Perhaps no band benefited from the beauty of the mix tape better than the Violent Femmes. However, you could argue that no other band led to the proliferation of the art form of creating a mix tape more than the Femmes. The simpleness of song structure (and production) and the adolescent lyrical content (one reviewer calling it “uber-elementary sing-alongs”) were absolutely {chef’s kiss} to represent frustrated, angsty teenagers of the 1980s and ’90s. It makes sense — chief songwriter Gordon Gano began writing much of these tunes when he was 15, after all. Their debut 1983 album includes classics like “Blister in the Sun,” “Gone Daddy Gone,” “Kiss Off,” “Add It Up” and more — all songs that hit the nerve of what it means to be a young person. It’s no surprise that the Violent Femmes can still be heard on “mix tapes” (aka playlists) even today. 


You can listen to the self-titled album by Violent Femmes on iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube, and Amazon, although it’s probably best on vinyl.