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Violent Femmes
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Violent Femmes

The Violent Femmes are a rock n' roll band, originally forming in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the early 1980s. Gordon Gano (singer/guitarist), Brian Ritchie (bassist) and Victor DeLorenzo (percussionist) founded the group and were discovered by James Honeyman-Scott (of The Pretenders). They signed to Slash Records and released a self-titled album in 1983. The music was an innovative combination of folk and punk. The group quickly had a small, cult following that never burgeoned into widespread popularity, although a few songs from this album did get some fame, the songs being "Add it up," "Blister in the sun," and "Kiss off." The debut album went platinum ten years after its release.

The following year, The Violent Femmes released Hallowed Ground, which moved the group to a more country music sound. The third album, The Blind Leading the Naked was more mainstream, pop-oriented, resulting in a minor hit with "Children of the Revolution" (originally by T. Rex). The group then disbanded, with Gano releasing an album in 1987, the result of a gospel side project Mercy Seat. Richie also released several solo LPs. The group came back together in 1989, releasing 3 and then Why Do Birds Sing (1991).

DeLorenzo left the group in 1993 to pursue a solo career. Guy Hoffman (formerly of the Oil Tasters and BoDeans) replaced him in time to record New Times (1994, Elektra Records). Rock (1995, Mushroom Records) was released in 1995, in Australia only. Viva Wisconsin, a live album, was released in the United States in 1999 on the independent label Beyond, and was followed by Freak Magnet in 2001. Something's Wrong (2001) was an album of covers, alternate versions of old songs, demos, and acoustic live performances, and was released as an MP3-only album through Emusic.com.

The Violent Femmes Discography
Year Title Label
1983 The Violent Femmes Slash/Rhino
1984 Hallowed Ground Slash/Rhino
1986 The Blind Leading the Naked Slash
1988 3 Slash
1991 Why Do Birds Sing Reprise
1994 New Times Elektra Records
1995 Rock Mushroom Records
1999 Viva Wisconsin Beyond
2000 Freak Magnet Beyond