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This article is about the EP by Big Black. For other uses of the term, see Racer X (disambiguation).
EP by Big Black
Released 1984
Genre Noise punk, post-hardcore
Length 15:36
Label Homestead, Touch and Go
Big Black chronology
1992 reissue
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau A−[3]

Racer-X is the third EP by American post-hardcore band Big Black. It was released by Homestead Records in 1984 and reissued by Touch and Go Records in 1992.

Racer-X was the first of Big Black's records to cement their instrumental lineup of two guitars, one bass guitar and a Roland TR-606 drum machine. It was the final album to feature the bass playing of Jeff Pezzati who left to dedicate more time on his primary band Naked Raygun.

Like Big Black's first 2 EPs, the original record contained just six songs (five by Big Black, one by James Brown) clocking in at under 20 minutes total.


Racer X was a character on the seminal anime series Speed Racer. The EP's title track makes numerous references to the original TV show.


The song "Il Duce" (about Benito Mussolini) was recorded in the same session as the songs from the Racer-X EP. The song was released the following year as a 7" single backed with "Big Money" from the Atomizer LP. Homestead records also issued a promotional 12" version of the single with "Il Duce" and "Big Money" on the A-side, plus three live tracks on the B-side.[4]

Cover art[edit]

The original EP featured cover art by Nate Kaatrud (better known as National Kato) from the band Urge Overkill. When Touch and Go reissued the EP in 1992, the original artwork could not be found and a new cover was produced.[4]


The Japandroids covered "Racer-X" during their Dec 15, 2009 Daytrotter session. Of “Racer X” they say this:

We’re recording a 7-inch in January and this going to be the B-side. This song was originally done by Big Black and came out on the Racer-X EP in 1984. Our version is pretty good, but the original is a masterpiece.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Racer-X" - 4:01
  2. "Shotgun" - 3:28
  3. "The Ugly American" - 2:41
  4. "Deep Six" - 3:14
  5. "Sleep!" - 2:42
  6. "The Big Payback" (James Brown)- 2:29


Recorded by Iain Burgess in Chicago.


  1. ^ Kellman, Andy. "allmusic ((( Racer-X > Review )))". Allmusic. Retrieved March 17, 2010. 
  2. ^ Brackett, Nathan. "Big Black". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. November 2004. pg. 69, cited March 17, 2010
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Big Black". robertchristgau.com, Retrieved on March 17, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Anti, Obik. "Big Black: Racer X". Big Black, from pre-history to present. Retrieved 24 December 2012.