I grew up thinking that The Ramones were the first true punk rock band.
The Ramones started gigging in New York in 1974 and in 1976 released their first album.
But I have just learned that there was a punk band that started in 1971 and recorded an album in 1974 that nobody ever knew about. My mind is officially blown.
You see…the record was never released.
Only a single 45 made it out on the streets (fetching hundreds on eBay) and seemingly only a few locals ever knew they existed.
The band was called Death and was comprised of three brothers.
The punk history books may need to be rewritten.
Punk may not have originated in New York at CBGBs, but instead was born in Detroit.
Also worth mentioning is that the brothers that form the band are African-American.
We all thought that white kids invented punk. Are we wrong?
When I heard about this band called Death, I had to listen for myself.
The Death debut album “..For the Whole World to See” was finally released in 2009 — nearly 35 years after it was recorded.
To be honest, I was not expecting much at all. I figured one or two songs might be decent — boy was I in for a surprise.
From the very first chord, I was totally into this album. It is an absolute classic. Yes I just called it a classic!
Call me crazy, but I think I actually like it better than the first Ramones album.
This is like discovering a hidden Christmas present that was lost behind a bunch of junk in a closet somewhere. What an amazing and rare treat.
So how did this 1974 record finally get out to the public?
Why did this great punk album never get released?
What are these guys up to now?
All of these answers can be learned in a new documentary about Death, their history, their music, and how this classic was forgotten and then resurrected.
Fascinating stuff indeed.
The movie entitled “A Band Called Death” is out in theaters, you can also view it on Amazon.
I recommend you do so immediately.