Social Distortion disappeared for a while (almost disbanded actually, due to Ness' drug addiction) before releasing their second album, "Prison Bound", in 1988, which would be their first recording with the classic lineup of Ness, Danell and newcomers John Maurer on bass and Christopher Reece on drums. In 1989, the band signed a deal with Epic Records and recorded their highly successful third album, which is self-titled, containing their popular hits "Story Of My Life" and "Ball And Chain" as well as the Johnny Cash cover "Ring Of Fire".
The band disappeared again after the release of their fourth album, 1992's "Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell", and Reece left Social Distortion in 1993. After auditions were held to play drums in the band, former D.O.A./Danzig drummer Chuck Biscuits joined Social Distortion although he did not play drums on their next album, "White Light, White Heat, White Trash" (Dean Castronovo recorded all drums, but wasn't credited in the album's liner notes), in 1996, which would be their last release on Epic Records.
In 1999, while Social Distortion wasn't touring, Ness went solo, releasing two albums, "Cheating At Solitaire" and "Under The Influences", in the same year. Although some of Social Distortion's songs paid homage to country music artists, "Cheating At Solitaire" was an unalloyed expression of Ness' country influences. His second solo album, "Under The Influences", contains country covers.
Before the band could work on their sixth album, Danell passed away on February 29, 2000 in his Newport Beach home after apparently suffering a brain aneurysm, leaving Ness as the only remaining original member of the band. Danell was replaced by current guitarist Jonny Wickersham. Biscuits also left during that time, and was replaced by Charlie Quintana.
Following Danell's death, Social Distortion continued touring and their sixth album, "Sex, Love And Rock 'N' Roll", was released on September 28, 2004. After it was completed, Maurer quit the band and was briefly replaced by Rancid's Matt Freeman. Months later, Freeman was replaced by current bassist Brent Harding, who was also part of Ness' solo tour.
In April 2009, Quintana announced that he was leaving the band to explore other musical opportunities. He was temporarily replaced by Angels & Airwaves drummer Adam "Atom" Willard, formerly of Rocket From The Crypt and Offspring, and then Scott Reeder of Fu Manchu. Their current drummer David Hidalgo, Jr., who once toured but never recorded with Suicidal Tendencies, joined in 2010. In January 2011, Social Distortion released their seventh studio album "Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes".