Violent Femmes (album)

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Violent Femmes
Violent Femmes.jpg
Studio album by Violent Femmes
Released April 1983 (1983-04)
Recorded July 1982; August 31–September 1, 1983 (Tracks 11–12)
Studio Castle Studios in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin; Music Works Studios in London (Tracks 11–12)
Genre Folk punk, alternative rock, punk rock
Length 36:15
Label Slash
Producer Mark Van Hecke
Violent Femmes chronology
Violent Femmes
Hallowed Ground

Violent Femmes is the debut album by Violent Femmes. Mostly recorded in July 1982, the album was released by Slash Records on vinyl and on cassette in April 1983,[1][2] and on CD in 1987[3][4] with two extra tracks "Ugly" and "Gimme the Car".

In 2002, Rhino Records remastered the album, filled out the disc's length with demos, and added another disc of live tracks and a radio interview for a 20th anniversary special edition, with liner notes by Michael Azerrad.

Violent Femmes is the band's most successful album to date and went platinum eight years after its release. The album achieved what is believed to be a unique feat by going gold, four years after its release, without having yet made an appearance on Billboard's Top 200 album chart.

Slant Magazine listed the album at #21 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s".[5]


Most of the songs on both this album and its follow-up were written when the songwriter, Gordon Gano, was still in high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[6] Violent Femmes peaked at #171 on Billboard's Top 200 album chart in 1991.[7]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[9]
Spin Alternative Record Guide 10/10[10]
The Village Voice B+[11]

In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, J. D. Considine wrote that Violent Femmes was precocious yet dynamic, with a good balance between Gano's direct lyrics and the full sound of the music.[9] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice compared Gano and the album as a whole to Jonathan Richman of The Modern Lovers,[11] as did Steve Huey in an AllMusic retrospective write-up.[8]

Gano himself tired of comparisons of him to Richman, as by his own account he was actually trying to sound like Steve Wynn of The Dream Syndicate.[12]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Gordon Gano, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Blister in the Sun"   2:25
2. "Kiss Off"   2:56
3. "Please Do Not Go"   4:15
4. "Add It Up"    
5. "Confessions"   5:32
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "Prove My Love"   2:39
7. "Promise"   2:49
8. "To the Kill"   4:01
9. "Gone Daddy Gone" (Gano, Willie Dixon) 3:06
10. "Good Feeling"   3:52


Violent Femmes
Additional personnel



Chart Entry
Weeks charted
ARIA Charts[13] January 27, 1986 34 32
The Billboard 200[14] August 3, 1991 171 7


Organization Level Date
RIAA – USA Gold December 8, 1987[citation needed]
Platinum February 1, 1991[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes at Discogs". Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  2. ^ "The Billboard Book of Gold & Platinum Records," 1989
  3. ^ Steve Huey (1982-07-04). "Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  4. ^ "The Compact Disc Connection Database : WAR23845 * $11.79 VIOLENT FEMMES VIOLENT FEMMES WARNER BROTHERS 07/87 :44". Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  5. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of the 1980s | Feature". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  6. ^ James Christopher Monger. "Hallowed Ground - Violent Femmes | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  7. ^ "Violent Femmes". Billboard. 1994-06-04. Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  8. ^ a b Huey, Steve. "Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes". AllMusic. Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Considine, J. D. (June 23, 1983). "Rolling Stone : Violent Femmes: Violent Femmes : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on February 11, 2007. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  10. ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. p. 440. ISBN 978-0679755746. 
  11. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (May 31, 1983). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved November 3, 2015. 
  12. ^ Lloyd, Robert (May 20, 1983). "Violent Femmes". LA Weekly. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  13. ^ Kent, David (compiler); Australian Chart Book 1970-1992: 23 Years of Hit Singles and Albums from the Top 100 Charts; p. 330 ISBN 9780646119175
  14. ^ Whitburn, Joel; Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Albums, 1955-1996; p. 819. ISBN 0898201179

External links[edit]