the truth, damn good 70's arena rock. Boston, Kansas, Yes, Peter Frampton all come to mind whenever I hear this album.

"Time and Disregard" a 7 minute keyboard, 70's powerchord, radio friendly chorus infested song, makes me want to pop on some Frampton comes alive. "Billy Gnosis" makes me think of the late 60's somewhat of a Buffalo Springfield or Crosby Stills Nash and Young vibe. If this album came out in 1973, I'm telling you Bad Religion would be as big as Led Zeppelin. "You give up" has a creepy piano hook running through it, into blazing riffs and more synthesizer action, I think I love this album.

Again if Bad Religion was a 70's arena-rock band like Boston, I'd give this album a 10, but this is a punk board so I'll judge it by that. And so I end my review... Who says Bad Religion always sounds repetitive?

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Bad Religion - No ControlBad Religion - SufferBad Religion - Against the GrainBad Religion - The Dissent of ManBad Religion - Stranger Than FictionBad Religion - Recipe For HateMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyNOFX - The DeclineBad Religion - The Empire Strikes FirstBad Religion - New Maps of Hell

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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.
sean021122 (February 29, 2012)

Not as good as their previous material. But sill worthy of your time and purchase. If you can find it that is. Good luck and avoid all bad religion tripe from "suffer" and later.

Davegeek (June 27, 2011)

While this album is nowhere near as bad as I thought it was back when I was a little 15 year old hardcore kid I think trying to characterize it as an underappreciated gem or some grand defiant gesture towards punk orthodoxy is a little off base too. Bad Religion were really just doing what LA bands were noted for back then, starting out amazingly strong and then taking bizarre turns that alienated fans. The Circle Jerks did it with their "Wild In The Streets" and "Golden Shower of Hits" albums in 82 and 83. TSOL went for a gothy/psychedelia feel complete with keyboards on their "Beneath the Shadows" album in 82. The Adolescents went and broke up and Agent Orange became a surf band. All in all "Into The Unknown" was pretty par for the course for an early 80s HC band from LA.

JerseyPunker (February 8, 2011)

Between Into the Unknown and Back to the known, I really hear the oozin' ahs coming into their own, as well as the vocal/guitar harmonization coming together. Think of it like musical puberty: Bad Religion EP, the new kid; How Could Hell Be Any Worse: he got in a few scraps and proved himself the new cool kid; puberty strikes and Into the Unknown‚??all his friends ditch him, bullies find him‚??he hides out in shame; mid-summer, he comes around briefly, scruffy, voice deepening, getting Back to the Known; next September he shows up to school filled out, full beard, cut as fuck, and ready to make those bullies Suffer; and all his old friends come running back to him...now, years later his friends are fucking with him for turning thirty. He may be getting old, but he's far from dead.
I give Into the Unknown 4/5 because it's a pretty damn good album...in the whatever-the-hell-it-is genre. However, rating it as a punk album, it's a frisbee at best. However, when I listen to my BR vinyl, I play their studio releases in order, starting with the self-titled EP and inserting Back to the Known in it's time slot. It bridges the gap. (Both came on a 12" EP, both should've been in the box set) It's amazing to listen to their growth and development. Listening from then til now is a must-do for every fan. (I wouldn't know, ;-D but I'd bet one could bittorrent all of it if one couldn't afford the whole collection, PLEASE be sure to support them in other ways if you do)

reject (February 3, 2009)

Read about it in the American Hardcore book. Downloaded it since it was out of print. It has a few listenable tracks. The compilation songs they did around that time were much better.

BrandonSideleau (April 2, 2008)

lol wow I was 18 when this review was put up haha.....anyway this IS a great album and I don't think it is as "70s Arena rock" as you make it sound. It's most definitely still Bad Religion, the oohhss and aaahhhss are there and Greg's always recognizeable voice is at the forefront. I think this would have worked better as a Graffin solo album (it sounds a bit like American Lesion, only with synthesizers...and American Lesion is amazing in my opinion.) They DID play songs from this album live.....I have a bootleg featuring both "It's only over" and "The Dichotomy"...only there are no keyboards or synth. and they end up sounding like reg. bad religion songs. Horribly underrated and misunderstood release.

joeynukes (February 28, 2008)

Their first EP & album were pretty tight, and this was a nice novelty, but I really did not like it so much. I mean I could definatly stand listening to it at a family reunion or something but it really is not that great of an arena-rock record.

