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, and on CD in 1987, 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. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the album gold four years after its release and platinum four years after that, despite it never having appeared on the Billboard 200 albums chart. After achieving platinum certification on February 1, 1991, the album finally charted on the Billboard 200 for the first time on August 3, 1991, and peaked at number 171. Since Nielsen Music began electronically tracking sales in 1991, the album has sold 1.8 million copies. Blending RIAA certifications and Nielsen Music sales data, the record's American sales were estimated at three million as of 2016.Wikipedia
Absolutely fantastic. Gordon Gano, in his creepy Lou Reed meets Ted Bundy way, Delivers a delightfuly uncomfortable experience. I nearly had an out of body experience during the xylophone solo in Gone Daddy Gone.
I know this album inside out and and just about every lyric. I’m still at Lake Simcoe with the young ones so planed ahead to sneak in a quick listen. I decided to sing along and change some of the words. It worked. Example: “Why can’t I get just one DUCK - must have something to do with luck. . . “ When one of the boys did a double take and gave me a look, I explained it was a hunting song and the singer is the only guy who had yet to shoot any dinner. Did he buy it? Hah - He folded like a cheap suit. When people want to be negative about an album or band they often say "they play only three chords." This is often said figuratively rather than literally. If you wanted to throw this dagger at the femmes, you could make it literal if you said you could play the first three songs with only four chords: G, C, D and Em. If you throw in Bm, A and E you can also play Add it up and Prove my Love and probably some others. But I don't want to insult them. This deranged mess of Gordon Gano in his yoot is one of my favourite albums ever and is made better by all of its blemishes (including one on his forehead on the back cover if I recall correctly). I often wonder if you have to be deranged to write such deranged music or can you simply act the part? I'm guessing you have to be fucked up to write this shit. If you are of this view, then a scary thought is that this was not their most deranged album. The Derangeometer on their second album easily surpasses this one. And if may digress, neither holds a candle to Nick Cave's Murder Ballads which is possibly the most deranged album ever. Anyway, I understand why many will rate this a 1. I really do.
Listened to this album quite a bit in college, hadn't really listened since, and honestly prepared my middle-aged self to be annoyed by it after all this time, as can happen. Didn't happen. Still a fun (and sometimes funny) album. I think what saves it for me is they are really good musicians and still come across as original-sounding to me. Oftentimes, I lose interest fast in bands that go for irony or some other form of humor, even when I like it first time I hear it. Maybe it's like improv humor for me in that when it works in the moment, it's great for a laugh, but I don't want to go back to that moment. Anyway, whatever the thought-and-feeling-process might be, this is an album this fiftysomething square dude can still enjoy.
If someone had a gun to my head before I looked this album up and asked me when it was released, I would have said sometime in the 90s and would be dead right now.
Before I heard this album, I would have never thought that acoustic punk was possible, but here we are, and really catchy hooky punk at that. Another plus: I can't think of another recording that better captures the sweaty, desperately uncool, paranoid, lust-ridden, powerless feeling of being a teenager, all the while making you laugh like hell. To top it off, frontman Gordon Gano and company manage to close off the album with a genuinely moving ballad, Good Feeling. There isn't a weak track on here. If I was forced to pick a favorite, I'd probably go with the big hit, Blister In The Sun, but Prove My Love and Promise are killer tracks as well. It may not be terribly ambitious, but on its own terms, this album is close to perfection.
Here's an absolutely and absolutely unique masterpiece. Raw and immediate, with unsophisticated recording style and (almost) no embellishment, this is probably the best expression of teenage frustration and anxiety ever recorded. it feels so real. The bare arrangements mean that the songs seem completely unfiltered. This album is so honest that it feels like a secret every time you listen to it; I can't believe they are saying what they are saying! And yet, this obviously hit a nerve with many, many people; sales estimates to date are around 3 million copies sold (and, one has to think, a handful of furtively taped copies for each disc sold). Nearly everyone of my generation (at least in the more alternative circles I moved in) can sing Add it Up, Blister on the Sun, or Gone Daddy Gone from memory at the drop of a hat. The basic recording means this never sounds old, and, interestingly, my 16 year old son has this album on his want list, so it clearly still speaks to young people. When I was an uni in 1990, my friend Kate and I skipped lectures one afternoon to go see the Femmes busking at Circular Key (filmed for the Noise on SBS). That sunny afternoon, singing along to the band, is one of my favourite live show memories. You see snippets of that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2J6d0EVEJE
I tried. I skipped almost every song. Sounded like Tim Heidecker impersonating both Bob Dylan and Mick Jaggar at the same time. Was not impressed.
singular artifact of alternative music. fav track: good feeling
TRUE 4.5 - Was much more into this album than I expected to be with only knowing "Blister in the Sun." Very cool to learn this was released in 1983. I also figured this was a early/mid 90s alternative record that was drawing on those contemporary influences but it clearly seemed more influenced by the first wave of punk and I very much fuck with that. The songwriting had a bite and wittiness that stayed sharp throughout the record, and actually made me laugh a few times. Overall really enjoyed this one and definitely will come back for another listen.
