Violent Femmes

Violent Femmes

Violent Femmes were founded in 1980 by bassist/multi-instrumentalist Brian Ritchie and drummer Victor De Lorenzo. The name is a contradiction in terms, “Violent” being self-explanatory and “Femmes” being Milwaukee slang for wimp.
The rhythm section added high school singer/songwriter Gordon Gano in 1981. Gano and Ritchie had previously performed together at Gano’s National Honor Society induction ceremony, where they caused a near riot. Gano was expelled from the Society and suspended from high school for this outrage.
One of the only stable aspects of the band is their aversion to rehearsal. Due to this they would take the music to the streets in an attempt to hone it and earn some spare change. It was on one of these occasions that they were spotted by the Pretenders. Chrissie Hynde and the gang were so amused by the Violent Femmes antics that they invited the band to open the show for them. The hometown Milwaukee audience received the Femmes with unanimous booing. However by the end of the set the Femmes had converted approximately 50% of the audience to their cause. Many years later Brian Ritchie encountered Hynde when the Femmes and Pretenders shared the bill at a radio concert. She said, “Oh, you’re still around.”
The Femmes borrowed $10,000 from Victor De Lorenzo’s dad to record their legendary first album in 1982. Slash Records in Los Angeles was the only label to offer them a deal with the amazing advance of $0. The band accepted the deal and started on the predictable round of world tours, recording, more world tours, nervous breakdowns, band members quitting, solo albums, regrouping, more touring, divorces, more crackups, dropped from record deals, new deals, more touring, record company going bankrupt, lawsuits, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum.
Fast forward to the present. Many things have changed. One thing that hasn’t is the sound of the band. Their loose, improvisational, acoustic sound is timeless.

Violent Femmes Discography


92 38451 Violent Femmes Violent Femmes (Album) Slash, Slash 92 38451 Canada 1983 Sell This Version
820 093-1 Violent Femmes Hallowed Ground (Album) Slash, Slash 820 093-1 Netherlands 1984 Sell This Version
828 006-1 Violent Femmes The Blind Leading The Naked (Album) Liberation Records 828 006-1 France 1986 Sell This Version
828 130-1 Violent Femmes 3 (Album) Slash, Slash 828 130-1 Greece 1988 Sell This Version
D 30551 Violent Femmes Why Do Birds Sing? (Album) Slash, London Records D 30551 Australia 1991 Sell This Version
7559-61553-2 Violent Femmes New Times (Album) Elektra 7559-61553-2 Europe 1994 Sell This Version
RMD 53424, TVD 93424 Violent Femmes Rock!!!!! (Album) Liberation Records, Mushroom RMD 53424, TVD 93424 Australia 1995 Sell This Version
BYADV-78024-2 Violent Femmes Viva Wisconsin (Live) (Comp, Album) Beyond (3), BMG BYADV-78024-2 US 1999 Sell This Version
INT3P-6341 Violent Femmes Freak Magnet (Album) Cooking Vinyl INT3P-6341 US 1998 Sell This Version
25738 Violent Femmes Something's Wrong(22xFile, MP3, Album, 128) eMusic 25738 US 2001
HUX 065 Violent Femmes BBC Live(CD, Album) Hux Records HUX 065 UK 2006 Sell This Version
add it up 01 Violent Femmes Live In Iceland: According To Tradition(CD, Album) Add It Up Productions add it up 01 US 2006 Sell This Version
add it up 02 Violent Femmes Live In Chicago: Q101(CD, Album, Dig) Add It Up Productions add it up 02 US 2006 Sell This Version
PIASR420LP Violent Femmes We Can Do Anything (Album) Add It Up Productions, [pias] PIASR420LP US 2016 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

LASH 1, 882 001-7 Violent Femmes Gone Daddy Gone (Single) Slash, Rough Trade LASH 1, 882 001-7 UK 1983 Sell This Version
RT 147 Violent Femmes Ugly (Single) Slash, Rough Trade RT 147 UK 1983 Sell This Version
LASHX 3, 882 018-1 Violent Femmes It's Gonna Rain (Single) Slash LASHX 3, 882 018-1 UK 1984 Sell This Version
PRO-A-2422 Violent Femmes Children Of The Revolution (Single) Slash, London Records, London American Recordings PRO-A-2422 US 1986 Sell This Version
BTS 1742 Violent Femmes I Held Her In My Arms(7", Single) Big Time BTS 1742 Australia 1986 Sell This Version
1204 Violent Femmes World We're Living In(7", Single, Promo) Slash 1204 France 1988 Sell This Version
PRO-A-3411 Violent Femmes Nightmares / World We're Living In (Single) Slash PRO-A-3411 US 1989 Sell This Version
PRO-CD-3444 Violent Femmes Nightmares(CD, Single, Promo) Slash, Warner Bros. Records PRO-CD-3444 US 1989 Sell This Version
LASX 31, 869 571-1 Violent Femmes Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? (Single) Slash, London Records LASX 31, 869 571-1 UK 1991 Sell This Version
869 414-7 Violent Femmes American Music (Single, Maxi) Slash, London Records 869 414-7 Germany 1991 Sell This Version
Flexi # 19 Violent Femmes / Killing Joke Violent Femmes / Killing Joke - Special (Live) / Money Is Not Our God (Hideous Remix)(Flexi, 7") Reflex Magazine Flexi # 19 US 1991 Sell This Version