American Hardcore 1978-1990

Obsessively DIY and often a small town suburban movement, American hardcore music first appeared in the 1970s.

Black Flag, TV Party, SST Records, Photography Glenn E Friedman, 1985
The Middle Class, Out Of Vogue, Joke Records, 1978

The Vinyl Factory will be exploring its development across record sleeves in a new exhibition and publication American Hardcore: 1978-1990.

The Descendents, Fat EP, New Alliance Records. Artwork Frank Navetta, 1981
Black Flag, TV Party, SST Records, Photography Glenn E Friedman, 1985

An aesthetic developed that was provocative, political and unrefined, with the likes of Black Flag and Bad Brains emerging as a ‘puritanical’ alternative to the ‘decadence’ of big city punk bands like the Ramones and New York Dolls according to the Vinyl Factory.

Black Flag, TV Party, SST Records, Photography Glenn E Friedman, 1985
Government Issue, Make An Effort, Fountains of Youth Records. Artwork Tom Lyle, photography Dave-O, 1983

Hosted in association with The Mott Collection, 50 sleeves will be presented charting the development of a movement, which began as a broad musical movement before developing a level of unification.

Black Flag, TV Party, SST Records, Photography Glenn E Friedman, 1985
The Descendents, Fat EP, New Alliance Records. Artwork Frank Navetta, 1981

Movements began to pop up in small west coast communities including Hermosa Beach and San Pedro, while the same thing was happening in Washington DC and Boston.

The Middle Class, Out Of Vogue, Joke Records, 1978
MInutemen, Paranoid Time, SST Records. Artwork Raymond Pettibon, 1980

Despite its localism, relentless tour schedules gave the bands – who sometimes toured for years – a national audience.  Soon enough this in turn gave rise to small hardcore scenes country-wide.

The Middle Class, Out Of Vogue, Joke Records, 1978
Black Flag, Nervous Breakdown, SST Records, Artwork Raymond Pettibon, 1978

An accompanying catalogue has been limited to a run of 300 copies and documents 50 US hardcore punk singles.

The catalogue, printed and designed by Ditto Press also includes a 7” vinyl pressing of a 1981 Black Flag interview and an oversize fold out print.

The Misfits, Bullet, Plan 9, 1978
The Misfits, Bullet, Plan 9, 1978

American Hardcore 1978-1990 runs from 11 April – 4 May at The Vinyl Factory, Chelsea, 91 Walton Street, London, SW3

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