On March 27, 1990, Social Distortion released their third album, and the self-titled release, loaded with chart-topping singles, became their first worldwide best-seller. Twenty five years later, they are celebrating. "This was a very pivotal moment in our young career," says frontman Mike Ness on Instagram.
The band, consisting of founding member, Mike Ness, longtime guitarist Jonny Wickersham, drummer David Hidalgo, Jr. and bassist Brent Harding, is re-releasing a limited edition color vinyl of the self-titled album on Record Store Day (April 18) and they will also be playing the full album on tour in Europe at Groezrock in Belgium and Loudfest in Switzerland in late April and May.
They will be back stateside to play the Shaky Knees festival in Atlanta, Georgia in May along with the Avett Brothers, Wilco, Beck and The Pixies, to name a few. Other tour dates are planned around the states and have not yet been announced.
Here's a look back at one of their biggest hits - "Ball and Chain":
Social Distortion track listing:
1. "So Far Away"
2. "Let It Be Me"
3. "Story of My Life"
4. "Sick Boys"
5. "Ring of Fire"
6. "Ball and Chain"
7. "It Coulda Been Me"
8. "She's a Knockout"
9. "A Place in My Heart"
10. “Drug Train"
The legendary punk band, started in 1978 in Fullerton, California, saw many dark, tumultuous times over the years. Lead singer/songwriter Mike Ness, the lone surviving member of the early lineup, has always been candid about his early struggles with drug and alcohol addiction. He recently shared about getting clean with Loudwire, "Simply, pain was a great motivator. I was addicted to drugs and alcohol before I had any success with the band. I wasn’t shooting dope at the St. Regis Hotel or in the back of a limousine. I started at the bottom and ended up getting even lower. So for me, that actually helped me. Because of my painful childhood, it wasn’t easy for me to keep going on and it put me in a very lonely situation. So that just kind of puts you in a desperate position where you’re willing to try something new."
Despite the upheaval, they managed to stay true to their sound and vision and put out four critically acclaimed albums: Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell (1992), White Light, White Heat, White Trash (1996), Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll (2004) and Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes (2011). Their most recent release on their new label Epitaph is the highest charting album of their career. Produced by Mike Ness, the album debuted at #4 in the US Billboard Chart and #3 on German Album Charts.
Ness is also in the process of writing his autobiography, aptly titled after one of their biggest hits, The Story of My Life. No release date has been announced.
"When the book does come out, it's not [gonna be] your stereotypical rock book," Ness tells Marc C. Horn at the Phoenix News Times. "It's more about my struggle to become a man at 52 years old , and I am still trying to figure that out. So much of your adult life is shaped and defined by the time you are 12 years old. You bring stuff with you that you don't even know you have. You don't have a lot of tools in your tool box, and so I have had to learn along the way. Fortunately I have a family and we are close, and we can talk about things."
Ness just turned 53 on April 3 - Happy birthday to you, Mike!
Find out more at www.socialdistortion.com.