Bad Brains

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Bad Brains is an American hardcore punk band formed in Washington, D.C., in 1977. They are widely regarded as among the pioneers of hardcore punk,[1][2][3] though the band's members objected to this term to describe their music.[4] They are also an adept reggae band, while later recordings featured elements of other genres like funk, heavy metal, hip-hop and soul. Bad Brains are also notable as religious followers of the Rastafari movement.

Originally formed as a jazz fusion ensemble under the name Mind Power, Bad Brains developed a very fast and intense punk rock sound which came to be labelled "hardcore", and was often played faster and more emphatically than the music of many of their peers. The unique factor of the band's music was the fact that they played more complex rhythms than that of other hardcore punk bands, also adapting non-punk style guitar riffs and solos into their songs.

Bad Brains broke up and reformed several times over the years, sometimes with different singers and/or drummers. The band's classic and current lineup is singer H.R. (Human Rights), guitarist Dr. Know, bassist Darryl Jenifer, and drummer Earl Hudson, H.R.'s younger brother.

Contents

History

From fusion to hardcore (1977–1985)

The band was first founded as a jazz-fusion ensemble called Mind Power (1975), with singer Sid McCray, in the mold of bands such as Chick Corea's Return to Forever and John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra. In 1977, McCray introduced the rest of the band, who were already interested in bands such as Black Sabbath, to punk rock and ska punk, including the Dickies, the Dead Boys, and the Sex Pistols. Mind Power became obsessed with punk rock and changed their name to "Bad Brains", after the Ramones song "Bad Brain" but with the word "bad" in the sense of "powerful". Despite their burgeoning punk sound, the early Bad Brains also delved deep into reggae music.[5] McCray left in the early days of the group's hardcore-punk era, and guitarist H.R. became the band's singer.[6]

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