Suicidal Tendencies (album)

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Suicidal Tendencies
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 5, 1983 (1983-July-05)
RecordedFebruary 1983
StudioGolden Age Recording in Hollywood, California
GenreHardcore punk
LabelFrontier (FLP 011)
ProducerGlen E. Friedman
Suicidal Tendencies chronology
Suicidal Tendencies
Join the Army
Singles from Suicidal Tendencies
  1. "Institutionalized"
    Released: 1983

Suicidal Tendencies is the debut studio album by American hardcore punk band Suicidal Tendencies, released on July 5, 1983 through Frontier Records. Regarded as one of the best-selling and most successful punk rock albums, Suicidal Tendencies was well-received by fans and critics alike, and the airplay of its only single "Institutionalized" (for which its music video was one of the first hardcore punk videos to get airplay on MTV) brought the band considerable popularity.[1][2] The album was a major influence on the then-emerging genre of thrash metal and its subgenre crossover.[3][4][5]

Album information[edit]

The cover of Suicidal Tendencies features an image of the band members hanging upside down, taken by Glen E. Friedman, who produced the album.[6] The background on both the front and back cover depict various homemade Suicidal Tendencies T-shirts.

"I Shot the Devil" was originally entitled "I Shot Reagan". The band is rumored to have been approached by the FBI to change the name of the song. The group eventually used the original title of the song on the lyrics sheet.[7]

In 1989, due to various royalty and publishing issues with Frontier Records,[1] Muir and the later incarnation of the band re-recorded the entire album and released it in 1993 as Still Cyco After All These Years, with (mostly) faithful recreations of the originals, plus two songs from Join the Army and one previously-unreleased song "Don't Give Me Your Nothin'".


Professional ratings
Review scores

Suicidal Tendencies has received mostly positive reviews and ratings. Steve Huey of AllMusic gave the album 9/10 and called the album "fast, furious, and funny" and claimed that it "owed much more to hardcore punk than to the later hardcore/heavy metal hybrid they would become known for, but it's still quite possibly their best album." Huey added that "Mike Muir proves himself articulate lyricist and commentator, delving into subjects like alienation, depression, and nonconformist politics with intelligence and humor."[8] Pushead of Maximumrocknroll described Suicidal Tendencies as "blistering rough-arsed metal thrash" and called the band "a screaming cyclone of sheer power and determination". Pushead also claimed that "this LP shows why they have such a strong following."[10]

Critic Ira Robbins writes that "Half-sung, half-recited and built on repeated sudden tempo changes, 'Institutionalized' is a unique, devastating centerpiece. One of the era's quintessential expressions of teen dislocation, it converts generation gap misunderstandings into a complete communications breakdown, encapsulating all the punk sociology of such films as Repo Man and Suburbia in four minutes."[11]

Influence and legacy[edit]

Suicidal Tendencies has been regarded by critics as one of the most influential rock albums of all time, and has inspired a number of musicians. Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian listed it in his "Top 10 Thrash Albums" list, stating "I just think it's a perfect album. Every song on it is great. It's a perfect crossover between hardcore punk and metal, and I guess that's what makes thrash metal -- all those genre combined, and Suicidal were the first ones to do it because that record came out in '83."[12] Suicidal Tendencies has also been cited as an influence or favorite album by each of the "big four" of thrash metal (Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax) as well as California punk bands such as The Offspring and NOFX.[3][13]

"Institutionalized" has been referenced in many songs, mostly its quote "all I wanted was a Pepsi". It is referenced in the Sage Francis song "Slow Down Gandhi" in the line "It's death penalty vs. suicidal tendencies / All I wanted was a fucking Pepsi / Institution / Making you think you're crazy is a billion dollar industry." Limp Bizkit also referenced it in the song "Stuck" with the lines "All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi. So far from suicidal but still I get them tendencies bringing back the memories that I really miss."[citation needed] "All I wanted was a Pepsi" is also quoted near the ending of the Cypress Hill song "How I Could Just Kill a Man". American heavy metal band Body Count recorded a cover version of "Institutionalized", with new lyrics written by singer Ice-T, called "Institutionalized 2014", for their album Manslaughter.

