The Middle Class – Out Of Vogue E.P. 7″


Repost from September the 2nd 2006. Added more scans and new rips in better quality for all tracks.

For those of you who are new to The Middle Class this is the bands debut released in 1978 and considered to be the first Hardcore record.

I read an interview with Henry Rollins(wrong it was Jello) where he speaks about Middle Class or a dutch 7inch released as early as 1972 beeing the first HC record. Can’t find that interview now though.
It’s an earth shattering record considering the year of the release but the best song I’ve heard from MD is from their second release posted at Good Bad Music For Bad, Bad Times! Situations reveal what was to come: a more gloomy dark post punk band.

If your around check out the brothers stores “Out of Vogue” and i dont know the name of the other one. Both in downtown fullerton right next to eachother both very sucesful stores one a high-end retro furniture and housewares store run by Mike and his wife, the other a trendy boutique with Paul Frank shit and stuff like that. They sell an “official” release cd of all their stuff at the shops, they’ll sign ‘em but dont ask em to play again.Check out the Out Of Vogue shop.

Do a search for Middle Class here and you’ll find a link to a recent interview.

Country: USA
Year: 1978
Label: Joke
Format: 7″
Out Of Vouge.mp3
You Belong.mp3

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48 Responses to The Middle Class – Out Of Vogue E.P. 7″

  1. mikael says:

    I think Henry was talking about the Sound Of Imker’s “Train Of Doomsday”. It doesn’t remind me of hardcore but early Motörhead or fast metal.

  2. Erich says:

    Anybody could provide “Sound of Imker”? Sounds very interesting!

  3. Erich says:

    Google is a fine thing:

    Fuck! Can’t believe this! Never heard of them before but this is sure changing music history for me!!

  4. mikael says:

    It’s a whole Podcast. I can not here it in there. I think its the name of the cast. That’s Gasoline you hear first.

  5. Erich says:

    Me stoopid! I’m so glad this wasn’t SOI – it would have shattered my world view! The “real” SOI are much more what I would have expected; very much on the HAWKWIND-side of things. GREAT!!

  6. LustForDeath says:

    I think it is Jello who quoted Sound of imker in an interview.That sound is actually from 1968 i think and not 1972! Iggy & the stooges “I got a right” from 1972 could easily be counted as one of the first “hardcore” song as well.

  7. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    Thanks for the info LFD. Maybe Henry discussed this matter with Jello?

    Yeah I Got A Right or one of those fast bebop songs from the 40s.

  8. daniel says:

    thank you so much for posting this one. as a ‘late born’ i just read a lot about this record but could never grab a copy for an acceptable price. now i know the songs at least!

  9. Niteowl says:

    I’m sure Middle Class would be happy to know you posted their whole EP online when it was reissued five years ago called Blueprint for joy. there you go again, taking money away from the bands.

  10. randy says:

    ha ha Niteowl! you the eBay scammer number one. selling cheap CDR boots suddenly gets moral. give us all a break. AnalOwl=Mike Rush.
    so are you a friend of zero boys like you pretended? HA HA HA HA

  11. dylan says:

    i found this record in a thrift store in fullerton for 75 cents. i didnt know what it was. somebody quickly filled me in, and offered to take it off my hands before id even spun the thing. anyhow…

    the singer of middle class has a store on commonwealth blvd in fullerton ca called “out of vouge” that sells retro furniture, you can also get the middle class CD and they used to have that “early years” 45. check it out when you have to go to the orange co. courthouse in fullerton to pay your parking tickets!!! fun!!!

  12. dylan says:

    oh nevermind, the post already told you about the stores. duuuuuhhhhhh…………

  13. Graham Bailey says:

    You people rule! I wanted to hear this again for ages. I think that this track featured on “Earcom 3”, a “sampler” compilation released in the UK by Fast Records. I’m 41 and my brain cells are befuddled: can anyone confirm that this was on Earcom3? Whatever, it was way ahead of it’s time.

