Punk rock legends, Bad Religion, were formed in Los Angeles in 1979 by schoolfriends Greg Graffin, Jay Bentley, Jay Ziskrout and Brett Gurewitz, and performed their first proper gig in 1980 in a California warehouse. Their first album, How Could Hell Be Any Worse? (1981) was released on Gurewitz's own Epitaph Records, and raised their profile, but it was also at this time that Ziskrout left, to be replaced with Peter Finestone. The progressive Into The Unknown (1983), didn't do well and was seen as too experimental by their critical fans. In 1984, the band released another version of the album, on the EP Back To The Known, but the group split for a while in 1985 as Graffin sorted out his ongoing drugs problem. In 1986, the band reformed, with additional guitarist, Greg Hetson. Suffer (1988) was a huge success and cemented their revival, backing the album with a long tour, during which they wrote their next album, No Control (1989), which became their biggest seller to date. Against The Grain (1990), sold even more, but Peter Finestone then left in 1991, replaced by Bobby Schayer. Generator followed in 1992 and spawned the single “Atomic Garden”, which was also their first single to have a music video.
The early 1990s obsession with grunge and alt-rock, forced Bad Religion to change shift, and they finally broke the mainstream with Recipe For Hate in 1993, released on Atlantic Records, which received mixed reviews, the negative ones from fans who were disappointed at the band selling out. Stranger Than Fiction (1994) contained a reworking of one of their most famous songs, “21st Century (Digital Boy)”, as well as hit single, “Infected”. Gurewitz left the band around this time, ostensibly to concentrate on his Epitaph label's other success, The Offspring, who were dominating the alt-rock scene of the 1990s, but also, it was rumoured, because his bandmates were unhappy with Gurewitz's persistent drug use.
Gurewitz was replaced by Brian Baker, making Graffin Bad Religion's principal songwriter, and they released three more albums, The Gray Race (1996), No Substance (1998) and The New America (2000), the latter featuring a track co-written with the now-sober Gurewitz. Bobby Schayer then left the band and was replaced by Suicidal Tendencies' Brooks Wackerman. In 2001, the band re-signed with Epitaph Records and Gurewitz rejoined the band, and their next album, The Empire Strikes First (2004) was followed by Live At The Palladium (+DVD) in 2006. New Maps Of Hell came out in 2007, and produced three hit singles, before the band began touring extensively again, so fans had to wait until 2010 for their next studio effort, The Dissent Of Man, which was also supported by a long tour in 2011.
Bad Religion will record and release a new album in 2012.
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