Bad Brains

Founded in Washington D.C. in 1977, Bad Brains are known for their ferocious energy, their instrumental prowess and their unlikely melding of two genres: Hardcore Punk and Reggae. 

Formed by a group of high-school classmates, Bad Brains started as a Jazz Fusion ensemble, but took an early turn toward Punk, drawing inspiration from bands like the Clash and the Sex Pistols. Reggae soon began to figure prominently into the sound of the band, whose members — singer Paul "H.R." Hudson, guitarist Gary "Dr. Know" Miller, bassist Darryl Jenifer and drummer Earl Hudson — became dedicated Rastafarians.

Bad Brains' brand of Punk Rock was musically tight and often blisteringly fast, performed with both ferocity and precision. The band's intense live performances attracted a cult following that grew with the release of their self-titled 1982 debut — often cited among the best records of the Punk/Hardcore era — and 1983's "Rock for Light," produced by the Cars' Ric Ocasek.

Since the 1980s the band has broken up and re-formed numerous times, issuing sporadic recordings to mixed response. While Bad Brains have never achieved mainstream success, they've influenced many notable bands, among them Minor Threat, the Beastie Boys, Living Colour, Fishbone, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.