Music Video of the Day: Rise by Bad Brains (1993, dir. Paul Rachman) + Death

I said I would try to get every genre of music I could into Black History Month.

Here we have the hardcore punk band Bad Brains. They’ve been around for a long time now. They started out in 1976 as a jazz fusion band before migrating to Hardcore Punk. They released their self-titled debut album in 1982. There are some good songs on that album, but the one of special note is Banned in D.C., which was based on an unofficial ban put on them in clubs in 1979 in Washington, D.C. I’m kind of surprised since the all-black proto-punk band Death only didn’t have their record released in the early-to-mid-70s because they refused to change their name. That was it. It would get released decades later, but I’ll leave it to you to watch the movie A Band Called Death (2012).

Then again, the mostly white hardcore punk band Dead Kennedys took endless flack all the way up to Tipper Gore, among many others, so it’s believable. What isn’t believable, but is true, is that Dead Kennedys would perform under their actual name at my high school in the early-80s. I thought it was a myth until numerous people who had been there told me stories about that night. That’s a story I will have to look into more detail at some point.

If the director of this music video sounds familiar, then that’s because he also directed Hunger Strike by Temple Of The Dog and a couple of videos for Alice In Chains. One has to wonder what the conversation was between the band and Rachman:

Bad Brains: We’ll take one part Smells Like Teen Spirit, two parts Jeremy, and feel free to sprinkle in a little Faith No More and Living Colour.
Rachman: You got it!

I’m not complaining. You can see the same sort of thing with their video for the song God Of Love. The group was inspired by musicians like Black Sabbath and Bob Marley. They even got their name from the Ramones song Bad Brain. So why not draw on the music videos of bands they no doubt help to inspire. Makes sense to me.


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