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Bad Religion (commonly abbreviated BR) is an influential punk rock band known for poignant, erudite lyrics and biting social commentary. The band is often credited for leading the revival of punk rock during the late 1980s.
Early career (1980-1985) Bad Religion was formed in Los Angeles, California in 1980 by high school students Greg Graffin (vocals), Jay Bentley (bass guitar), Jay Ziskrout (drums), and Brett Gurewitz, also known as "Mr. Brett" (guitar). In 1981, the band released their eponymous debut EP on their own newly-formed label, Epitaph Records, which is managed and owned by Gurewitz. 1982 saw the release of their first full-length album, How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, gaining the band a sizeable following. During the recording of How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, Jay Ziskrout left the band and was replaced by Peter Finestone. Greg Graffin, the band's frontman, holds a Master's degree in geology from UCLA and a Ph.D. in biology from Cornell University. Graffin's dissertation for Cornell was a comprehensive study of how modern scientists view theism and religion, and how their own religious beliefs, if any, affect their study and work. He has since published it for fans of the band. In 1983, the band released Into the Unknown, a keyboard-driven psychedelic rock album that was enormously unpopular with the band's core fanbase. It is now out of print, and generally disowned by the band. However, in past years it has become a collectors item, and has gained some acceptance from fans, many of whom consider it a good album, just not a good Bad Religion album. and is often pirated. A common sign of a pirated version of the LP is the blueish hue on the cover, instead of the reddish hue. In 1984 Greg Hetson of Circle Jerks fame joined to play alongside Gurewitz. Bad Religion returned to a somewhat mellower, rock and roll version of their original sound with the Back to the Known EP, but disbanded temporarily soon after.