Breakdown: The 87 Demo 12"

540 Records

$15.00

540 Records and Painkiller have teamed up once again to bring you the other half of the legendary “Breakdown; Both Demos” series: the legendary ’87 Demo. Breakdown’s original 1987 lineup was only together for a few short months, but in that time they produced one of the most legendary and influential recordings in the history of New York Hardcore. Paving the way for every hard and heavy band to follow, Breakdown’s take on hardcore was balanced with the perfect mix of hip hop’s bounce, the power and dynamics of heavy metal, and an unmistakable New York accent laced across a tough, streetwise sound that could only have come out of 1980’s New York City.

This LP contains the full 9-song ’87 Demo, released here for the first time on vinyl in its entirety, backed with a crushing live set recorded on WNYU radio’s Crucial Chaos during the summer of 1987. Both recordings have been faithfully restored from original sources and sound better than ever. Includes a full color 12”x24” poster insert with extensive notes and anecdotes from members of the NYHC scene.


Our take: If I'm being perfectly honest, the whole New Breed compilation style of hardcore is not really my steez... I'm just not a tough guy, and furthermore I lived through the 90s, when a more polished version of this style completely took over the world, much to my chagrin. However, that being said there's always been something very special about Breakdown's '87 demo... it's undeniably the high point of the style (well, along with a few others like Raw Deal and Absolution), and remains listenable and even exciting even after a zillion bands took the hip-hop-informed bounce of their rhythms and basically brought it all the way to nu-metal. Painkiller and 540 team up to bring this legendary recording back into print (years ago it was available as a 7"), adding in some very cool liner notes with lots of recollections from people close to the band and full-color reproductions of the original artwork... it's not quite Radio Raheem levels of thoroughness, but it's an impressive package. The a-side is the original demo remastered and sounding pretty darn great, while the b-side is devoted to a live-on-the-radio recording on WNYU's Crucial Chaos from the same period. The WNYU recording definitely has a less polished mix, but the band sound absolutely ferocious here, even more so than the demo. You probably know if you can live without hearing this thing, but if you're a fan of the band / style this is undoubtedly the definitive version of this material.
Tags: 80s mosh nyhc recommended reissues sxe