It seemed like this album was an attempt to get attention from labels or make Bad Religion a career, which I guess they ultimately did, but everything after this album also seemed to have a large rock influence.

nameless (February 20, 2008)

Eh... "Chasing the Wild Goose" is a decent song.

burningfeeetman (July 22, 2007)

I never really got into Bad Religion, but I am currently downloading this, because it sounds too damn interesting to pass up.

deathbyguitar (August 22, 2006)

it's good, just downloaded it the other day. i really like how weird it is

kingofsuck (July 8, 2006)

It's not that bad.

Anonymous (June 17, 2006)

Oh, my world. It is ok

miff (May 28, 2006)

i dont think they actually play songs 7 minutes long on the radio so you were a bit wrong in your description
just thouht id point it out

Rocon65 (April 5, 2006)

So cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Anonymous (March 23, 2006)

Personally one of my favorites.
Just because the daring of the album.

And I'm also a fan of SYNTH!
--Mark

Anonymous (March 23, 2006)

Personally one of my favorites.
Just because the daring of the album.

And I'm also a fan of SYNTH!
--Mark

bedlam1313 (January 31, 2006)

It is a different animal trying to review an album some two decades after it came out. It‚??s relevance is based on the times, and after 20-plus years, we can only speculate. A futile exercise, at best.

However, it is amusing in this case, as ‚??Into the Unknown‚?Ě ‚?? from a historical Bad Religion perspective ‚?? is one twisted piece of work.

That would have been unfair to say in 1983, as many sophomore albums tend to stray to bizarre depths, as a band re-establishes themselves and their commercial viability. It is perverse if one compares this album to the body of work Bad Religion has put together since. Spinal Tap has their ‚??Jazz Odyssey,‚?Ě Bad Religion has ‚??Into the Unknown.‚?Ě

I, for one, as a Bad Religion fan, am thankful they recorded this album when they did. Think of it as an early shock treatment; they tried a new direction they hated, and got back on course. What if they never took that chance? They would probably be recording it today. You know how it goes; a band gets tired of their sound and takes a new, softer direction. It happens in all genres. Green Day lives it to this day. The Clash did political-disco. New Order tried to sound like Joy Division on their first release before re-writing dance history. Liz Phair, who‚??s first album was raw and magnificent, is now a lousy pop diva who‚??s songwriting skills inexplicably vanished. Some can make the transition (New Order), others sound out of place (poor Liz).

So just imagine of Bad Religion never recorded ‚??Into the Unknown‚?Ě. Until now. Pretty much would have discredited them to many of their long-loyal fans, seen scampering and slipping away in pools of their own vomit.

Which is exactly why they should acknowledge it and re-release it. THAT would be very punk. I look to Elvis Costello when he re-issued ‚??Goodbye Cruel World,‚?Ě and in the liner notes, Mr. Costello opens with ‚??Congratulations! You‚??ve just purchased our worst album.‚?Ě I thought it was funny, brave, and necessary. To Bad Religion‚??s credit, they did name their follow-up ‚??Back to the Known,‚?Ě which I find funny, brave, and necessary as well. A self-deprecating (self-defecating?) sense of humor is good.

But anyway, I find this album fascinating. Not necessarily good, because I cannot stop laughing every time I hear those keyboard solos. I can so hear this at a roller skating rink. I swear that Spinal Tap‚??s Viv Savage is at the keyboards, rolling his heavy metal eyes up into the top of his head. And it‚??s a guarantee that Billie Jo Armstrong owned an original pressing, as ‚??Billy Gnosis‚?Ě sounds like it could be plopped straight into Green Day‚??s ‚??American Idiot.‚?Ě

‚??Time and Disregard,‚?Ě the seven-minute monster, is incredible in a historical perspective. Imagine if they stayed this route! Imagine if Bad Religion became Journey! Yes, I can taste the bile rising, but it is bile of thankfulness that they say saw their plight and righted themselves.

