Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
SST Records is a record label formed in 1978 in Long Beach, California by Black Flag founder/guitarist Greg Ginn. SST was originally an electronics company called SST Electronics that specialized in the production of ham radio components. The name SST stood for Solid State Transformers although the abbreviated form became the predominent name as time went on.
SST Electronics became SST Records in 1979 when Greg Ginn required an outlet to release Black Flag's Nervous Breakdown 7" and the following year's Jealous Again EP. The band had established itself in the LA scene in the two years prior (originally under the name Panic) and like many others in the area took it upon themselves to self-release records in the spirt of DIY (Do It Yourself). One of the SST's employees was Black Flag bassist Chuck Dukowski.
The label was a prominent figure in the L.A. punk scene around 1980 and 1981, releasing more albums by Black Flag as well as The Minutemen, The Descendents, and The Stains and has since remained a major symbol of the city's underground culture. SST quickly branched out in its early years to release albums by bands outside of the southern California area, notably Soundgarden, Meat Puppets, Hüsker Dü, Bad Brains, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Negativland and others.
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