Big Black

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Big Black was one of the most important Chicago punk bands of the 1980s. They are one of the Big Four and released a bevy of albums and EPs before breaking up in 1987. Fronted by Steve Albini and led on guitar by Naked Raygun founder Santiago Durango.


Short Term Members


  1. Steelworker
  2. Live in a Hole
  3. Dead Billy
  4. I Can Be Killed
  5. Crack
  6. R.I.P
  1. Cables
  2. Pigeon Kill
  3. I'm A Mess
  4. Texas
  5. Seth
  6. Jump The Climb
  1. Racer-X
  2. Shotgun
  3. Ugly American
  4. Deep Six
  5. Sleep
  6. Big Payback
  1. Rema Rema
  • Il Duce 7" - (Homestead, 1986)
  1. Il Duce
  2. Big Money
  • Atomizer LP - (Homestead, 1986)
    • Engineered by Iain Burgess
  1. Jordan, Minnesota
  2. Passing Complexion
  3. Big Money
  4. Kerosene
  5. Bad Houses
  6. Fists of Love
  7. Stinking Drunk
  8. Bazooka Joe
  9. Strange Things
  10. Cables (Live)
  • Headache 12" - (Touch and Go, 1987)
  1. My Disco
  2. Grinder
  3. Ready Men
  4. Pete, King of all Detectives
  • Heartbeat 7" - (Touch and Go, 1987)
  1. Heartbeat
  2. Things to Do Today
  3. I Can't Believe
  • He's a Whore/The Model 7" - (Touch and Go, 1987)
  1. He's a Whore
  2. The Model
  • Songs About Fucking LP - (Touch and Go, 1987)
  1. The Power of Independent Tracking
  2. The Model
  3. Bad Penny
  4. L Dopa
  5. Precious Thing
  6. Colombian Necktie
  7. Kitty Empire
  8. Ergot
  9. Kasimir S. Pulaski Day
  10. Fish Fry
  11. Pavement Saw
  12. Tiny, King of Jews
  13. Bombastic Intro
  14. He's a Whore
  • Pigpile (live) - (Touch and Go, 1992)
  1. Fists of Love
  2. L Dopa
  3. Passing Complexion
  4. Dead Billy
  5. Cables
  6. Bad Penny
  7. Pavement Saw
  8. Kerosene
  9. Steelworker
  10. Pigeon Kill
  11. Fish Fry
  12. Jordan, Minnesota



Steve Albini was briefly involved with the band Stations, during which David Stowell would often use a Roland PR-808 drum machine for sequencing. Though he did not spend much time with Stations, Albini got his first real exposure with the drum machine and bought one on his own. He spent extensive time after that getting acclimated with the drum machine and recorded his first demo (which would go on to be the Lungs EP) mostly by himself in his apartment in Uptown. While attending local shows in the 80/81 timeframe, Steve got to know the manager of The Effigies, John Babin. He gave Babin a copy of the demo and mentioned to him that he was looking for other people to join his project. Babin gave the demo to Jeff Pezzati who liked what he heard and joined up with Albini.

The Coach House and Bulldozer

Jeff and Steve began practicing at a coach house, where Pezzati lived with Santiago Durango and others. The basement of the coach house had a rehearsal where Naked Raygun and other bands practiced during that time. One Sunday while Pezzati and Albini were practicing, the two of them were making such a racket that Santiago couldn't hear what was on the TV. Giving up on trying to watch TV, he went down to the basement and decided to join in on the practice session. Though Durango was part of the Bulldozer EP his role was more of an axillary one, as most of the songs had already taken shape before he became a regular member of the band.

2006 "Reunion"

On September 9, 2006 Big Black played at short set at the Touch and Go Records 25th Anniversary festival, their first show in nearly 20 years. With the original lineup of Albini, Durango and Pezzati, Big Black played Cables, Pigeon Kill, Dead Billy and Racer X. Albini stated at the show that he was doing it strictly as a "thank you" to Touch and Go and Corey Rusk, so don't expect another Big Black show in the near future.

External Links

YouTube Clips