The Middle Class - MIDDLE CLASS

Formed: Santa Ana, California, USA

Middle Class have gone down in history as the band that recorded the first hardcore record. The Out Of Vogue E.P., released in 1978, knocked spots off Black Flag's Nervous Breakdown single in terms of sheer speed and had - without a shadow of doubt - the fastest song released thus far: the title track is an amazing amphetamine blast of monotonous guitar noise that still exhilarates, lyrics rendered incomprehensible by the velocity. Others claim Bad Brains' Pay To Cum was the first hardcore record, but although the Bad Brains single was superior and had greater influence, I'd say this is definitely where it all kicked off.

The Middle Class - Out Of Vogue- US 7" 1978 (Joke - 09831) The Middle Class - Out Of Vogue- US 7" 1978 (Joke - 09831)

ABOVE: Out Of Vogue came with either white or yellow labels.

Unfortunately, the band's move away from hardcore was swift and by the time of Scavenged Luxury they were reallly starting to mellow. This was partially down to the fallout from the Elks Lodge Riot in March 1979, a notorious chapter in L.A. punk history, where the cops raided the place and used the punks as punch bags. Jeff Atta was one of the cops' victims, and after this incident they all decided a change of style and pace was required. Their first and last LP Homeland showed they were well-and-truly in the same post-punk territory as Joy Division, Echo And The Bunnymen, Gang of Four etc. Not much fun.

The Middle Class - Scavenged Luxury - US 7" 1980 (Torture Garden - TG 101)The Middle Class - Scavenged Luxury - US 7" 1980 (Torture Garden - TG 101) Back Cover

ABOVE: The Scavenged Luxury EP's labels looked like this.

According to Wikipedia: "In the mid-1980s the Atta brothers briefly formed a band with former Bags vocalist Alice Bag, the Cambridge Apostles. Bassist Mike Patton went on to produce the Adolescents' first album, guitarist Mike Atta now owns and operates a vintage furniture and clothing shop in Fullerton, California called "Out Of Vogue," Jeff Atta runs an art gallery next door, and drummer Bruce Atta went on to UCLA to major in Philosophy and now teaches philosophy at Cal State University at Los Angeles. Middle Class reunited in 2010 and played sold out shows in Los Angeles in 2010 and 2011."

LINEUP 1 (1977-1980):

Jeff Atta - vocals
Mike Atta - guitar
Mike Patton - bass
Bruce Atta - drums

LINEUP 2 (1982):

The Middle Class - Punk 1982

Jeff Atta - vocals, synth
Mike Atta - guitar
Mike Patton - bass
Matt Simon - drums

DISCOGRAPHY

Singles / Albums

The Middle Class - Out Of Vogue
The Middle Class - Scavenged Luxury The Middle Class - Homeland  
Out Of Vogue
(7", 1978)
Scavenged Luxury
(7", 1980)
Homeland (LP, 1982)  

Extraneous Releases

The Middle Class - A Blueprint For Joy 1978-1980 The Middle Class - Out Of Vogue - The Early Material    
A Blueprint For Joy 1978-1980 (CD, 1995) Out Of Vogue - The Early Material (LP/CD, 2008)    

Bootlegs

The Middle Class - You Dug Your Own Grave Now Die In It! The Middle Class - 1978-1979 The Middle Class - Out Of Vogue - Discography Album 1978-1980 The Middle Class - Out Of Vogue - The Hardcore Years 1978-1980
You Dug Your Own Grave Now Die In It! (7", 1996) 1978-1979 (7", 2002) Out Of Vogue - Discography Album 1978-1980 (CD, 2002) Out Of Vogue - The Hardcore Years 1978-1980 (CD, 2004)

Various Artists

Tooth And Nail US LP 1979 (Upsetter): Love Is Just A Tool / Above Suspicion

Earcom 3 UK 2x7" 1979 (Fast Product): Out Of Vogue / Situations

Where Is J.R. ? Germany Tape 1982 (Schrott): Out Of Vogue

Punk Anderson's Favourites Germany 2xCD 1995 (Starving Missile): Out Of Vogue / You Belong / Situations

Links

AGONY SHORTHAND - Interview and bio

O.C. Weekly - Suddenly In Vogue - article

 

 


 

You can add stuff and make comments/corrections by emailing me at:

jane@punkygibbon.co.uk

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