Basement Screams

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Basement Screams front cover

Basement Screams was a six song EP by Naked Raygun, released on Ruthless Records in July or August of 1983. It was the first release for Naked Raygun, who by this time already established one of the largest followings within the Chicago punk community. Basement Screams is seen as one of the most imporant records in the history of Chicago punk. In 1999, Quarterstick Records finally rereleased Basement Screams, adding a street version of I Lie and the 222 S. Morgan Street demos. Included in the liner notes of the CD are collection of old pictures, flyers and writeups by Jeff Pezatti and Steve Albini.

In 2007, Haunted Town Records reissued Basement Screams on limited edition colored vinyl. They made 550 blue/black splatter, 350 solid purple and 250 clear LPs.

Track Listing


Side A

  • I Lie (Durango) - 3:12
  • Bombshelter (Durango) - 0:50
  • Emperor Tojo (Gonzalez) - 1:57

Side B

  • Swingo (Durango) - 2:19
  • Mofo (Durango) - 2:03
  • Potential Rapist (Colao) - 2:35

CD Extra Tracks

  • I Lie (Street Version) - 0:54
  • Swingo (Durango) - 2:33
  • 12XU (Wire Cover) - 1:53
  • Tell Them (Durango) - 1:13
  • Got Hurt (Durango) - 2:13
  • New Dreams (Durango) - 1:31
  • Fashion (Durango) - 1:49
  • Thank You (Durango) - 2:13


Bonus Tracks

Other Details

  • Release # - Ruthless 03
  • Re-release # - QS83
  • Engineered by Tim Powell
  • Front Cover Photo - US Food and Drug Administration
  • Special Thanks - Lloyd McElfresh & Barb Grajewski
  • Around the time of the CD re-release, there was a bootleg 7" version of Basement Screams making the rounds. It only included the original songs and featured a white instead of blue label on the record.


  • Matter #1 (Jan 1983) said it was in the "mixing stage", so it was likely recorded in late 1982. But then again they said it would be available in February of 1983 so maybe they re-recorded some stuff.
  • Matter #5 (Sept 1983) said it just came out and was reviewed. Since there was no mention of it in Matter #4 (July 1983), it must have came out in July or August of 1983. More likely the latter.
  • Matter #4 (July 1983) also list Santiago as "Ex-Naked Raygun" and talks about his current band The Interceptors, so it appears he was out of the band by the release date. Yet the liner notes for Throb Throb state that he played the Basement Screams record release party. Not sure if he returned just for that or the release party was slightly before the "mainstream" release.
  • John Haggerty joined the band after the album had been recorded but before it was released. In a 1999 interview in The Big Takeover, Haggerty said there had been some discussion of adding his guitar tracks to the finished album, but eventually the album was released as initially recorded.

Pics - Click For Larger Versions

Lyric Insert

External Links