By the way, I tend to agree with the main review in this forum when they wrote that ‚??Time and Disregard‚?Ě is radio-friendly. Yes, it is a long song, and to those who are saying this length is not radio-friendly and that this somehow discredits his entire review are missing the reviewer‚??s point, which is that the song had the styling of arena rock so prevalent on the airwaves at that time. Besides, excessive radio-friendly staples such as ‚??Freebird‚?Ě (9:10), ‚??Stairway to Heaven‚?Ě (8:00) and the God-awful ‚??Hotel California (6:30) aren‚??t exactly a spot-on three-minute-fifteen.

This album certainly isn‚??t punk as stereotypically defined, even if using a broad meaning of the overworked term. However, I can hear the first song, ‚??It‚??s Only Over When‚?¶‚?Ě sans keyboards, and with a heavier guitar. It would fit, for better or for worse, on Bad Religion‚??s ‚??New America.‚?Ě And most of the songs have the classic Greg Gaffin vocal nuances; there IS some real Bad Religion in there. Try to imagine these songs a little edgier, a lot less cheesier, and you might have a better recognition. It doesn‚??t rewrite history, it just makes it understandable, more palatable, and certainly more fun.

My son and I also do some reverse-punking just because of this album. Instead of trying to imagine these songs harder, take other harder songs and lighten the guitars and add some Viv Savage keyboard work. We were listening to Pennywise and relegated Fletcher to keyboards and we laughed our asses off. So if anything, ‚??Into the Unknown‚?Ě gave us a happily-retarded mindset.

So, yeah, the album is kind of an abomination in retrospect, and as compared versus the volumes of Bad Religion‚??s work. But, hey, it was a long time ago, and it IS amusing. For me, anyway. I certainly have a hard time separating it out and looking at it as if they were the next REO Speedwagon; I hear Gaffin and I hear the keyboards and I bust up. But it is better to laugh now at the past than to have them reach this horizon at this instant and send us swimming in oceans of vomit.

But it would be cool if they dusted one of these babies off for a live performance, with a truer Bad Religion arrangement. Offer a belated apology, rip into it, bask in the astonished cheers. My kids and I will be there, wearing our homemade ‚??Into the Unknown‚?Ě t-shirts, with a keyboard logo prominently on the back, screaming ‚??Million Days! Play Million Days!!‚?Ě

Anonymous (November 27, 2005)

This is a GREAT album. Nobody from Bad Religion went around saying, "I'm punk" in those days for the simple reason that it's not punk to give yourself a label. This album may not have one-minute songs or drums going at 350 beats per minute but the lyrics are really comparable to stuff on No Control or Suffer. I actually like the synthesizers and keyboards on this record (not too many people can pull that off). If you love Bad Religion and know a lot about them, get this album however you can. I got it for free at www.bad-religion.net.

Anonymous (November 22, 2005)

I was listening and went online to see what was said, like another commenter. I have loved BR since the age of 12 (now 22), and never thought any less of this album than others. The only BR album that truly sucks is New America. All the others are awesome. Lyrically, Into the Unknown deserves no criticism. The song "Billy" from No Control seems to draw directly from "Billy Gnosis." If you've heard other less-known stuff such as "The Dodo" or Graffin's solo release American Legion, it helps to understand why this band would put out an album with lyrics less angstful, but still thoughtful of the lousy human condition, even with a dab of optimism.

Cheers,
Adam
http://oneofmillions.com

BattyNatty (November 16, 2005)

The first time I heard this, I was just randomly downloading music and thought it was a typo until I heard Greg's voice kick in. I don't care how much people laugh at me, this album is awesome! You have to give BR praise for throwing caution to the wind and laying this out.

Anonymous (October 22, 2005)

Interesting, at the very least. Definitely worth a download, even if it may not be "punx" as you may like.

