Nervous Breakdown (EP)

Nervous Breakdown (EP)
Nervous Breakdown
EP by Black Flag
Released October 1978
Recorded January 1978 at Media Art Studios
Genre Hardcore punk
Length 5:13
Label SST (001)
Producer David Tarling, Black Flag
Black Flag chronology
Nervous Breakdown
Jealous Again
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Nervous Breakdown is the debut EP by the American hardcore punk band Black Flag. It was released in 1978 through SST Records, it was the inaugural release on SST.


Recording history

The recording was financed by Greg Ginn with proceeds he had earned from his mail-order ham radio electronics business, Solid State Transmitters (SST).[2] 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.[3]

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.[2]

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.[3]

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.[3]

Four other songs were completed during the recording, "Gimme Gimme Gimme", "I Don't Care", "White Minority" and "No Values", which were later released as part of the Everything Went Black compilation album.

Cover versions

Chicago band Rise Against has covered "Fix Me" on the Siren Song of the Counter Culture album, and later "Nervous Breakdown" and "Fix Me" on the This Is Noise EP.

Seattle grunge band Mudhoney has recorded a cover of "Fix Me" which appears on Disc 2 - Rarities on their compilation album March to Fuzz.

British hardcore punk band Gallows recorded a cover of "Nervous Breakdown" and it appears as a b-side to their "Abandon Ship" single.

British folk punk singer Frank Turner recorded a cover of "Fix Me", which was added to his compilation album, The First Three Years. The cover art and title of which are inspired by Black Flag's The First Four Years.

Australian band Silverchair recorded a medley of "Fix Me" and "Wasted", which appears a B-side on their "Miss You Love" single.

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 and composed by Greg Ginn, except where noted. 

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Nervous Breakdown"   2:07
2. "Fix Me"   0:55
Side B
No. Title Length
1. "I've Had It"   1:20
2. "Wasted" (Ginn, Keith Morris) 0:51
Total length:






  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ a b Michael Azzerad, Our Band Could Be Your Life, Little Brown, 2001
  3. ^ a b c Spot with Chuck Dukowski, Liner notes of Everything Went Black, SST Records, 1983
  4. ^ a b (1983) Album notes for The First Four Years by Black Flag [CD liner]. Lawndale, California: SST Records (SST CD 021).

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