Black Flag – Damaged
Way before he was doing car commercials and amassing a curiously long IMDB entry, Henry Rollins somehow managed to sneak his way from working at a Häagen-Dazs into fronting the already existent Black Flag; probably the best California punk band of the ‘80s. Damaged, the band’s debut album, faced immediate controversy; MCA didn’t want to release it as its executives found it “anti-parent.”
When it was finally released in 1981, it spawned the closest its genre can come to hits; “Rise Above,” “Six Pack,” “Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie”—these immediately felt like anthems. “TV Story” appeared in the must-see cult movie Repo Man three years later. “Police Story” delivered a message of frustrated outrage at police harassment that certainly still resonates today. And that’s all just on the A-side.
The B-side digs deeper and more inward, with slower, dirge-like songs “Life Of Pain” and “Damaged I” providing a preview of how far afield of punk standards Flag would be willing to go on later albums.