Hard Times

Album: The Age Of Quarrel (1986)
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Songfacts®:

  • If you're looking to capture the spirit of the '80s hardcore scene in under two minutes, a listen at high volume to "Hard Times" by the Cro-Mags should do the trick. Fans of the genre often felt marginalized, as did the bands themselves. They had to grow a thick skin to deflect the barbs from the forces trying to assimilate them into polite society. Going soft wouldn't cut it:

    Hard times coming through
    But if you're hard it won't get to you
  • "Hard Times" is a track from the debut Cro-Mags album, The Age Of Quarrel, written by their main songwriting trio of lead singer John Joseph, bass player Harley Flanagan, and guitarist Parris Mayhew. The album fused metal and punk in a way that had never been done before, forming the hardcore sound. Their sales numbers were never impressive, but their influence could be heard decades later in bands like Faith No More and Sepultura. Soon after The Age Of Quarrel was released, their lineup started shifting as tensions arouse. Their next album, Best Wishes, didn't appear until 1989 and was without Joseph. They continued in fits and starts, but their debut remains their pièce de résistance.
  • Parris Mayhew told Songfacts about this track: "'Hard Times' is a song Eric Casanova (original Cro-Mags singer) wrote the lyrics for and it establish what I consider to be, the Cro-Mags manifesto, along with his other lyrics for 'Street Justice,' 'Life Of My Own,' and 'Survival Of The Streets,' which he penned during his short tenure in the band."

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