When punk hit the mainstream in 1994, Bad Religion — who had been grinding for well over a decade at that point — were there with their major label debut Stranger Than Fiction, which proved to be one of the band’s biggest breakthroughs. It was also their last album with founding guitarist Brett Gurewitz, who left to focus on running Epitaph Records (before returning to the band in 2001), and the band ended up replacing him with Brian Baker, formerly of Minor Threat, Dag Nasty, and more. Their first album with Brian was 1996’s The Gray Race, which also linked the band up with producer Ric Ocasek of The Cars, who produced Bad Brains’ 1983 classic Rock for Light and was fresh off producing Weezer’s Blue Album. “I really idolize Todd Rundgren [who produced Bad Religion’s 2000 album The New America] and Ric Ocasek,” vocalist Greg Graffin said in 2007. “If I could have been a songwriter and producer like Todd Rundgren and a bandleader like Ric Ocasek, I would have been stoked when I was little. Now I know both of those guys really well, and it’s kind of weird when you grow up to be something completely different but in the same profession. I still cite them as highly influential in my approach to music.”

“The sounds we were using were different, as was our approach to making the record, and that was all because of Ric [Ocasek]’s influence,” Greg added a few years later. “It was very rejuvenating on an artistic level.”

Like its predecessor, The Gray Race birthed more breakthrough songs and fan faves, like “Punk Rock Song,” “A Walk,” “Them and Us,” and “Ten In 2010,” the latter two of which also got a boost from being featured in Crazy Taxi. It remains a high point in the band’s consistently-great discography, and we’re thrilled to be teaming with the band on a “grape” colored vinyl repress, limited to just 200 copies. Grab yours now while they last! That’s a mock-up of the variant above.

Bad Religion