Throughout the history of music, there have been countless changes, shifts, and inspirations. Since 1984, the Double Nickels on the Dime album by The Minutemen gave a new path to many bands to follow.
There have been many albums to make massive impacts on music, across many different genres. Few can match the wild mix of The Minutemen’s double album.
Let’s delve into the history and style of what made Double Nickels on the Dime an album to remember.
The Short History Behind Double Nickels On The Dime
Produced in 1984, the double album of Double Nickels on the Dime is a wild odyssey that has loose connections but heavy inspiration from what you may consider punk rock.
With D. Boon on guitar, Mike Watt on bass, and George Hurley on drums, the trio have been staples of the homegrown California punk scene for years. They had many bands before, but The Minutemen was the eventual love child of the trio.
Their initial LP “The Punch Line” and their first EP “Paranoid Time” were both releases of SST Records. This studio would produce their famous double album Doube Nickels on the Dime.
For a little known fact about the name of the album, Double Nickels on the Dime refers to driving at the exact speed limit of 55. This was a jest at the famous Sammy Hagar song “I Can’t Drive 55”.
The Punk Rock Scene
Punk Rock had come as a bizarre but sincere successor to the freedom of the free love generation. Combining grit and anger at its foundations, punk is often most known for its loud and fast rhythm and anti-establishment attitude.
What The Minutemen pushed with their music came to a head with Double Nickels on the Dime. It put forward the idea that punk was a style or a genre, but a movement, one that throws off any chains of “Do what we expect you to”.
As such, they were the jolt to the uncertain steps of punk. What started in the 1970s had some awkward footing, uncertain of its place in the world as more record companies wanted “the punk style”.
The bizarre mix of dozens of genres and radical shifts from song to song that Double Nickels brought shown a light on the much more punk idea of “Make Your Own Path”.
Brave New World
The beginnings of the 1980s had a lot of uncertainties. Unlike so many decades before it, there was less of a cohesive whole music-wise to hold on to.
Double Nickels on the Dime lit up the independent fire of punk rock with bizarre but cohesive narratives. It also took on big topics like the Vietnam War and racism.
The idea was no style was off-limits, you could handle any topic with respect, and the only sound you need to craft was your own. It stands as a foundation for the many radical ideas brought in the 1980s and beyond.
Connecting the Vintage Influences to Today
Finding every influence from Double Nickels on the Dime could take forever. Its roots grow back years, across multiple genres, and gave people a lot of inspiration to take music to radical new directions.
There is so much in older music that can teach us about newer trends and techniques. We owe a lot to the old, and we here at Vintage Connect are eager to dive in. Check out more from other categories, like fashion or art.