Ian Mackaye: Vocals
Brian Baker: Bass
Lyle Presslar: Guitar
Jeff "Skip" Nelson: Drums

Minor Threat formed in 1981. They broke up in '82, but reformed briefly in 1983. They released about 25 tracks total. A compilation of their albums is available on Discord Records. They are the hardcore punk founders of the straight edge movement, which takes its name from the Minor Threat tune Straight Edge.

Band members went on to these other bands.
In addition to Minor Threat, Ian has played in the Teen Idles, Egg Hunt, Skewbald, Embrace, Pailhead and is currently in Fugazi. Brian Baker has played for Dag Nasty, Junkyard and is currently in Bad Religion. Lyle Preslar has played in the Meatmen. Jeff Neslon has played in Egg Hunt, 3, Senator Flux, Skewbald, and the High Back Chairs. Steve Hansgen (who played guitar on some tunes) has played for Government Issue, Modest Proposal and Weatherhead.

Minor Threat is also the title of a Minor Threat tune. Sublime used to cover Minor Threat in concert. Here are the lyrics (from my head so cut me some slack):

We're not the first, and I hope we're not the last.
But I know were all headed for that adult crash.
The time is so little. At least it belongs to us
Why is everybody in such a fucking rush?
Make do with what you have, but take what you can get.
Pay no mind to us we're just a Minor Threat.

We're just... A MINOR THREAT (4x)

I was early to finish. I was late to start
I might be an adult, I'm a minor at heart
Go to college. Be a man. What's the fucking deal?
It's not how old I am. It's how old I feel.
Take your time try not to forget
We never will. We're just a Minor Threat.

We're just... A MINOR THREAT (4x)

That's a promise.

Server time:
21:06 Sun Oct 15 2000

I listened to these guys full disk a couple of times this weekend. Even now fifteen years after I was first listening to it this stuff still rocks. It's simply great punk music, and its some of my favorite music. I don't listen to too much new punk anymore (NOFX excepted). I certainly don't follow the scene, but these guys still make me wanna shave my head and buy boots at the Salvation Army.

Minor Threat was one of the original innovators of hardcore and easily one of the most brilliant of the genre (alongside such contemporaries as Bad Brains and Gorilla Biscuits, and that's not even including west coast hardcore at the time, with such standouts as Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, and the Circle Jerks). Although it's often said that Bad Brains invented hardcore, Minor Threat did a great job of refining the burgeoning genre and altering it to fit their own purposes, as many HC bands of the time did. Bad Brains merged a high-speed punk sound with reggae influence and rastafarian sounds, and Gorilla Biscuits gave the genre a dose of metal. Minor Threat always had a pure, fast punk sound. They played songs with extremely fast guitar progressions, bass lines, and explosively fast drum beats.

To go along with their endless fury and unrelenting energy were some very intelligent and insightful lyrics by the charismatic Ian MacKaye. His work with Minor Threat is best remembered for single-handedly inventing the straight-edge movement with the song of the same name, a 45 second blast of light-speed hardcore with lyrics rejecting drug abuse. Since then Ian has refused to associate himself with the straight-edge movement, which has unfortunately become, with exceptions, a cult of dogmatic and intolerant youngsters who are sometimes even prone to violence.

Minor Threat released a few explosive and powerful records in the early / mid 80s. These are all collected on the utterly flawless and totally essential Complete Discography CD. They include classics like "Minor Threat", "Bottled Violence", "Out of Step", and of course "Straight Edge" as well as great covers like the incendiary version of Wire's "12XU" and The Monkees "Stepping Stone." I highly recommend that everyone pick this up if you haven't, it's one of the most energetic, brutally insightful and influential hardcore punk music ever made.

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