5 stars. Automatic 5 stars. Steve Belcher loaned me this tape at 7th grade camp. I was mostly listening to GNR, Metallica, Poison, etc. at the time. This was a real mindblower for me - acoustic but sounded dirtier and dangerouser than anything else I was listening to. Love it.
Awesome raw energy. The sparse arrangements, exude energy and funk, and have a great deranged vocal flair. It is pretty impressive that also the unusual arrangement due survive their era and still sound entirely relevant today.
Growing up in the 80s, discovering the Violent Femmes was like discovering drugs. It was a gateway to alternative music, a door that could never be closed again. A life of swapping cassette tape recordings of low bandwidth college radio stations, collecting bands like the Crucifux and the Dead Kennedys, all-age punk rock shows in the closest city smoking clove cigarettes and feeling alive and different. Good stuff.
I’m always in awe of how ahead of its time this album is. It was released in 1983 and it sounds like everything that was happening in 1993! It’s so beautifully rebellious, hitting the airwaves at the height of the 80s neon soaked synth pop excesses. This album is boldly, defiantly alternative and raw. It’s a stunning achievement in going against the grain and I love every note if it.
One of all time best albums. A perfect mix of punk, rock and lofi. This album had a recording cost close to 0. Its their debut, and its basically just three guys looking for a cheap studio they could afford to use. They found a tiny one, went in there and recorded some songs. And here's the result. The definition of true LoFi.
a classic. no other energy like it. must be the guy hammering the acoustic bass.
It’s interesting getting this right after REM. Michael Stipe’s voice is mumbly and bland whereas Gano squeezes so much out of his, lots of highs and lows, fortissimos and pianissimos, and full of angst. It’s amazing that these three buskers could serve up such a variety of great songs and sounds with only minimal instrumentation. Not too many debut albums are better than this one.
Wow. I have ways loved this record. For sure one of the best sad boi albums. It's very simple yet i think it really inspired a lot of bands after it. Will never not wanna listen to this album. The bass playing is phenomenal and while the lyrics are rather crude and sometimes borderline creepy just has so much emotion behind them. No doubt there's so problematic emotions here. Its just so raw.
Edgy, raw energy. Acoustic musicality.
Holy shit I forgot how much I enjoyed this album.
Somehow ahead of its time and one-of-a-kind and timeless all at the same time. 1983!? A year before the previously mentioned abomination of 1984? I first heard "Blister in the Sun" in the early 90s, having no idea that it was nearly a decade old. It's one of the songs that got me into music. I mean, I'd always listened to music, but it was just whatever radio station or cassettes my parents put on. A bunch of pop radio and Madonna and Paula Abdul. So Violent Femmes was a revelation. It's a sound that somehow combines punk, surf rock, folk and country rock, alternative, 90s and 00s indie, and more all into something that is all of those and none of those and more. It is cohesive and consistent for the duration. Violent Femmes does not boast the best vocals or the cleanest playing, but it is more than the sum of its parts. Much more.
How do they manage to make an acoustic guitar sound so godly orgasmic? The album cover and eery acoustic sound give off old western vibes. It's energetic, witty, and exciting. You can feel the raw emotion and turmoil of the vocalist. It's fun to sing along to most of these songs. The instrumentation is interesting (particularly their unique usage of acoustics and the xylophone), and the solos are especially creative. Every song is fantastic, even the least popular songs feel perfected to every second. This is what punk is all about, and I'm glad there were more bands besides The Replacements in the 80s fusing punk with more melodic rock styles (from a different approach of New Wave). Wish the two bonus tracks were incorporated into the album somehow, maybe with a little more polish ("Ugly" straight up sounds like 60s garage), cause "Good Feeling" is a great note to send off with.
