The Youth are Getting Restless

Feb 07, 2023
Web Exclusive

By Matthew Berlyant

File this one under wish fulfillment. The Youth are Getting Restless was my introduction to this incredible band back in 1990 at the age of 15 when it first came out. I don’t think I even realized it was a live album back when I first bought the cassette, but fortunately, even though I’m not a huge fan of live albums overall, this is a great one as it captures them on the 1987 I Against I tour at the legendary Paradiso Club in Amsterdam. Bad Brains were still at the very peak of their powers as a band and as a live group, at least as far as I’m concerned.

Therefore, The Youth are Getting Restless made me a fan for life. Although I’d already heard The Ramones, Sex Pistols, et al. by that point, it helped open the door for me to so much other underground punk and hardcore, much of which they directly or indirectly influenced. It’s also far superior to the two live albums SST released from this tour as well, though I’ve never been exactly sure why. This one just has a certain presence and feel, I guess.

The setlist combines their very best 1979-1986 material, all blazing hardcore punk classics like “The Big Takeover,” “Pay to Cum,” Rock for Light,” “House of Suffering,” et al. with dub reggae style covers of The Beatles’ “Day Tripper” and The Rolling Stones’ “She’s a Rainbow.” There’s also the title track, a reggae original that laments the horrific conditions in apartheid-era South Africa right before it was dismantled.

This reissue marks the first time The Youth Are Getting Restless has been in print on vinyl in over 30 years and it’s an absolutely gorgeous looking blue and white splatter color and (more importantly) great sounding pressing, another winner in this fantastic reissue series that started a few years ago. Now if only they can get the rights back to I Against I, the album they were touring on when this was recorded! Either way, I’m excited to see what comes next in this series. (

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