Black Flag-Everything Went Black

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EVERYTHING WENT BLACK was originally released as a stop-gap during a protracted legal skirmish with SST's former distributor, Unicorn Records, which temporarily barred Black Flag from using its own name. As a result, the original two-LP vinyl edition featured only the bandmembers'; names for identification.

Featuring live tracks and studio outtakes recorded between 1978 and 1981 with singers Keith Morris (later of the Circle Jerks), Chavo and Dez Cadena, EVERYTHING WENT BLACK is something of a hodgepodge, with several songs repeated by different lineups. Despite its patchwork nature, it's a surprisingly solid and illuminating overview of the band's pre-Rollins years, as they slowly progressed from sloppy Dictators-like goofiness into more streamlined and serious proto-hardcore. The highlight, however, is \Crass Commercialism,\ a side-long suite of radio ads for Black Flag shows that is a fascinating and often hilarious audio souvenir of the halcyon days of early West Coast punk.