  14. fred says:

    Let’s put this myth to rest once and for all. First, Middle Class was great, cool band, saw ’em a bunch. But Forming came out in ’77, and if the Germs ain’t “hardcore” than neither is opening band Middle Class. Lexicon Devil is also ’78, as are many other Dangerhouse rekkids and prolly the Fear 45, so, Middle Class, love em to death, weren’t the 1st hardcore band. Matter of fact, I still have a record catalog from ’78 (Rockaway Records), that uses the term “hardcore” about the Forming single, and does not include the Middle Class 45, even though it has every possible record from that era that you can name.

    Hardcore as a term describes the last half of the original punk era, as well as a bunch of crap that is not part of the punk era, so who the hell cares? Drunkenly yours, Fred!

  15. It was Jello Biafra, not Rollins on that interview. He was indeed talking about the fantastic Sound Of Imker and their single Train Of Doomsday from 1968 (69?).
    Anyway, adding more fuel to the fire, here are some even earlier examples of proto-hardcore:
    Sonics – The Witch (1964)
    Zakary Thaks – Bad Girl (1966)
    Outsiders (the Dutch ones) – Won’t You Listen (1967) (plus a bunch of other songs)
    Spontaneous Corruption – Freaky Girl (1968)

    I put a “roots of hardcore” set on my podcast once, you can listen to it here:
    The talking’s in Portuguese, but most of it is music, so you guys can still enjoy it.

  16. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    Sure Fred, one can debate this to death. What was the first HC record? Most people agree on this one. The crude and simple song writing have all the elements of the HC to come. At least to my ears.

  17. E. says:

    “Forming” was crap, it wasn’t even Punk. And I eat my undies if on the “G.I.” LP they hadn’t some hired hands in the studio.

  18. Brunei says:

    Hmmm my question is, how many other bands did Middle Class influence? Surely there are other bands from about the same time period that were more renown.

  19. Jay Thurston says:

    Another timeless, classic. It is the first “hardcore”, record. End of the fucking story.

  20. Rg says:

    The Name of the other store is ‘Black Hole’a record store>Thanx for the tunes…

  21. fred says:

    wow, didn’t realize I have been checking this site out since 2006. Don’t care what is the first hardcore record, a dubious honor, and the beginning of the end for me. Maybe it should be called “first tuneless punk record with auctioneer vocals”. Well at least two tunes.

    MC were a great live band, useta see ’em opening for the Germs. They only had a handfull of these hyper fast songs, and quickly moved toward post-punk. These guys and The Crowd listened to too much Gang of Four.

  22. fred says:

    One more thing, when things moved from punk to hardcore, that’s when all the girls disappeared. Somewhere around ’82 or ’83, all the bands suddenly had shirtless musclemen singers (thanks Rollins!) and the dancefloor became all shirtless bald dudes rubbing up against each other. Because of this I stopped going to see bands for at least half a year until I realized that older groups like the Mau Maus were still playing elsewhere around LA.

  23. Jay Thurston says:

    I understand completely “fred”. I use to see Middle Class as well, when they got all “funky”…it wasn’t too bad though. I hated it when the Crowd released their first album…I was thinking it was going to sound like the Beach Blvd stuff…boy, was I in shock. Hahahaha…best club was the Starwood…I loved that place!

  24. Jerk Ass says:

    First this, first that, blah, blah, blah. the first punk record is the one you heard first! Unless your talking about NewYork, then it was THE DICTATORS GO GIRL CRAZY. fact.

  25. Jerk Ass says:

    Hey Fred, are you Steve Blush? hahahahaha.

  26. otto says:

    i like the Middle Class. “Out Of Vouge” is a classic. The first HC record, maybe but you should not talk yourself to death with all of that. Especially when you listen to “Out Of Vouge”, all you can really hear is a band that heard Wire’s “Pink Flag” album which came out in 1977. The Middle Class must have heard Wire’s “12XU” song a couple of times and thought they could make something like that. Later “12XU” was covered by the darling of hardcore, Minor Threat.

