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Studio album by Germs
Released October 1979
Recorded October 1978[citation needed] at Golden Age Recording in Hollywood
Genre Punk rock, hardcore punk
Length 38:14
41:39 (cassette version)
Language English
Label Slash (SR 103)
Producer Joan Jett
Germs chronology
Lexicon Devil
What We Do Is Secret
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[2]

(GI) is the only studio album by the American punk rock band Germs. Often cited as one of the first hardcore punk albums, it was released in the United States in October 1979[3] through Slash Records with the catalog number SR 103. The album was later released in Italy in 1982 by EXPANDEDMUSIC with the catalog EX 11. The album's title is an acronym for "Germs Incognito", an alternate name the band used to obtain bookings when their early reputation kept them out of Los Angeles-area clubs. After (GI)'s release, the band would only undertake one more recording session, for the soundtrack album to the Al Pacino film Cruising (1980). A year after the release of (GI), on December 7, 1980, vocalist Darby Crash committed suicide.

The entire album appears on CD as part of Germs (MIA) - The Complete Anthology. In 2012, GI was reissued on CD with "Caught in My Eye" as a bonus track after "Shut Down".


Joan Jett, a longtime friend and heroine of many of the band members since her time in The Runaways, was asked to produce the album. Lead singer Darby Crash had originally wanted former Paul Revere & the Raiders vocalist Mark Lindsay to produce, but while Lindsay was willing to do the job, he turned out to be too expensive for Slash Records to afford. Jett's production was initially thought to be too thin when the album was finished and released, compared to the album Crash wanted Jett to emulate (the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols).

Recorded fairly quickly and released in 1979, the album's clarity proceeded to encapsulate Germs for California audiences who had only seen the band thrash around onstage while an intoxicated Crash avoided singing into the mic as much as possible.

A lone outtake from the sessions, "Caught in My Eye", would later appear on the posthumous EP What We Do Is Secret and on the Warner Bros.-distributed cassette reissue of (GI), at the end of side one.

The album's last track "Shut Down (Annihilation Man)" was recorded live in the studio, as opposed to a live recording at a concert. Recording live is a studio technique that is usually a single take with no overdubbing and sometimes improvisation, as heard toward the end of this track in particular. This was most likely done to emulate the way Germs would play the lengthy song live, usually closing with it until they had to stop. The posthumous Cat's Clause release includes a live "Never Ending Version" which was pressed with a locked groove making it "never ending" unless manually stopping the record.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Darby Crash and Pat Smear

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "What We Do Is Secret"   0:43
2. "Communist Eyes"   2:15
3. "Land of Treason"   2:09
4. "Richie Dagger's Crime"   1:56
5. "Strange Notes"   1:52
6. "American Leather"   1:11
7. "Lexicon Devil"   1:44
8. "Manimal"   2:11
9. "Our Way"   1:56
10. "We Must Bleed"   3:05
Side two
No. Title Length
11. "Media Blitz"   1:29
12. "The Other Newest One"   2:44
13. "Let's Pretend"   2:34
14. "Dragon Lady"   1:39
15. "The Slave"   1:01
16. "Shut Down (Annihilation Man)" (live) 9:40
17. "Caught in My Eye" (Only appears on the 2012 CD release and the cassette) 3:25

On the Warner Brothers cassette reissue in 1988, "Caught in My Eye" was appended to the end of side 1, after "We Must Bleed".


Additional performers

  • Donnie Rose – piano on "Shut Down (Annihilation Man)" (credited only on some European editions)



  1. ^ "Allmusic review". Allmusic.com. 
  2. ^ "Rolling Stone review". Rolling Stone. 
  3. ^ The album was released in Oct. 1979 according to the liner notes in the 1993 CD (MIA): The Complete Anthology. The information of the booklet can be read online in the discogs entry for the compilation.