The highly influential hardcore band SSD has today announced the reissue details of their long out-of-print classic, The Kids Will Have Their Say. Long heralded as the first straight-edge album, this collection of songs captures a time and an era in the nascent hardcore scene before there were formulas and posturing. It’s an unfiltered artistic statement that’s singular in scope and vision.
The Boston act’s debut was extremely limited, never repressed and has gone on to have a life of its own despite the fact the only affordable way to listen to it has been low quality streams on YouTube. Now, after being out of print for 40 years, the album is going to be available on streaming services for the first time ever and will be released on vinyl by Trust Records. This deluxe version has been meticulously updated with remastered audio and a painstaking recreation of the iconic cover art, courtesy of Bryan Ray Turcotte. Over the years the mythology of the album has only grown—and this reissue of the album is sure to introduce this prescient and powerful collection of songs to a new generation of fans who never had the opportunity to see the original lineup of guitarist Al Barile, vocalist David “Springa” Spring, bassist Jaime Sciarappa and drummer Chris Foley perform live.
Considered to be the first Straight Edge band, SSD formed in Boston in 1981. The band quickly gained notoriety within the local music scene for intense, charged performances and the provocative antics of their core group of followers, the Boston Crew. In 1982, they released their debut LP The Kids Will Have Their Say on their own XClaim and Ian MacKaye’s Dischord label. An estimated 1900 copies were pressed and quickly sold out – currently an original copy of the album sells for an average of $2,000 on Discogs.
“We only did one pressing of 1,900 copies and then I shut it down after the first pressing,” Barile explains. “Even back then within a couple of years if people wanted it they couldn’t get it, but I guess what surprises me is that people still want it. People on YouTube copy it all the time and put it up there and I never once complained to them about copyright violations or stuff like that.” In many ways, SSD launched the hardcore scene in Boston as we know it and the band’s kinship with MacKaye arose out of the fact that both acts refused to conform to society’s still shifting standards at the time.
From the unbridled aggression of SSD’s “Boiling Point” to the stripped-down groove of “How Much Art,” the album was as reactionary as it was revolutionary and is an artistic statement that remains to be remarkably complex for a group of guys barely into adulthood. “Our first performances began in art galleries and that combined with an overabundance of post-punk art rock at every turn made ripe for a song which is about the avant-gardcore movement at the Gallery East in Boston in 1980,” Barile explains when asked about “How Much Art.” SSD and Trust worked with director Coan Buddy Nichols for an entirely new visual for the remastered audio. The official video includes various unseen SSD photos and footage and is available today - watch below.
Trust Records worked with Dan Johnson of Audio Achieving Services who remastered the audio from the safety version of the original master tapes. These tapes were cleaned despite extreme mold and water damage – which is something that Barile is proud to share with the world. “It sounds better than I thought it could have sounded at this point,” Barile explains. “I’m very pleased with the audio quality of it.”
The re-release of The Kids Will have Their Say comes on the heels of the hardcover book SSD: How Much Art Can You Take, which contains over 170 images of the band and has sparked a resurgence of interest in the act who were only around from 1981- 1985. After offers from numerous labels over the years, Barile is the first to point out that it’s ironic that The Kids Will Have Their Say is being reissued on a label called Trust Records.
“When I heard about the kind of business model they were trying to do and how it had an archival twist to it, that really matched what I was trying to do because I was trying to find a permanent home [for it], so it wasn’t being bootlegged again or something I wouldn’t want to happen if I’m not around,” Barile explains. “They had the most compelling story when it came to matching what I was trying to do, so it seemed like a good fit.” That mix between honoring the history and legacy of the album, while still pushing it toward the future with the remastering job and new merch from the band is what makes this reissue of The Kids Will Have Their Say a landmark moment in the history of American hardcore.
The Kids Will Have Their Say Deluxe Reissue sees its release across all digital retailers and vinyl on November 17, 2023. Trust has also worked with SSD to design an official merch line. The collection includes two new options of the classic SSD logo shirt and shorts.