Flex Your Head

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Flex Your Head
Compilation album by Various artists
Released January 1982
Recorded October 1980-May 1981 at Inner Ear Studios in Arlington, Virginia
Genre Hardcore punk, punk rock
Label Dischord
Producer Skip Groff
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Frankenstein Sound System (Positive) link

Flex Your Head is a compilation album featuring various punk rock artists. It was originally released in January 1982 through Dischord Records and was re-released on CD in August 1995. A remastered CD version was released in 2002. The compilation takes it title from the Minor Threat lyric shouted in the song "12XU", included on the album, originally by Wire.


Dischord Records assembled Flex Your Head as a way to record the many punk bands that had started up, and sometimes also ceased, in the previous years in the D.C. area. The album served as either a debut or sophomore release for every band on it except Minor Threat (it was their third).

At the time of the album's release not only had most of the bands on it already have broken up, but many had gone on to start other bands, some of those bands also appear on the album. The Teen Idles had broken up in late 1980 and by the time of Flex Your Head's release members had already started Minor Threat and Youth Brigade. The Untouchables broke up in 1981 and with the former members joining a multitude of bands including The Faith, The Warmers, Rites of Spring, One Last Wish, Skewbald, Happy Go Licky, Youth Brigade, and The Meatmen. State of Alert had also folded in early 1981 as singer Henry Garfield had joined Black Flag. Minor Threat had disbanded (although they would reunite a few months after the album's release) and since then Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson had founded Skewbald while Lyle Preslar joined an early version of Big Black. Youth Brigade and Red C both existed solely during 1981, and both Artificial Peace and Deadline would break up within a few months of Flex Your Head's release, aside from Youth Brigade these band's only recorded output is on the compilation, though from those bands would come the longer lasting Beefeater, Marginal Man and Fugazi. Only Government Issue and Iron Cross would survive past the next year.

The songs "12XU" and "Steppin' Stone" were extremely popular covers in the D.C. punk scene. "Steppin' Stone", which was performed by State of Alert on this album, was also covered by Minor Threat on their second EP In My Eyes, while the song "12XU" was so commonly covered that several shows would have multiple bands playing their renditions.

The Teen Idles, State of Alert, and Red C songs were recorded at Hit & Run Studios by Steve Carr, Iron Cross' tracks were recorded at C.A.B Studios by Tom Scott, while all the other songs were recorded at Inner Ear Studios by Don Zientara.[1]

Cover art[edit]

When the album was first released, it came in one of several different covers which have all since been the exclusive cover art of re-releases: a painting of a violin, roses, and sheet music (the most common cover of the original release and early represses), a blurry photo of a man in a hat (the cover used for represses from the mid-80's to the early-90's), a photo of stalks of wheat (the cover for represses from the early-90's to the mid-00's), and a red and white version of the D.C. flag with the stars replaced by X's (the cover used by current releases of the album).[2] The D.C. flag version was also printed in black and white.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Contributing artist Length
1. "I Drink Milk"   Ian MacKaye; The Teen Idles The Teen Idles 1:09
2. "Commie Song"   I. MacKaye; The Teen Idles The Teen Idles 1:01
3. "No Fun" (originally performed by The Stooges) Iggy Pop; Dave Alexander; Ron Asheton; Scott Asheton The Teen Idles 2:25
4. "Rat Patrol"   Alec MacKaye Untouchables 0:59
5. "Nic Fit"   A. MacKaye Untouchables 1:01
6. "I Hate You"   A. MacKaye Untouchables 1:17
7. "I Hate the Kids"   Lyle Preslar; Henry Garfield State of Alert 0:39
8. "Disease" (originally performed by UK Subs) Nicky Garratt; Charlie Harper State of Alert 0:28
9. "Steppin' Stone" (known by Paul Revere & the Raiders and The Monkees) Tommy Boyce; Bobby Hart State of Alert 1:56
10. "Stand Up"   I. MacKaye Minor Threat 0:54
11. "12XU" (originally performed by Wire) Bruce Gilbert; Graham Lewis; Colin Newman; Robert Gotobed Minor Threat 1:02
12. "Hey, Ronnie"   Brian Gay Government Issue 1:09
13. "Lie, Cheat, and Steal"   John Stabb Schroeder Government Issue 0:51
14. "Moral Majority"   Nathan Strejcek Youth Brigade 1:06
15. "Waste of Time"   Bert Queiroz; Tom Clinton Youth Brigade 0:52
16. "Last Word"   Strejcek; Queiroz Youth Brigade 1:23
17. "Jimi 45"   Eric Lagdameo; Peter Murray; Toni Young Red C 1:20
18. "Pressure's On"   Murray Red C 1:40
19. "6 O'Clock News"   Lagdameo; Murray Red C 2:03
20. "Assassin"   Lagdameo; Murray; Young Red C 0:56
21. "Dehumanized"   John Weiffenbach Void 1:16
22. "Authority"   Weiffenbach; Bubba Dupree Void 0:49
23. "My Rules"   Sean Finnegan Void 0:57
24. "War Games"   Wendel Blow Iron Cross 1:22
25. "New Breed"   Sab Grey; Dante Ferrando Iron Cross 1:21
26. "Live for New"   Ferrando Iron Cross 2:12
27. "Artificial Peace"   Steve Polcari Artificial Peace 1:39
28. "Outside Looking In"   Polcari; Rob Moss Artificial Peace 0:59
29. "Wasteland"   Polcari Artificial Peace 2:01
30. "Stolen Youth"   Ray Hare; Brendan Canty Deadline 1:43
31. "Hear the Cry"   Canty Deadline 1:03
32. "Aftermath"   Hare; Canty Deadline 2:11


The Teen Idles


  • Alec MacKaye - vocals
  • Eddie Janney - guitar
  • Bert Queiroz - bass
  • Rich Moore - drums[4]

State of Alert

Minor Threat

Government Issue

  • John Stabb - vocals
  • John Barry - guitar
  • Brian Gay - bass
  • Marc Alberstadt - drums[7]

Youth Brigade

  • Nathan Strejcek - vocals
  • Tom Clinton - guitar
  • Bert Queiroz - bass
  • Danny Ingram - drums[8]

Red C

  • Tomas Squip - drums
  • Eric L. - vocals
  • Toni Young - bass
  • Pete Murray - guitar[9]


  • Bubba Dupree - guitar
  • Sean Finnegan - drums
  • Chris Stover - bass
  • John Weiffenbach - vocals[10]

Iron Cross

  • Sab Grey - vocals
  • Mark Haggerty - guitar
  • Wendle Blow - bass
  • Dante Ferrando - drums[11]

Artificial Peace

  • Steve Polcari - vocals
  • Pete Murray - guitar
  • Rob Moss - bass
  • Mike Manos - drums[12]


  • Ray Hare - vocals
  • Christian Caron - guitar
  • Terry Scanlon - bass
  • Brendan Canty - drums[13]

External links[edit]