    So, is Wire the first HC band? Probably not by your standards and stereotypes..especially since according to you punksters they became so “artsy fartsy”. But it’s the reality that 1977 is before 1978 and Wire “12XU” is just as hard or even harder than anything that the Middle Class made.

    thanks for posting this.

  27. Jay Thurston says:

    I heard that members of Minor Threat, Middle Class and Wire are getting together as one band to do just “hardcore” songs..their name is going to be Wire Class Threat…should be awesome. Tix go on sale for the world tour next week…can’t wait!

  28. Erich says:

    I heard the name was going to be Minor Middle Wire. :-(

  29. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    Ha ha ha :D. Minor Middle Wire Threat for the peace punks.

  30. Erich says:

    We’re just – a minor wire threat. :-( big man, small wire.

  31. Chris Oliver says:

    I don’t think of “Forming” or “Lexicon Devil” as hardcore. I do think GI is the first full-length hardcore LP (and still one of the best). But it’s a dumb thing to argue about, these are just words we made up to describe music. Hardcore is just another word for the second wave of punk, and punk is just another word for the third generation of rock n roll, and rock n roll is just another word for American folk music played fast and loud, so it’s all just folk music.

    But I have to admit, Pedro, that Zakary Thaks song sounds exactly like an 80’s hardcore song except for the guitar sound.

  32. Erich says:

    So we should maybe call it Hardfolk (HF), hoho.

  33. Collin says:

    Such a gay sound. Total suck fest. Can’t believe the AWESOME GIZ-ROCKER Billy S. Starr (of B.S.) produced this sucky fellatio soundtrack. Disappointing.

  34. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    Agree Collin! Total homo sound here. I’ll remove it.

  35. Chris Oliver says:

    Fuck, is that Sound of Imker link dead already? Anyone have a good link?

  36. crilo says:

    “7 & 7 Is” by Love (1967) is surely a contender, for those who try to parse the “firsts” of anything as nebulous as music styles.

  37. Niels says:

    O.K., first hardcore song ever, here goes: Help I’m Trapped by the Carpettes, from 1977!

  38. Jay Thurston says:

    No…”7 and 7 is” is not hardcore…although it is a great tune.

  39. RumbleFish says:

    I’ve been searching for this EP

  40. Lisa F says:

    At long last, we’re reissuing the Middle Class EP in September. It will look as close to the original as humanly possible except for the Joke Records logo and our legal line. Colored vinyl. There will only be 1500 of these so start looking for them in mid-September.

    Frontier is also releasing a Middle Class compilation on LP/CD called “Out of Vogue” with all of their pre-Homeland LP material including four unreleased demos. But if you *really* want to own Homeland, I bought all the existing LP stock from Pulse Records and that’s on our website too.

    Happy now? ; 0

  41. DUKSTER says:

    The middle is the founder of all harcore that exist today. in the early raido city days by the way where matalicia played their First gig in 81 is one of the places it all started. The germs had a big folowing. but did no come close to playing as fast as the The middle class. Take it from me I was there & know mike atta. THE EASTSIDE ANAHEIM BOYS FOREVER!

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  43. elliott says:

    would love to hear Sound Of Imker. great ep.

  44. Dirk says:

    First American Punk Band I ever listened to when I bought the Earcom double 7″. Didn’t buy another English record for the next ten years. Totally put my focus across the ocean. What a fantastic record. Defining in every way.

  45. Barry Eugene says:

    I used to work with Jeff Atta of Middle Class, and he said they were fast by accident. When the recording engineer would hit the record button, a light would come on in the studio, and the drummer got really nervous, and played everything too fast. I think it was Jon Savage “Englands Dreaming” who referred to “out of vogue” as the first HARDCORE record period.. This is a great thread and I gotta hear that Sound of Imker now!!! Jeff Atta knows more about Classical Music than anyone I have ever met!

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