100 Greatest Songs of the 80’s #94 Minor Threat – Straight Edge

Released : 1984

When viewed against the backdrop of consumerism, addiction and loss of self, there’s no more punk personal statement than abstention: whilst the early hardcore movement was dogged by macho jocks and testosterone fueled mosh pits, it’s flipside was a self discipline given a manifesto by fourty odd seconds of sneering brute force.

That brevity  meant that the point was something to be got to quickly: “I’m a person just like you/But I’ve got better things to do/Than sit around and fuck my head/Hang out with the living dead” snarled Ian Mackaye, laying out a belief system which meant abstention from drugs, alcohol and sometimes meat. Not being part of any system is the hardest way to live of all: Straight Edge was the gut punch that told you it was right.