CBGB stands for "Country Bluegrass Blues," a name that described the type of music founder Hilly Kristal envisioned at his club when he opened it in 1973. But it was the OMFUG part of the venue's name - "Other Music for Uplifting Gormandizers" - that brought the gritty hole-in-the-wall on the Bowery into the annals of music history, as it became the American home of punk and new wave in the mid 1970s, nurturing bands that would re-invigorate rock and roll.
This playlist contains songs by six of the most famous bands who cut their teeth at CBGB: the Patti Smith and Talking Heads tracks were recorded at the club itself,* while the songs from The Ramones, Mink DeVille, Blondie and Dictators were recorded elsewhere.
We mean no disrespect to other CBGB legends like Television (though Tom Verlaine does get a shout-out from Patti Smith as a co-writer of "Space Monkey"), Misfits, The Cramps, The Voidoids, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, and others, but we currently have no recordings of those groups available in the Concert Vault. What's here though is a testament to the sweaty, aggressive, retro rock stylings of the punk scene headquartered at that grimy old club - an ordinary place that did us all the favor of hosting some extraordinary evenings.
*Three of the four Talking Heads tracks were recorded at CBGB before their debut album was released. "Life During Wartime" was recorded in 1980 and is included here because of the line, "This ain't no Mudd Club or CBGB, I ain't got time for that now."