This might be the first "alternative" album I ever heard. I thought it was the weirdest thing I had ever heard. Was this guy serious? Is he actually angry or not? I hadn't heard punk before so the attitudes and forthright emotion confused my 12 year old brain. I thought a lot about the lyrics in a way that I had never analyzed the records I liked from C+C Music Factory and Culture Club. When I was exposed to this record I also heard Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The vocals on those records were hard to make out at times but the vocals on Violent Femmes are so clear.
The Violent Femmes really capture a lot of the awkwardness, anger and uncertainty of being young. Musically, the songs are earthy, bare bones, and full of attitude. The lyrics are pissy and unrepentantly hormonal, with a generous dose of humor. But there are surprising moments of raw vulnerability and off-kilter charm as well. It feels like just about the most unsettlingly honest group of songs you'll ever hear. It's a pretty perfect album. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Blister in the Sun, Good Feeling, Gone Daddy Gone, Kiss Off, Please Do Not Go, Add It Up, Prove My Love, To the Kill, Promise, Confessions
This was a favorite of mine in my teen years of the late 90s. Brings back the feeling of freedom that came with having a car to take myself out of the suburb and into the city. Crossing the river into Cincinnati with the windows down to let in the sticky night air, on the way to go smoke clove cigarettes and drink maple coffee at the nocturnal coffeehouse. Big Hands, I know you're the one. 5
Nothing takes you back in time like music. I recall sitting in a down stairs hall at my high school listening to this on my Walkman, thinking, "Wow, this is really good!" It's interesting how this album has grown in popularity over the years. It didn't chart until eight years after its release, but it was already certified platinum. This was classic alt back when alternative really was alternative and very much underground (especially in a rural area like where I lived -- I bet no more than 20 kids in my graduating class knew of the band.) Classic album. 5 stars.
Violent Femmes are punk/alt-rock royalty. And for good reason. Coming into this one, I had very very positive feelings for this band and this album in particular. But this project has got me listening to things that I know far more critically than when I'm listening for fun. That's why Violent Femmes only gets a 4 instead of a 5 star rating this time. While I still absolutely adore this album, and it's full of absolute killers (Blister in the Sun, Kiss Off, Add It Up, Gone Daddy Gone, Good Feeling), there are some real stinkers as well (Please Do Not Go) and the musicality is... not awesome. Many times intentionally so... but not always so intentionally so, you know? Violent Femmes, I still love you... I just can't give you full marks.
Feeling a little bamboozled that a band called Violent Femmes is a bunch of dudes. However, I really liked this album. Very simple, organic punk rock. There's a welcome clarity to both the vocals and the instruments that often isn't the case with punk, but the energy is still there. Really love the xylophone on "Gone Daddy Gone." I can totally hear how this became a cult classic. And when I heard "Add It Up," I recognized it immediately as a Tony Hawk song....sure enough, Underground 2. Favorite tracks: Add It Up, Blister in the Sun, Gone Daddy Gone, Prove My Love. Album art: I like this picture. Seems like a companion to that Siamese Dream cover in a way. Apparently they paid this girl's mom $100 to take a quick pic. For some presumably broke punksters, that's a great way to get an album cover. 4/5
My brother got suspended from our school for covering "Blister in the Sun" at a high school talent show. His band name was 4:19. "We're 4:19, anyone got a minute? Hueh hueh hueh". Had no idea this came out in 1983, thought for sure it was late 90s. I guess they must have been important or something, huh. The vocals sound like I'm being serenaded by a serial killer, and I'm quite smitten. Loving the acoustic bass solo in track 3. Ah there's Gordon again, ready to come flay my flesh and feed me my genitals, prepared over a nice cassoulet (but with a midwest tater tot twist). Man, so much is derivative of this sound, I really need to revisit the Violent Femmes. Does it slap? It slaps.
This album is way ahead of its time. It’s Indy before Indy. It’s pixies and the shins abd decemberists. It’s a mash up of the energy and grime of punk but the acoustic sensibilities and tempo of django rheinhardt. The combo of acoustic punk and the clever wordplay, lyrics and delivery make this band delightful. There are 5 of my favorite songs on this album, the rest feel like repetition or filler, sadly. If this album were 5 songs it would be a 5, but it’s not so it’s a 4.
