Straight Edge Hardcore: The First Ten Years (1984-1994)

by | Dec 22, 2021 | Music | 0 comments

Straight edge hardcore music of the early 1980’s to early 1990’s was a big part of my teenage years growing up and influenced me to play guitar. So I wanted to take the time to talk about the music that to many people is more than music it is, so much more. It’s a way of life. To some, it’s solid rock, an anchor. (quasi referencing Chain of Strength lyrics there).

So, what is ‘Straight Edge’ you may be asking? Straight Edge is a music subculture and philosophy that promotes total abstinence from alcohol, drugs, and nicotine. The subcultural movement inadvertently found its birth in the hardcore punk song ‘Straight Edge’ released in June 1981 by Washington, DC band Minor Threat. ‘Straight Edge’ was re-released in March 1984 on the Minor Threat LP. At this time, the movement was gaining more momentum and therefore is the start of the music timeline featured below. 

Note: the image featured above is the album cover of the 1984 Minor Threat LP. 

1984 – Minor Threat LP on Discord Records
1985 – Minor Threat – Salad Days on Discord Records
1986 – Uniform Choice – Screaming for Change on Wishingwell Records
1987 – Against The Wall – Demo (self-released, no label)
1988 – Youth of Today – We’re Not in This Alone on Caroline Records
1989 – Gorilla Bisquits – Start Today LP on Revelation Records
1990 – Walk Proud – RIP on Nemesis Records
1991 – No Escape/Turning Point – Split EP on Temperance Records
1992 – Various Artists – Only The Strong MCMXCIII
1993 – Earth Crisis – Firestorm EP on Victory Records
1994 – Strife – One Truth on Victory Records

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