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By Phil Hall | September 18, 2006

“Bad Brains Live at CBGB 1982″ offers a rarely-seen video concert performance of the legendary rock band performing at the Hardcore Festival hosted by New York’s most celebrated music venue in the early 1980s.

Crashing through 19 songs in an hour, Bad Brains had more energy than the entire Saudi Arabian oil reserves. Mixing rock, punk, reggae and ska, Bad Brains was difficult to classify but easy to love. In fact, their show was punctuated by wild looking kids who jumped on the stage to dance (in a manner resembling Curly from the Three Stooges, truth be told) and then do mosh pit dives into the equally hyper front row audience.

The video itself, unfortunately, is not pristine. The camerawork is often stagnant and sound recording is frequently rough and difficult to understand (the slower tempo reggae songs have more aural clarity than their fast rocking numbers). For those new to Bad Brains, it might be best to hunt down their music on CD before watching this presentation.

But considering the rarity of video performances of Bad Brains, this is an important discovery and a must-have for any fan of genuinely original rock music.

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