Essential Albums: Social Distortion

I haven’t done one of these in a bit. Social Distortion has an amazing sound, I guess you could call it rockabilly? I think this is what Johnny Cash would sound like if he decided to go in a heavier direction. Mike Ness, the main singer songwriter is a genius. The songs are pretty much punkish, but still have a strong melodic bass. The rhythm section is great, there is a constant full drumbeat and chord progression throughout every sone. They have been around since the late eighties, with their peak in the early to mid-nineties. Their latest came out in 2005, and personally I thought it was one of their best. It’s one of those bands whose albums sound similar to each other, but that is welcome because if it’s great, no need to fix it. Most of the bands popular today wouldn’t even exist if Social D was not around, and the influences are obvious. Good Charlotte thinks they sound like Social Distortion (bwah!) and even Green Day has taken a cue from them. Their album Between Heaven and Hell is considered their most consistent, so that whole album is here. I’ve also included some of their better tracks from other albums, which are also worth checking out. Even if you think you haven’t heard them before, I guarantee you’ve heard “Story of My Life” and “Ball and Chain”. They are always used in movies and commercials. Their cover of “Ring of Fire” is, dare I say, better than the original.

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Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell (1992) (full album)

From Social Distortion (1990)

03-story-of-my-life.mp3 /05-ring-of-fire.mp3 / 06-ball-and-chain.mp3 / 02-let-it-be-me.mp3

From White Light, White Heat, White Trash (1996)

under-my-thumb.mp3 / dear-lover.mp3 / i-was-wrong.mp3

From Sex, Love & Rock N Roll (2004)

01-highway-101.mp3 / / dont-take-me-for-granted.mp3

[More essential albums]


One thought on “Essential Albums: Social Distortion

  1. Social D hasn’t been around since the late eighties… they have been around since the late SEVENTIES. A seventeen-year-old Mike Ness formed the band in 1979 (or 1978, depending on who you listen to). I just saw them live on Monday, and they had a huge “1979-2009 Thirty Years of Underground Rock” banner behind them on stage.

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