Nervous Breakdown

This article refers to a music recording. For the more general use of this term, see mental breakdown.

Nervous Breakdown was the first 7" EP by the American hardcore punk band Black Flag. It was released in 1978 and was the inaugural release on SST Records.

Recording history

The recording was financed by Greg Ginn with proceeds he had earned from his mail-order ham radio electronics business, Solid State Tuners (SST). Through Spot, then an apprentice engineer whom Ginn had already known from living in Hermosa Beach, California, the band found Media Art, a studio that had recently completed construction.

The recording was originally supposed to come out on Bomp! Records, but the band felt that the label was taking too long to put the record out. Eventually the band took the master rights back, and Ginn put some more earnings from his ham radio business, located a pressing plant in the phone book, and co-founded SST Records with Black Flag bassist Chuck Dukowski, borrowing the label's name from his business.

It is commonly misconstrued that Spot was the producer and engineer of record for Nervous Breakdown. In his sleeve notes for the 1982 outtakes anthology Everything Went Black, Spot pointed out that as an apprentice engineer, his involvement in the sessions was limited to setting up microphones during the tracking sessions, and doing rough mixes for the band to hear.

The initial pressing of Nervous Breakdown was 300 copies. Black Flag were able to use the record as "a badge of legitimacy" (according to Dukowski) to begin getting live gigs in the Los Angeles area.

The Band Rise Against have covered Nervous Breakdown and Fix Me on the This Is Noise EP.

Release History

The EP is still in print both in its original form (a 7" vinyl EP), as a 5" CD single, and as part of the anthology The First Four Years. It was also available at times as a 3" CD single, a 10" colored vinyl EP, and as part of the various artists compilation of SST singles, The 7 Inch Wonders Of The World.

Track listing

All songs written by Greg Ginn, except where noted.

  1. "Nervous Breakdown" – 2:07
  2. "Fix Me" – 0:55
  3. "I've Had It" – 1:20
  4. "Wasted" (Ginn/Morris) – 0:51


References and footnotes

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