Punk may well have started in the UK, but Washington D.C hardcore band, Minor Threat, took it to another level with their debut 7”, Filler. Released in 1981, they took the attitude of British punk rock and turned the anger and discontent up as far as they could go.
They were fiercely independent, bucking every trend possible, released records on vocalist Ian MacKaye and drummer Jeff Nelson’s own label, Dischord, and were the embodiment of ‘Do It Your Self’. This six track EP has some of their best work, including the title track and I Don’t Wanna Hear It – which were both covered by thrash icons Slayer in later years – as well as the viscious Screaming at a Wall.
Nearly 40 years later their rebellious anthem to living a life without drugs and alcohol, Straight Edge, is considered the blueprint for straight edge youth movement. It was never their intention to create a subculture by rebelling against the norm that was pushed upon you by society, but they did and people still follow it to this day.
The record itself is incredibly rare, and while there are numerous pressings the one to look out for is the red tinted sleeve with yellow labels on black vinyl. There were 1000 copies pressed of this variant, and mint condition copies change hands among punk and hardcore collectors for around £1000. It is proverbial ‘white whale’ for completists, most of who will pay out for less than mint condition copies just to have it in their collections.
They may have only been around for three short years, but their legacy lives on due to the power of their music and message.
This article appeared in issue 29 of Long Live Vinyl magazine, available now
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