The Singles Series – Bad Brains

Today’s single is a massive force from one of the most innovative and pioneering bands in the punk and hardcore scenes. Bad Brains wrote the book on fast, ferocious music and one of their signature songs is the feature of this single.

Also I chose not to air the title of the song out in my post title, I figured I’d use an ounce of discretion and leave it out. But in the post anything goes, so here we are with Pay To Cum!

My version is a 2021 reissue of the landmark single, which was the debut release from Bad Brains. The original pressing goes for an amount of money I’m not paying, it’s at least several hundred dollars and has sold in the thousands before. This very easy to obtain reissue sits on my record shelf just fine.

While this is a huge song in the canon of several music subgenres, there actually isn’t a hell of a lot to talk about as the title song is whopping 1:33 and the B-side gets a hefty 2:25 to flex its muscles.

Pay To Cum

The feature song is a monster flex of speed and energy. It is a musical lightning attack, in and out before the inattentive even know something happened. Yet it is a juggernaut that commands that attention by being one of the damnedest things ever heard. No point in searching for layers of meaning or subtle flourishes – just jam it out and get crazy.

Stay Close To Me

The B-side does offer a contrast to the heavy hitter on the other side. It’s a track that offers a bit of reggae, another style Bad Brains would work with extensively over the years. This isn’t an all-out reggae song but does hint at the style. This song could easily be taken as an early template for ska (not that I know much of anything about the history of ska, but this song gives off that vibe in places).

That’s about all for this single. Bad Brains would go on to ignite several 1980’s scenes with their distinct blend of styles and their blistering live sets. While not a global best-seller, they are easily one of the most influential bands to ever pick up instruments. I could spend the rest of my life simply typing the names of bands and acts who honor Bad Brains as an influence. I won’t, but I could.

8 thoughts on “The Singles Series – Bad Brains

  1. Never heard of these guys before but the title of the first song alone makes it worth having a listen to. I must say they’re pretty good. I would like to ask a professional courtesy. I have an idea for a “Songs With the Same Title” post but I won’t write the post without your consent. I don’t want to step on any toes.

    Liked by 1 person

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