Promise My first album rating is a debut one, that's odd. The sound signature is very organic and humble, looks like it's part of a rehearsal equipment, honestly I rather listen to instruments and records like this, the production may not be the better, but it gives a unique atmosphere for the whole project. From "Violence" I guess it's a puzzle to the listener, how about put a kind of name with "Femmes", it reminds of 10CC for example. I really appreciate the folk here with essence off the period, most likely was Murmur by R.E.M. in the same release day though. Viewing the art cover plus the content, I premiss that's a great way to start head all the entire thing, as you can see after almost 4 decades still their big deal carrying the rest of their career in the back, literally. B+
This is perfect Halloween music. Michael Jackson singing Thriller in a graveyard isn't scary. The Monster Mash isn't as gross as the title suggests. But Violent Femmes are legitimately spooky. The almost-unplugged production sounds like an old house about to collapse. The marimba is cool and haunting. But it's the singer's rat scrotum delivery and unsolicited horned up lyrics that really make this creepy. Catchy as hell and the hits are great and the little hits are too but shit like "I'm gonna get her drunk, maker her cry, get her high, touch her all over her body" and I have to assume this is just a portrait of a character that he's inhabiting very very well. Maybe under the hood, Violent Femmes are like the Catcher in the Rye of 80s music. Maybe they're just good at conveying the spirits of perverts and small devils on your shoulder. Due credit for taking punk in a folk direction. B-
Sounds extremely out of place for it’s time. This feels like it could have come out of 90s and 2000s indie scene. Never been a big indie fan but it’s fine.
A bit weird and shouty
Unerträglich, wieder einmal. Ein „Blindes-Huhn-findet-auch-mal-ein-Korn“-Wunder (wegen 'Blister in the Sun').
The sad thing is someone let this production occur. The vocals sound off key and lack volume and depth. The instruments seem to be done by 2nd graders who decided to pick up their parents instruments and started jamming. I keep imaging a real singer:Pink or Weekend singing these songs and amazing musicians playing the music. It would have a chance to give quality to this album. I do love the Album cover. In fact it looks like they did attempt to photograph one of the 2nd graders suggested to play an instrument. Unfortunately she is too embarrassed to look straight at the camera. Who can blame her.
where did i hear blister in the sun? searched, prolly from Sex Education, Carrie Diaries or I, Tonya. This album is an absolute delight!
Wonderful album. Pop Punk royalty and the grandfather of the genera.
already listened, love it. only album from these guys I like though
A classic, hasn't aged a day
Super klimacik, bardzo letni, Blister in the sun - bardzo fajna piosenka, az bym się zimnego piwa napił
1/12/21 i start my journey with the violent femmes self titled. Headphones on seinfeld on mute. Great album. Punk acoustic
One of my favorites!
I still have trouble hearing the actual lyrics to songs, but the energy of this album was infectious.
Probably just me, but I've this album
I didn't like it at first but as it went on I really started to enjoy it
2nd album from a band I've seen live. This record still kicks after all these years. Just fun as fuck.
I can appreciate this album as much now as on my first listen when I was six years old. It isn't subtle. It is still brilliant.
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Love the re-listen.
every track gives me the feeling that i've herd it somewhere before. familiar and comforting through and through
I really like this genre. This album would maybe crack my top 200. They sounded like a less self-involved Smashing Pumpkins. I got a bit of Brobeck vibes from it which is why I liked it. And didn’t give me anxiety to listen to for the most part so kudos.
Very punchy guitar and bass. Simple arrangement that works so well with the songs. Harmony is very nice. Nasally vocals could be off putting to some. There is a reason why most of the songs on this album are still on the radio almost 40 years later. Good use of stereo mix/recording, especially during Gone Daddy Gone.
so good why did i not listen to the whole thing before
AMAZING. I mean... it's the violent femmes. Of course it's a great album. Pure wonder the whole way through.
Great album, still remember every song
Saved Prior: Blister In The Sun, Kiss Off, Gone Daddy Gone Not Saved: 12. Gimme The Car 11. Good Feeling Cutting Edge: 10. To The Kill Saved: 9. Confessions 8. Promise 7. Add It Up 6. Ugly 5. Please Do Not Go 4. Prove My Love 3. Blister In The Sun 2. Gone Daddy Gone 1. Kiss Off Overall Notes: Angsty, immature, chaotic in all the best possible ways. Filled with catchy guitar hook after catchy guitar hook and the instrumentation and voice compliment each other perfectly. Big fan.
