Black Flag

TV Party

Composed by Greg Ginn

Song Review by

Black Flag's founder and leader, Greg Ginn, once told an interviewer that after Henry Rollins joined the band, "We couldn't do songs with a sense of humor anymore; he got into the serious way-out poet thing." While "TV Party" was recorded after Rollins joined the band (twice, in fact), it's one of the few truly goofy moments in the group's catalog, which became increasingly bleak from My War onward. Boasting the closest thing to a pop hook that ever appeared on a Black Flag record (though it's driven more by Chuck Dukowski's percolating bass line than Ginn's stun-gun guitar), "TV Party" is tuneful and almost melodic where the band usually served up a man-sized helping of fifth-gear dissonance. And the lyrics (delivered by Rollins in a "aw shucks" yelp while the band shouts the chorus in a gloriously lumpen bellow) are at once cutting and funny, an attack on television-inspired stasis that laughs both at and with it's subjects ("We've got nothin' better to do/Than watch TV and have a couple of brews!"). As a dumb anthem, it even beats out the band's cover of "Louie Louie," and it's a lot more fun to sing along with than, say, "Rat's Eyes."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Damaged 1981 SST 3:31
TV Party 1982 SST 3:51
No Image 1983 Target Records
Repo Man 1984
Original Soundtrack
Geffen 3:53
7 Inch Wonders of the World 1985
Various Artists
SST 3:49
It's a Goof 1998
Various Artists
Beloved Records 3:51
Skate to Hell 2004
Various Artists
Warner Strategic Marketing 3:30
US vs. UK Punk 2006
Various Artists
Sanctuary 3:30
blue highlight denotes editor's pick