Circle Jerks (1980-present) is a Punk band from Los Angeles, California, USA.
ircle Jerks was formed in Los Angeles, California, USA in 1980 by former Black Flag front man Keith Morris, with help from buddy Greg Hutson (ex-Redd Kross; guitar) who in turn recruited Roger Rogerson (Real Name: Roger Dowding; bass) and Lucky Lehrer (drums). Hiding away in their Hawthorne, California garage, they set the mold for the rest of their career by recording their debut album, Group Sex in 1981 for the US market only, featuring frenetic bursts of hardcore and adolescent humor. After appearing in Penelope Spheris' The Decline Of Western Civilization documentary, their cameo appearance got the attention of Pop band Police's manager, Miles Copeland, to be signed to his 'Faulty' label to release their follow-up album, Wild In The Streets in 1982.
Ex-D.O.A. drummer, Chuck Biscuits stepped in to replace Lehrer but he was in turn soon after replaced by John Ingram in time for the release of the mini compilation album, Golden Shower Of Hits in 1983 (for those of you who do not know what a 'golden shower' is I'll leave you to research that in another encyclopedia). The compilation featured a title track comprising of a medley of standards by Paul Anka, Bacharach & David, etc. The album also boasted tracks like Coup D'etat and When The Shit Hits The Fan, both being included on the soundtrack to the Repo Man movie.
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Along the same lines of many of the other Hardcore punk purveyors, the Circle Jerks changed direction into heavy Glam and thrash metal influences when those movements were gaining credibility in the early 1980s, specifically along the same lines of Twisted Sister and Dictators. With the new membership of Zander Schloss and Keith Clark replacing Rogerson and Ingram respectively, the Circle Jerks managed two more albums, Wonderful (1985) and VI (1987) for Metal labels 'Combat' and 'Roadrunner' respectively. Now more Metal than punk, they resumed their heavy touring of the US at the cost of studio work, until 1995's Oddities Abnormalities And Curiosities arrived on major label 'Mercury' in the US only, with the infamous cover of the Soft Boys' I Wanna Destroy You featuring Popster Debbie Gibson on vocals.
Footnote: The name "Plastic Hippies" and "The Runs" were considered as names for this band in the beginning but dismissed.
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Artists mentioned in this article: