So why is Minor Threat’s First Two Seven Inches on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?
Here’s the real story of how Minor Threat came into my life in the first place. Please keep in mind, kids, that this was the pre-Internet Dark Ages where “checking out a band” was approximately 7,000% more difficult than it is today (both for good and for ill).
I was vaguely aware of Minor Threat as a band name by the late 1980s or early 1990s, in the context of other bands or music journalists name checking them with some level of reverence, probably in Rolling Stone or Spin magazine (maybe even Alternative Press or The Village Voice when I got slightly more sophisticated).
Minor Threat popped onto my radar permanently by way, of all things, the outstanding NOFX live album, I Heard They Suck Live. At the beginning of, “You Drink, You Drive, You Spill” (clever, get it?), Eric Melvin (I believe) says, “This is old, sounds like a Minor Threat song.”
The song, like so much of that live album, is great and as oddball as it seems, that was what shifted Minor Threat permanently into my That’s A Band I Really Need To Check Out At Some Point category.
And I’m glad I eventually did, because Minor Threat has such a pure, passionate, and raw hardcore punk energy that so clearly influenced a huge array of punk and rock bands who followed them. First Two Seven Inches is a collection of 14 songs that blasts by in just under 19 minutes.
My favorite song on the album is called “Minor Threat,” as it turns out. You just don’t get a heavier punk rock riff than this, sludgy and hardcore and groovy and wonderful all at once. The raw yet melodic vocals from Ian MacKaye (who would go on to create other bands, including Fugazi) are simply great.
Speaking of influential, the song “Straight Edge” literally helped to kick off the straight edge movement, forming a positive and accepting haven for disaffected punk rock kids. Of course it helps that the song is 45 seconds of hardcore punk bliss set to hyperdrive.
It’s amazing that among these tracks is an absolutely fantastic cover of “Steppin’ Stone,” originally recorded by Paul Revere & The Raiders as “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” back in 1966. Bands ranging from The Monkees to the Sex Pistols covered it as well.
How fun to listen to the punk buzzsaw of Minor Threat’s version and then throw on the potent groove of the Paul Revere & the Raiders’ original.
Some stats & info about Minor Threat – First Two Seven Inches
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Punk Rock, Hardcore Punk, Rock Music
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was First Two Seven Inches released? 1984
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #570 out of 1,000
Minor Threat’s First Two Seven Inches on Spotify
A lyrical snippet from Minor Threat’s First Two Seven Inches that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe
I don’t want to hear it – all you do is talk about you. I don’t want to hear it, ‘cause I know that none of it’s true.
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.