Album 10 of 500: Social Distortion-Social Distortion

March 31, 2010

RELEASE DATE: March 27th 1990

Punk rock, the late 1970s?  No, this is punk rock 1990.  Social Distortion’s most successful album, Social Distortion reminded suburban businessmen what punk rock was all about.  Social Distortion, fronted by bad boy Mike Ness, formed in 1979. Mike was only seventeen years old, and the band released its first in EP in 1981. Social Distortions 1990 self title record was so popular, it went Gold. Well known tracks off the record are the following: the great life lesson, “Story of My Life” and “Ball and Chain”. Plus, the greatest Johnny Cash cover of all time, “Ring of Fire”.  So what made this album any different from their previous albums?  Social Distortion’s self title album was debuted on a major label.  The follow up to the 1988, Prison Bound, Social Distortion presents a cleaner, composed punk sound. By far, “Story of My Life,” is Social Distortion’s most successful song. Every Social Distortion album is a tale of struggles of life.  A perfect example of this, “Ball and Chain.” Lyrics that cry of alcoholism and loss, “Well it’s been ten years and a thousand tears/And look at the mess I’m in/A broken nose and a broken heart/An empty bottle of gin.” Also,”Well I’m lonely and I’m tired/And I can’t take any more pain”. This album is also full of songs about heartache, “A Place in My Heart” for example. “I saw her today/Oh God I miss her smile/A pleasant memory/of things in life worthwhile.”   This album drops the attempt of a raw punk sound, notable in Mommies Little Monsters, and defines Social Distortion’s true sound. Mike Ness may have that bad boy exterior, but deep down he’s soft like the rest of us.

RM CRESSER ©2010 500 Rad Records


One comment

  1. This was my favorite social d record. I remember the kid with the 4ft mohawk who gave it to me saying “here, I think you will enjoy this. Its right up your alley.” as if he was a baptist preacher and this album was his bible track. Thanks for bringing that memory back.

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