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What Makes a Man Start Fires?

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (174 ratings)
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What Makes a Man Start Fires? album cover
01
Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs
1:27
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One Chapter in the Book
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Fake Contest
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Beacon Sighted Through Fog
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Mutiny in Jonestown
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East Wind / Faith
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Pure Joy
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The Anchor
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Sell or Be Sold
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The Only Minority
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Split Red
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Colors
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Plight
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The Tin Roof
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Life as a Rehearsal
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This Road
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Polarity
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Album Information
EDITOR'S PICK

Total Tracks: 18   Total Length: 26:39

Find a problem with a track? Let us know.

Wondering Sound

Review 45

04.22.11
Minutemen, What Makes A Man Start Fires?
2006 | Label: SST Records / The Orchard

The Minutemen played in the basement of a local church around 1984 or '85 and blew all of our conceptions about what hardcore was, how long songs could be, what a guitar could sound like. d. boon was bouncing around the stage, Mike Watt strangulating the bass, drummer George Hurley on fire; it was maybe the best show I've ever seen. (Honor Role from Richmond opened and was equally fantastic.) After that, I went and… read more »

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There is no better band

lordsulk

I have been around a long time. First wave UK punk. The Clash, Pistols. All of them. No band is better than the Minutemen and one day I will go to San Pedro to pay homage. Awesome ep this

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A Breath of Fresh Air

Exiled_from_FLA

This is the album to turn to when you have grown tired of the stale music of today. It revives you in a way to realize once again what a awesome band the Minutemen were and what an excellent album this is.

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I was lucky...

openear

..to see these guys live twice. I thought they were the best live act in the LA scene at the time, though Black Flag and X were great too.

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Truly Great

andy-roo

I agree with the above reviewers absolutely. They were the greatest band. People idolize Curt Cobain. Why? The world needs D back 1,000 times more.

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one of the best albums of all time

rhythmsticks

Not on the level of "Double Nickels..." or IMHO "3 Way Tie For Last," but really their first great album - one that gave a huge indication of what was to come. I still get bummed out when I think about D. Boon's senseless, premature death.

eMusic Features

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This Is Your Life: Mike Watt

By Douglas Wolk, Contributor

One of the treasures of American punk rock, Mike Watt has been pounding the bass since he played with Minutemen in the '80s. He's still touring and recording nonstop, with a seemingly infinite succession of bands and projects. He's also a great natural talker — or spieler, as he puts it in his one-man argot — and his idea of the relationship between recordings and performances is a bit different from a lot of rock… more »

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A Brief History of BYO Records

By Jason Pettigrew, Contributor

When put into the perspective of the history of American hardcore, the Los Angeles-based label BYO didn't make a "popular" impact: You don't hear historians referring to Mark and Shawn Stern's imprint with the same kind of reverence routinely bestowed upon such labels as Dischord and SST. But to dismiss the label as a mere footnote would be way off mark: Since BYO's 1982 launch, the Stern brothers - in their roles as founders of… more »

They Say All Music Guide

The Minutemen had already come up with a sound as distinctive as anything to come out of the American punk underground — lean, fractured, and urgent — with their debut album, 1981′s The Punch Line. But on their second (relatively) long-player, What Makes a Man Start Fires?, the three dudes from Pedro opted to slow down their tempos a bit, and something remarkable happened — the Minutemen revealed that they were writing really great songs, with a remarkable degree of stylistic diversity. If you were looking for three-chord blast, the Minutemen were still capable of delivering, as the opening cut proved (the hyper-anthemic “Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs”), but there was just as much churning, minimalistic funk as punk bile in their sound (bassist Mike Watt and drummer George Hurley were already a strikingly powerful and imaginative rhythm section), and D. Boon’s guitar solos were the work of a man who could say a lot musically in a very short space of time. Leaping with confidence and agility between loud rants (“Split Red”), troubled meditations (“Plight”), and plainspoken addresses on the state of the world (“Mutiny in Jonestown”), the Minutemen were showing a maturity of vision that far outstripped most of their contemporaries and a musical intelligence that blended a startling sophistication with a street kid’s passion for fast-and-loud. It says a lot about the Minutemen’s growth that The Punch Line sounded like a great punk album, but a year later What Makes a Man Start Fires? sounded like a great album — period. – Mark Deming

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