Anonymous (June 15, 2005)

i am listening to this record right now and started surfing, just to see what was said about it.

i think it totally rocks - but i also admit to liking some hair metel (motely crue, and ratt, yes - cinderella and warrant a big NO)

but the first track is teh best song. the rest, yes - hilarious bad religion at best.

my (older) and totally OG LV punker kept his vinyl, but said friends of his broke it over their knees or smashed it on the pavement.

but, i truly dig it - so does he, and thats saying a lot.

being punk is about a lot of things, but it certainly isn't (and by todays Hot Topic standards) about the way you look, and shouldn't be about a certain sound. it should bhe about being yourself - truly yourself. and apparently these guys had something to say. so they did their 70's arena rock, soft guy record. It's punk as fuck to go outside boxes, expectancies and cliches. its punk to have fun - be silly - let go.

so I give this record a big thumbs up. If you have a copy and are too cool to own it - dont make some stupid "statement" and smash it - send it to me.

xo
A

plutocracy (March 22, 2004)

"Losing Generation" is fucking great.

But this record isn't good 70's prog. It's sloppy. Funny synth though. And a lot of good harmonies.

Anonymous (November 21, 2003)

I have been hunting for this record for my collection for years, and finally my wife found it for me for my birthday. I am 31 years old and have been a bad religion fan for years. I saw them on the suffer, no control, against the grain, and generator tours. This record completes my Bad religion collection, and I am so stoked to have it. In my younger years, I heard bootlegs of it and never really appreciated it, but not I can see it for what it truley is...experimentation. I read an interview with Greg Graffin once and he hit the nail on the head. How can you expect a band to continue to play the same music over and over again, and actually survive. If BR had just put out "How Could Hell..." over and over again, we would have begged for some kind of change. No, it is not my favorite, but as a TRUE Bad Religion fan, I am proud to have this in my collection.

Anonymous (March 17, 2003)

I disagree......"Chasing The Wild Goose" is excellent poppier proggressive punk. "You
Give Up" is an excellent song, it's errie and effective. "Losing Generation" has a bit of awkward sounding '70's rock flare...but once Greg's voice jumps in it all becomes Bad Religion, even with vocal harmonies. This isn't bad religion best work by a long shot....but it's not bad by any means.

JOE_MOMMA (June 14, 2002)

Holy fudge plus signs dont show up tell yo momma

JOE_MOMMA (June 14, 2002)

Maestro (March 27, 2002)

Grr, need to get hold of this one.

Drizzt7_drek (February 13, 2002)

I don't think you'll agree with me, but this, to me, is by far Bad Religion's most punk rock record. The simple fact that it was release at the time that it was release was a huge middle finger to every holier than thou hardcore band who was still releasing albums. It may be not sound like punk, but it had the spirit, and that's what's important.

Slick33 (November 15, 2001)

I noticed on Epitaph's band profile page for BR that they've got the s/t, Into the Unknown and Back to the Known albums listed now. You can't click on them for more info, but they're there...at least they're acknowledging that Into the Unknown exists now...
I thought the album was pretty cool. Definitely not the BR you'd be used to, but I'm not against bands experimenting (unless they start to sound like Blink...heh)

coldjuly (October 21, 2001)

I agree...some of the things on this site I would'nt consider punk. But I do consider it good music, and its a great place to write about the music..punk or not. There are soooo many sub genres today I really don't fool around with labeling some bands anymore.

CONsumer (October 21, 2001)

whether or not its punk doesnt matter. its music so rate it as such. if u like it good if not ohwell. i would question some of the bands in this forum being punk but thats a different story.

Anonymous (October 21, 2001)

and i'm a fucking tard. won't SHOW up.

4131

Anonymous (October 21, 2001)

i wasn't aware plus signs won't sign up. fucking boolean bullshit.

4131

Anonymous (October 21, 2001)

i'm a big fan of the 20 minute song. Godspeed You Black Emperor anyone?

Anonymous (October 19, 2001)

The guy was describing the chorus of the seven minute song, so yeah they do sound quite radio-freindly, but that doesn't make the song radio-friendy, I dont think anyone said it did, anyway 7 minute songs rule, as do 15 second songs.

coldjuly (October 19, 2001)

And How Can Hell be Any Worse came out in '81..trust me. The record store I work at has the 20 year old flyer/poster for it. The bottom says "The World will Change "4-18-81". The rest seems right though..I dont know, I was 3 when this came out.

coldjuly (October 19, 2001)

Fathead your nuts. Blue Oyster Cult kicks all their asses! DONT FEAR THE REAPER!!!!! :)

No one take that seriously please.

