(GI)

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(GI)
Germs - (GI) cover.png
Studio album by the Germs
Released October 1979
Recorded 1979
Studio Quad Teck
Genre Punk rock, hardcore punk[1]
Length 38:14
41:39 (cassette version)
Language English
Label Slash (SR 103)
Producer Joan Jett
Germs chronology
Lexicon Devil
(1978)
(GI)
(1979)
What We Do Is Secret
(1981)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[3]

(GI) is the only studio album by American punk rock band the Germs. Often cited as one of the first hardcore punk albums, it was released in the United States in October 1979[4] on Slash Records with catalog number SR 103. The album was later released in Italy in 1982 by Expanded Music 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's 1980 film Cruising. A year after the release of (GI), on December 7, 1980, vocalist Darby Crash committed suicide.

The entire album was included on the 1993 compilation CD (MIA): The Complete Anthology. In 2012, (GI) was reissued on CD with "Caught in My Eye" as a bonus track, after "Shut Down".

Production[edit]

After the Germs recorded for Chris D.'s Tooth and Nail compilation in late 1978, the (GI) sessions took place in 1979 at Quad Teck recording studio in Los Angeles.[5][6] Lead singer 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. 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.[5][7][8]

Recorded in about three weeks with audio engineer Pat Burnett,[5] the album's clarity redefined the 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 1.

The album's final track, "Shut Down (Annihilation Man)", was recorded live in the studio, using improvisation at the end of the lengthy track, which the band usually closed their concerts with. The posthumous Cat's Clause release included a live "Never Ending Version" which was pressed with a locked groove.

According to Bob Biggs, Slash Records founder, the album cost the label $6,000 to produce.[5]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written 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 1988 cassette reissue, "Caught in My Eye" was appended to the end of side 1, after "We Must Bleed".

Personnel[edit]

Band[edit]

Additional performers[edit]

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

Production[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ensminger, David A. (2011). Visual Vitriol: The Street Art and Subcultures of the Punk and Hardcore Generation. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781604739688. p. 161.
  2. ^ "Allmusic review". Allmusic. 
  3. ^ "Germs – (GI)". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved October 4, 2016. 
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ a b c d Spitz, Marc; Mullen, Brendan (2001). We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 9780609807743. p. 207.
  6. ^ Nirvana FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Most Important Band of the 1990s by John D. Luerssen
  7. ^ Hurchalla, George (Zuo Press, 2005). Going Underground: American Punk 1979–1989. Second ed., 2016. PM Press. ISBN 9781629631134. p. 13.
  8. ^ Blush, Steven (2001). American Hardcore: A Tribal History. Second ed., 2010. Feral House. ISBN 9781932595895. p. 16.