"Memories of Tomorrow" was covered by Slayer for its album Undisputed Attitude and was featured on the Japanese edition of the record. "Institutionalized" was also covered by Senses Fail for the soundtrack to the video game Tony Hawk's American Wasteland. "Two Sided Politics" was covered by Bones Brigade on its album Older Than Shit, Heavier Than Time.[14] "I Shot the Devil" was also covered by the California hardcore punk band Chotto Ghetto on its extended play Shootin' Devils. "I Saw Your Mommy" is featured on the soundtrack to the game Scarface: The World Is Yours for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC. "Institutionalized" is featured in the game Guitar Hero II for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 as a playable song; a member of the most difficult tier, "Face Melters". It was also featured in the film Iron Man (2008) and "Subliminal" was part of the Channel X playlist on Grand Theft Auto V (2013).

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Mike Muir, except where noted.

Side one
1."Suicide's an Alternative / You'll Be Sorry" 2:44
2."Two Sided Politics"Muir, Louiche Mayorga1:03
3."I Shot the Devil" 1:51
4."Subliminal" 3:08
5."Won't Fall in Love Today"Muir, Mayorga0:59
6."Institutionalized"Muir, Mayorga3:49
Side two
7."Memories of Tomorrow"Muir, Mayorga0:57
8."Possessed" 2:07
9."I Saw Your Mommy..."Muir, Mayorga4:52
10."Fascist Pig" 1:17
11."I Want More"Muir, Mayorga2:28
12."Suicidal Failure" 2:53
Total length:28:17


  • Mike Muir – lead vocals
  • Grant Estes – guitars[A]
  • Jon Nelson – guitars (uncredited)
  • Louiche Mayorga – bass, backing vocals
  • Amery Smith – drums



Suicidal Tendencies has been reissued a number of times, with formats in different countries (see the table below).

Year Country Format Label Note
1983 United States Cassette Frontier FCX 011
1983 United States Vinyl Frontier FLP 011
1987 Europe Vinyl Virgin V 2495 Reissue; 33RPM
1987 Europe CD Virgin CDV 2495 Reissue
1990 United States CD Frontier FCD 011 Reissue
1997 United States Vinyl Epitaph 80104-1 Reissue; Remastered
1997 United States CD Epitaph 80104-2 Reissue; Remastered
2008 United States Vinyl (140 gr. Limited edition colored vinyl) Frontier 31011-8 Remastered (25th Anniversary Edition)
2008 United States CD Frontier 31011-9 Remastered (25th Anniversary Edition)


  1. ^* Guitarist Jon Nelson, who joined the band shortly after the album was completed, is credited in place of Grant Estes on pressings of the album circa 1987, when the album was first released in compact disc-format. Though he does not perform on the album.


  1. ^ a b "Play It Again, Suicidal". Los Angeles Times. June 11, 1993. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  2. ^ ""Institutionalized": Suicidal Tendencies' Teen Rant for All Ages, All Time". 5 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Former SUICIDAL TENDENCIES Bassist LOUICHE MAYORGA Sues For Unpaid Royalties". December 9, 2016. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  4. ^ "Ten Reasons Why Suicidal Tendencies Rule, Yo!". 7 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Vinyl on Sale: Suicidal Tendencies, SOAD, RATM, Japanese Breakfast, Circle Jerks, Julien Baker, more".
  6. ^ a b Fox, Killian (29 November 2014). "Beats, punks and stunts: the photography of Glen E Friedman". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Thirsty : September 2008 : Suicidal Tendencies review". Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  8. ^ a b Allmusic review
  9. ^ Q review
  10. ^ Pushead (July–August 1983). "Suicidal Tendencies review". Maximum Rocknroll.
  11. ^ "Suicidal Tendencies". Retrieved 2012-03-11.
  12. ^ "Anthrax Guitarist Scott Ian's Top 10 Thrash Albums". Noisecreep. 2009-11-13. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
  13. ^ "MR Exclusive Interview: Louiche Mayorga of Suicidal Tendencies and Luicidal". Metal Riot. April 5, 2013. Retrieved October 8, 2018.
  14. ^ Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved June 19, 2009. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)