Washington DC's Dischord Records was responsible for some of the best early American hardcore releases. A friend's tape of the Four Old 7" On A 12" compilation LP (renamed Dischord 1981: The Year in 7"s when issued on CD) was one of my earliest introductions to punk rock. Between Dischord and Michigan's Touch & Go label, you've got essential early U.S. hardcore covered. Dischord continues with releases to this very day, though the music styles have gone off on every imaginable tangent. Whether intentional or not, Dischord and its roster set the example for dozens of bands and hundreds of individual punk rockers to follow, whether it be the music style, a way of doing business, or a way of living life.

The first half dozen Dischord singles are the staple of any good hardcore listening booth and record collection. All the discography information below comes straight from the poster insert for the Four Old 7"s.

— Ryan Richardson


Dischord #1:
TEEN IDLES ~ Minor Disturbance EP
(released December 1980)

• 1st pressing — heavy cover stock, surface scratches easily
     (1000 pressed)
• 2nd pressing — thin cover, "thanks a lot, jan ($-2nd pressing)"
     (1000 pressed)

The X'd hands on the cover would become nothing short of uniform for some mid-80's bands. "Deadhead" is yet another classic of anti-hippie punk rock.

Dischord #2:
S.O.A. ~ No Policy EP
(released April 1981)

• 1st pressing — green vinyl, no bars on Henry's arm
     (1000 pressed)
• 2nd pressing — black vinyl, no band name on label
     (1000 pressed)
• 3rd pressing — black vinyl, band name on label
     (1000 pressed)

A great record with Henry Garfield (a/k/a Henry Rollins) on vox just before he was recruited into Black Flag as the fourth, final, and longest serving singer.

Dischord #3:
(released June 1981)

• 1st pressing — red cover, yellow label (1000 pressed)
• 2nd pressing — yellow cover, light blue label (1000 pressed)
• 3rd pressing — green cover, silver label (1000 pressed)
• 4th pressing — blue cover, silver label w/ no slogan (2000 pressed)

The best hardcore record, bar none. "Straight Edge", a reaction against rife scene drinking, is a great rebel anthem which would provide the moniker for a dogmatic "movement" which — at best — led to mediocre hardcore rehash or vegetarian diet and — at worst — provided a clever beard for fascism.


Dischord #4:
(released September 1981)

• One pressing of 1000

The first release by a band that John Stabb repeatedly recreated for years to come. The lyric sheet is a blueprint for every teenage punk rock thought that ever crossed a notebook or book margin.

Dischord #5:
(released December 1981)

• 1st pressing — red vinyl (1000 pressed)
• 2nd pressing — cover scratches easily, yellow label (1000 pressed)
• 3rd pressing — heavy cover, light blue label (2000 pressed)

Another great one... the first 125 copies were issued with a xerox foldover sleeve that includes a photographer's name misspelled Cousins (instead of the singular and correct "Cousin" which appears on the standard offset print cover). Before forking cash or a heavy trade, collectors should be sure the seller is trustworthy and the provenance of the PS is airtight.


Dischord #6:
YOUTH BRIGADE ~ Welcome To Washington EP
(released December 1981)

• One pressing of 1000

Though less frantic than the EP's that preceded it, this record nonetheless induces involuntary slam dancing when the needle drops. By the way, the insert is often trimmed around the gravestone image.

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