A Newbury Comics exclusive color vinyl pressing.
What is there to say about SSD’s long out-of-print 1982 debut, The Kids Will Have Their Say that hasn’t already been written? Long heralded as the first straight-edge album, this collection of songs captures a time and an era in the nascent hardcore scene before there were formulas and posturing. In other words, it’s an unfiltered artistic statement that’s singular in scope and vision. The Boston act’s debut was extremely limited, never repressed and has gone on to have a life of its own despite the fact the only affordable way to listen to it has been low quality streams on YouTube. Now, after being out of print for 40 years, the album is going to be available on streaming services and vinyl by Trust Records with updated remastered audio and a painstaking recreation of the iconic cover art courtesy of Bryan Ray Turcotte. Over the years the mythology of the album has only grown—and this reissue of the album is sure to introduce this prescient and powerful collection of songs to a new generation of fans who never had the opportunity to see the original lineup of guitarist Al Barile, vocalist Springa, bassist Jaime Sciarappa and drummer Chris Foley perform live.
“We only did one pressing of 1,900 copies and then I shut it down after the first pressing,” Barile explains. “Even back then within a couple of years if people wanted it they couldn’t get it, but I guess what surprises me is that people still want it. People on YouTube copy it all the time and put it up there and I never once complained to them about copyright violations or stuff like that.” In many ways, SSD launched the hardcore scene in Boston as we know it and the band’s kinship with Minor Threat’s Ian MacKaye arose out of the fact that both acts refused to conform to society’s still shifting standards at the time. From the unbridled aggression of SSD’s “Boiling Point” to the stripped-down groove of “How Much Art,” the album was as reactionary as it was revolutionary and is an artistic statement that remains to be remarkably complex for a group of guys barely into adulthood .“Our first performances began in art galleries and that combined with an overabundance of post-punk art rock at every turn made ripe for a song which is about the avant-gardcore movement at the Gallery East in Boston in 1980,” Barile explains when asked about the latter song.
While the original pressing of The Kids Will Have Their Say—which was a split release between Dischord and X-Claim—now regularly sells for thousands of dollars online, this remastered version of, which was updated from a safety version of the original master tapes (which were cleaned by Dan Johnson of Audio Achieving Services despite the mold and water damage) is something that Barile is just as proud to share with the world. “It sounds better than I thought it could have sounded at this point,” Barile explains. “I’m very pleased with the audio quality of it.” Fun fact: Not only did this album help define hardcore but a demo version of “How Much Art” features a rap verse penned and sung by Barile that is just another example of SSD’s musical prescience. This release also comes on the heels of the hardcover book SSD: How Much Art Can You Take, which contains over 170 images of the band and has sparked a resurgence of interest in the act who were only around from 1981- 1985.
After offers from numerous labels over the years, Barile is the first to point out that it’s ironic that The Kids Will Have Their Say is being reissued on a label called Trust Records. “When I heard about the kind of business model they were trying to do and how it had an archival twist to it, that really matched what I was trying to do because I was trying to find a permanent home [for it], so it wasn’t being bootlegged again or something I wouldn’t want to happen if I’m not around,“ Barile explains. “They had the most compelling story when it came to matching what I was trying to do, so it seemed like a good fit.” That mix between honoring the history and legacy of the album, while still pushing it toward the future with the remastering job and new merch from the band is what makes this reissue of The Kids Will Have Their Say a landmark moment in the history of American hardcore.
Whether you’re buying this because you’re lucky enough to own the original pressing or you’re hearing the album for the very first time, this version of The Kids Will Have Their Say is a striking document of the nascent hardcore scene that sounds just as vital today as it did when it was originally recorded.