TV Party (EP)

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TV Party
EP by Black Flag
Released July 12, 1982
Recorded March 1982
Genre Hardcore punk[1]
Length 6:49
Label SST
Producer Black Flag, Ed Barton
Black Flag chronology
TV Party
Everything Went Black

TV Party was an EP released by the American band Black Flag in 1982. The album was released by SST Records and produced by Black Flag and Ed Barton. The EP contains three songs written by guitarist Greg Ginn: "TV Party", "I've Got to Run" and "My Rules". The title track "TV Party" is a satire on audiences obsessed with television.

Reception to the EP focused heavily on the title song "TV Party", where it was praised as one of the group's funniest and best songs.


Greg Ginn wrote the three songs on the TV Party release.

The song "TV Party" was recorded twice. It was first to promote the album in the United States, Unicorn Records had Black Flag enter the studio re-record the song "TV Party".[2] The song was recorded in March 1982 with their new drummer Emil Johnson.[3] Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn stated that after "Rollins joined the band, we couldn't do songs with a sense of humor anymore; he got into the serious way-out poet thing."[4] The EP was produced by Ed Barton and Black Flag.[5]


"TV Party" is one of the lighter songs in comparison to the other songs on Damaged.[2] Vocalist Henry Rollins described the song as satire stating "it's about people who stay inside their house and live in a TV kinda world. And this has a very direct effect on us."[3] Black Flag member Greg Ginn echoed Rollins's interpretation, stating "It's basically a satire of people watching TV and partying at home, which is a sickness which is very prevalent in LA."[3] Glen E. Friedman referred to the song as "a parody of certain type of people" comparing the song to the Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)". stating "They were both parodies that people took too seriously, and even the bands found taking themselves too seriously after the fact."[6]

The song "TV Party" is driven by Chuck Dukowski's bass line. It features Rollins on vocals and bellowed backing vocals.[4]

When playing the song in 2013, Ron Reyes changed some of the lyrics, mentioning social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter in the place of the names of the television shows mentioned in the studio version.[7]


TV Party was released on July 12, 1982.[8] Target Video released a home video titled TV Party in 1983.[9] The video contains live footage of the group from 1980 and 1982 as well as the music video for the song "TV Party".[10] There have been several variations on the release of the TV Party EP. They include one released by SST Records, one as a split between SST and Unicorn Records, and another simply by Unicorn.[11] All three versions have the same track listing.[11] The song "TV Party" would later appears on the soundtrack to the film Repo Man (1984). In the film, Emilio Estevez can be heard singing "TV Party".[12] The song also appears on other compilation albums.[4][13]

A music video was shot to promote the song. The video features the members of Black Flag and their friends drinking beer and calling out their favorite television shows in front of a television set. Among the band members is photographer Glen E. Friedman.[3]


The title song of the EP received praise from music critics. Online music database gave a positive review of the song, describing it as "at once cutting and funny, an attack on television-inspired stasis that laughs both at and with its subjects" and "As a dumb anthem, it even beats out the band's cover of "Louie Louie".[4] Spin referred to the song as the "greatest ode to the slacker sloth".[14]

For the EP, In 1982, Billboard listed the song "TV Party" as "Recommended" in their "Top Singles" review section.[15] Allmusic gave the album a two and a half star rating out of five, stating that "The other tracks are good, but this is a release for collectors or serious fans only."[16]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Greg Ginn[11][16]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "TV Party"   3:52
Total length:
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "I've Got to Run"   1:45
2. "My Rules"   1:11
Total length:


  • Ed Barton – producer
  • Black Flag – producer
  • Jeff Stebbins – engineer



  1. ^ DeCurtis, 1992. p.1992
  2. ^ a b Chick, 2011. p.255
  3. ^ a b c d Chick, 2011. p.256
  4. ^ a b c d Deming, Mark. "TV Party". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "TV Party: Credits". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  6. ^ Chick, 2011. p.257
  7. ^
  8. ^ Chick, 2011. p.401
  9. ^ "TV Party [Video]". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  10. ^ Chick, 2011. p.403
  11. ^ a b c Popoff, 2010. p.136
  12. ^ "TV Party". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 24, 2013. 
  13. ^ Deming, Mark. "Repo Man". Allmovie. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Top 50 Essential Punk Records". Spin (SPIN Media LLC) 94 (17): 109. May 2001. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  15. ^ "Top Single Pick". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 17 (5): 59. 1 May 1982. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved 26 April 2013. 
  16. ^ a b True, Chris. "TV Party". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 26, 2013.