Anonymous (October 19, 2001)

Here are the release dates.. The reviewer is correct.

Bad Religion (1981)
How Could Hell Be Any Worse (1982)
Into The Unknown (1983)
Back To The Known (1984)
Suffer (1988)
No Control (1989)
Against The Grain (1990)

etcetc

Anonymous (October 19, 2001)

Does anyone else like the doobie brothers? damn, they've got some catchy songs.- fathead

Anonymous (October 19, 2001)

take back that nuge comment.

Anonymous (October 19, 2001)

Does anyone else like Ted Nugent? Classic Rock at it's best.- fathead

Anonymous (October 19, 2001)

A seven minute song by definition is NOT radio friendly. Since the reviewer described it as such, the review is entirely negated. Way to go, doofus.

Anonymous (October 19, 2001)

I could have sworn that "how could hell....." came out in 82, "into the unknown" in 83, and back to the known not til 86 or 87, then suffer came out in 88 i know for sure. if someone else could prove me wrong i'd love to know the exact release dates.

Anonymous (October 17, 2001)

the cover is cool
i reakon punk and space should be used togeather more. -faceecaf

?

wyzo (October 17, 2001)

Jawbreaker covered chasing the wild goose live. That and billy gnosis are great songs.

Million days is one of my favorite br songs.

Its an odd album to be sure, but underneath the surface of keyboard(why, when a guitar could have played the parts better, i dont know,it was the 80s), is a decent album.

wyzo

deepfrybonanza (October 17, 2001)

A lot of us who don't have to listen to punk all the time actually find a lot to like in this record, and other people probably will too, especially if they liked Graffin's solo album as American Lesion. In fact, this is the only BR album my girlfriend can stand.

I would have loved to be a show where they played Billy Gnosis, but I have several live tapes from the era where the set consists almost solely of more punked-up version of these songs (when you hear them in that context you realize how small the difference are between "punk" and "crappy arena rock"), including several that weren't included on the album. Excellent stuff.

Daniel
http://www.deepfrybonanza.com

Anonymous (October 17, 2001)

The album is a joke like the reviewer said.(I dont know if it was trying to be) When you download it take it as a joke. If you get this expecting Suffer, you'll be devastated, its actally a good laugh.

sickboi (October 17, 2001)

To the kid below looking for this, I found it all on Napster, but I'm willing to bet Audiogalaxy has it to. I wouldn't waste your time though. I love BR to death but this album really didn't do anything for me.

Anonymous (October 17, 2001)

this albums fucking awesome

Anonymous (October 17, 2001)

On the contrary, reviewer. Although I'm not sure why, they played Billy Gnosis live October 15, 2000 in Pittsburgh, PA. They may have done it some other times as well, I don't know. Anyway, it was pretty funny... none of them could keep straight faces while playing it.

ETx310 (October 17, 2001)

This isn't a poor album, just kinda different. It was, however, a blatent attempt at the time to sell out. I wouldn't mind owning this, but I wouldn't pay more than $30 (which is unrealistic). I still see Back to The Known in the record shelves every once in a while, but this one is MIA.

coldjuly (October 17, 2001)

Ummmm man, I don't know really. Even though the album seems TOTALLY different from anything they have ever put out, and is the worst BR album to date, I have it on vinyl and It's extremely hard to find these days...especially for a decent price. I like to collect hard to find or limited vinyl punk records (even if their horrible) But let me think about it and I'll e-mail you with an answer.

If you want a real hard to find Jewel, set your sights on "Back to the Known" also hard to find..both albums were released together at some point but you can also find individual copies. "Back to the Known" is in circulation a little better as well..with a few copies floating around on the net.

Check out www.vinaledge.com Last time I checked they had some cool limited stuff there as well. Plus, Chuck is a cool guy.

KirbyPuckett (October 17, 2001)

Classic rock has it's fine points, and after reading that review I'm intrigued, so I'll be firing up Morpheus any second now.

Anonymous (October 17, 2001)

coldjuly, how much would you be willing to sell it for email me. boxcar1@popstar.com

coldjuly (October 17, 2001)

I've had this since '92 and I've only listen to it maybe 3 or 4 times...why do you think its called "Into the unknown"??

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