The Punk Vault

Black Market Baby – Coulda Shoulda Woulda CD

Black Market Baby CD

Black Market Baby – Coulda… Shoulda… Woulda… CD
Dr. Strange Records

In the world of hardcore punk, Washington DC has become somewhat legendary. In the early days of hardcore, DC had so many great bands that you couldn’t help but take notice. Most of this centered around Dischord Records, however there was plenty of great punk rock that wasn’t part of the Dischord scene that seemed to have been overshadowed by the Dischord bands, and thus while everyone and their mother knows Minor Threat, only a small fraction of them likely know who Black Market Baby are. This is partially because they were never part of the label that got all the attention, and also in part to the fact that for well over a decade, you couldn’t just go out and buy a Black Market Baby record at the store.

Black Market Baby formed in 1980. They put out a 7″ and one LP and were on a few compilations. Later on, they’d sort of resurface in one form or another and there was a couple other 7″s that came out over the years and just like that they vanished. Unlike many of the bands of the time, Black Market Baby were not a speedy hardcore band, instead they had a bit more of a 1970s punk influence that came through their songs, but still had a bunch of energy and really wrote some great punk songs that sadly went overlooked by many. As time went by, BMB went in a bit more of a rock direction but never lost that punk feel and the later stuff was nearly as good as the early material. They are a band who never put out a record unworthy of the vinyl it was pressed on.

This collection doesn’t contain every song they ever did, but it must come close. I know the track from Flipside Vinyl Fanzine wasn’t included here off the top of my head. There are 26 tracks total, including a live one that was recorded in 1995, a time that I had no idea the band were still playing. While the liner notes tell you when and where the tracks were recorded, it does not tell you what they were originally released on. There are some liner notes written by John Stabb from Government Issue and a good handful of band photos. Overall it is a very nice package despite the lack of original release info or lyrics and it is really great that someone is finally giving them their just due.

Related links:

Order the CD from Dr. Strange Records

Unofficial Black Market Baby Website


  • KUDOS!! Black Market Baby are my favorite all time D.C. band, managed to get a copy of the “Senseless Offerings” L.P. down in Pensacola Florida around 1985. I am very happy that Dr.Strange decided to put this C.D. out, it was long overdue. If you are’nt familiar with this group, buy the CD it is well worth it!

  • Another looooooong overdue release for one of the best bands of that period.

    I found a copy of Senseless Offerings in a market stall about a year after it was released. I know little about the band but the cover ‘looked cool’ and one of the guys on the back was wearing a germs t-shirt; so I took a chance and bought it.

    Oh man, am I glad I did. This band quickly became a firm favourite of mine and I played the album to death. I got as much of their other stuff as I could and they still sound as good today as they did then. If not better tbh.

    So many old punk/hardcore bands sound crap now but BMB just get better with age. Do yourself a huge favour and buy this cd if you don’t own anything by them.

  • Wasn’t aware this was out so thanks for the heads up. It’s about freaking time this stuff was reissued.

  • About time someone released this great band from DC. I have been listening to a cassette from over 20 years ago that a friend of mine in Toronto made for me of live recordings. Since then I have been searching non-stop for anything by them and much to my surprise I found the Cd in my local record store today. Thanks to whoever decided to re-release Black Market Baby.

  • This is a great record. Buy it direct from Dr. Strange so that they’re may be a Vol. II.

    Boyd and Dolphi have a new band called Ruckbuckit that they are working on getting a new CD out.

  • BMB were a great live band,I saw them a bunch of times in the early 80’s. I’m glad this CD came out, hopefully more people will get to hear BMB.

  • BMB were a force to be reckoned with and always delivered live when I saw them over the years. The songs still stand up and sound great. Man, I hope there is a second volume. Boyd and Mike’s band is called Rustbuckit BTW around since at least 2001. I also heard last week that BMB was back together – my source didn’t have any definite info, though, other than Tommy had left his band to do it. I’m guessing Boyd and Dolfi are involved, but I doubt Campbell is as he went missing years ago in Georgia. Damn that’d be sweet if he was playing with them again.


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