Brilliant album, distinctive twangy acoustic sound, like nothing else in the 80s
хождение по классике продолжается. На этот раз выпал альбом, который я сам ещё не так давно заслушивал чуть ли не на постоянной основе. для меня это вообще пример идеального акустического проекта — при том, что нет долбящей ударки и тяжёлых гитар, он звучит максимально драйвово и по-панковски задорно. Будь моя воля — я бы именно это называл пост-панком. Сонграйтинг везде на уровне, почти каждая композиция имеет несколько частей, динамические перепады, по паре-тройке цепляющих хуков, а также абсолютно легендарные басовые партии. Причём звучит всё невероятно свежо и качественно, для 80-х годов это очень нестандартная запись в плане продакшна. Ну и главная звезда «Отчаянных слюнтяев» — вокалист Гордон Гано. При всей сочности инструментала без его актёрского мастерства в плане подачи альбом не был бы и вполовину так хорош. Плюс хочется отметить очень плотную химию между лид вокалом и бэками — вместе они порождают интересное многоголосое полотно, к которому тянет возвращаться снова и снова. Ten outta ten, will listen again!
Very interesting. Had heard of them but had never listened before. Nice clean sound and vocals. Compelling lyrics. Gonna listen again on my way home
Tik Tok. Omg. Whatever this is, I’m loving it. Folk punk is a vibe.
I LOVE THIS ALBUM ITS GOOD
Love this album. Haven't listened to it in years but it still slaps.
I had no idea this album was so good. Very surprised, 11/10
A delight, blister in the sun is such an iconic track but I'd never heard the album, great stuff
Great album. The combination of folk and punk makes this a refreshing punk album.
I have never really heard Violent Femmes except for Blister in the Sun and I'm super into it. I love the energy and the willingness to make a bunch of weird noises and do some very theatrical vocals. There really isn't a dud on this album, very impressed. I'm a new fan.
Ich mochte es sehr sehr gerne. Ein Album für den Herzschmerz. Ein Album zum abgehen und ein Album zu fühlen. Ehrlich, solide, kräftig.
Great. Fun, poppy nostalgia
What a strange name for a band. But if they can keep making music like this, they'll go places I tell ya! What I love about it is how unproduced it is. Just simple raw music.
tony hawk's underground 2's soundtrack had a big impact on my little smooth brain. nothing stood out to me more than "add it up," a song i didn't understand until i was older and hornier. it just sounded unbearably cool. i like this album for the same reasons everyone likes this album. it's brash and perverted. unsophisticated and catchy as hell.
ohhh folk-punk, I like
I hope you know this will go down on your permanent record. Oh yeah.
the 80s version of the theater clique got really high and horny and put out some weirdly catchy music. youthful, lusty, old school grungy folk punk. 5/5
Didn't realize this album was from the 80s. Really holds up.
One of my all-time favorites
this album is awesome. such a great listen.
At one point in my life I had only heard Blister in the Sun. Then I heard the rest of this album and absolutely love it, along with a lot of the other Violent Femmes catalog. Energetic punk/alt rock. Could have been recorded in a garage. 5
excellent classic. Heavy bass sound.
Incredibly ahead of its time, can’t believe it’s from 1983; right up my alley; super fun listen despite the depressing topics
Love the folk punk genre. Really unique and great to listen to
Didn't think I would like it at the start but listening to it more I really started to jam with it
Fantástico. Blister In The Sun.
Catchy, unique and memorable.
not sure if i’m giving this a five because it’s genuinely a really cool album or whether all the shit ones have made this seem like a masterpiece. either way it’s cool and i liked it
Classic and timeless VF album - shows how to rock without playing loud.
I hope you know this will go down on your permanent record... Predating the slacker movement, this album laid ground for the fuck-you complacency that kicked into high gear 10 years later. I don't think there's an album like this that's ever followed. Monumental, important and oh-sooo good... --- A personal cringy note here. When I was 12, I'd often belt out the lyrics while listening to this on my knockoff Walkman screaming "... there's nothing I can say when I'm in your thighs..." I'm pretty sure my parents loved this album too.
One of my favourites, know it inside out
GOAT. Great album
Love the violent femmes
Had only head one of these songs before, a great discovery. heard it described as folk punk and love it.
An all time classic for me. Already know pretty much every lyric back to front.
Maybe I just never grew up from being a teenager, but I think this is pretty cool.
Attitude, great songs, killer bass runs. I love this album. I can see why a lot of people will be turned off by the singing, but it works perfectly for me.
Отличный альбом для юношей честной судьбы. Обязательно войдет в коллекцию! Бас, околонытье и драйв.
LET ME GO OOONNNNN
Strong from beginning to end. Adding Gimme the Car into this album was not a good decision. The song is rape-y and should be delegated to the vault