Circle Jerks – Beverly Hills / Wasted


Group Sex is the debut studio album by American hardcore punk band Circle Jerks. It was released on October 1, 1980, by Frontier Records. The album consists of 14 songs in 15 minutes and is considered to be a landmark album in hardcore punk. It was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.


The recording sessions for Group Sex took place in July 1980 at Byrdcliffe Studios in Culver CityCalifornia.

Four songs on the album – “Wasted”, “Don’t Care”, “Behind the Door” and “Red Tape” – were originally co-written and performed by vocalist Keith Morris with his previous band Black Flag.[1] “Wasted” had appeared on Black Flag’s 1979 extended play Nervous Breakdown. “Don’t Care” was recorded during an early recording session for what was supposed to be Black Flag’s debut studio album. After Morris left Black Flag, the tapes were shelved. Black Flag’s version of “Don’t Care” later appeared on the 1982 compilation album Everything Went Black. “Behind the Door” was re-written and released as “Room 13” on Black Flag’s 1981 debut studio album, Damaged. Morris and Circle Jerks drummer Lucky Lehrer collaborated on the arrangement of “Red Tape”. In a nod to the latter’s background as a jazz musician, the jazz principle of “trading fours” was co-opted by Lehrer in an effort to expand the narrow range of musicality that existed at the time in hardcore punk.[2]

When Morris recorded and released “I Don’t Care” with the Circle Jerks (without crediting Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn, who composed the music), Black Flag responded by rewriting the lyrics, and then recording and releasing the song as “You Bet We’ve Got Something Personal Against You!” for the Jealous Again 12″ EP, which was also released in 1980.

“Live Fast Die Young” is a reworking with new lyrics by Morris of “Cover Band”, a song written and composed by Circle Jerks guitarist Greg Hetson for his previous band, Redd Kross, who recorded it for their 1980 EP Red Cross.

Some CD versions feature the album twice given its short run time. The back cover acknowledges this simply as “program repeats” at the end of the track list.