[[quoteright:320:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/big_black_promo_2273.jpg]]

->''"1, 2, 1, 2 Fuck You"''

Post-Hardcore band formed by Music/SteveAlbini in 1981 and dissolved in 1987. Became popular within the underground music community for their distinctive "clanky" guitar playing, the use of drum machine instead of a drum kit (predating its use in IndustrialMetal), and their dark and explicit lyrical content.

According to Steve Albini, their name is "just sort of a reduction of the concept of a large, scary, ominous figure. All the historical images of fear and all the things that kids are afraid of are all big and black, basically."

Not to be confused with Christopher "Big Black" Boykin from Rob & Big.

YMMV tropes [[YMMV/BigBlack here]].

'''Members'''
* Steve Albini - Vocals, guitar, Drum programming (1981-1987, 2006 Reunion)
* Santiago Durango - Guitar (1983-1987, 2006 Reunion)
* Dave Riley - Bass Guitar (1985-1987)
* Jeff Pezzati - Bass Guitar (1983-1984, 2006 Reunion)
* [[CompanionCube Roland]] - Drums (1981-1987, 2006 Reunion)

!Discography
'''Studio Albums'''
* ''Lungs'' (EP) 1982
* ''Bulldozer'' (EP) 1983
* ''Racer-X'' (EP) 1984
* ''Atomizer'' (LP) 1986
* ''Headache'' (EP) 1987
* ''Songs About Fucking'' (LP) 1987

'''Compilations'''
* ''The Hammer Party'' (Combines ''Lungs'' and ''Bulldozer'' on LP, also throws in ''Racer-X'' on the CD version) 1986
* ''The Rich Man's Eight Track Tape'' (Combines ''Atomizer'', ''Headache'', and ''Heartbeat''; CD Only) 1992

'''Live Albums'''
* ''Sound of Impact'' (Official Bootleg) 1987
* ''Pigpile'' (Live Album + VHS) 1992

!Tropes
* AffectionateParody: On their "He's A Whore / The Model" single, both sides of the album art parody of the cover art of the albums the songs are originally found on. [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/85/Big_Black_-_He%27s_a_Whore_cover.jpg The "He's A Whore" side]] has the members of Big Black dressed like CheapTrick and posing similarly to them on [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/b4/Cheaptrickalbum1977.jpg their debut self-titled album.]] Likewise, [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/78/Big_Black_-_The_Model_cover.jpg on the back side]] the band parodies [[http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/93/Kraftwerk_The_Man_Machine_album_cover.jpg the cover art to "The Man-Machine"]] by {{Kraftwerk}}.
* AllThereInTheManual: The liner notes provided background information on many of the songs. This was removed for ''The Rich Man's Eight-Track Tape'', a CD compilation combining ''Atomizer'' with ''Headache'' and the "Heartbeat" single. This was in line with Steve Albini's dislike of [=CDs=] and digital recordings.
* AndIMustScream: The song "L Dopa"'s lyrics don't seem to make much sense until you read what they actually mean in the album liner notes...[[spoiler: Don't get it? It's about a girl that got sleeping sickness (encepalitis lethargica) in her teens and woke up as an old woman after being given L-DOPA. She wanted to die, and she was not allowed to.]]
--> daisy went to sleep at 15 and woke up many years later. she, being perfectly sensible, [[MercyKill decided she ought to die, since she had literally slept away her entire productive life]]. the medical profession, in her absence, had decided that [[LawfulStupid all life must be preserved, regardless of worth to its owner]], and [[NiceJobBreakingItHero prevented her]] from performing the only '''noble''' act she was capable of.
* {{Animesque}}: The cover of ''Songs About Fucking''.
* AntiLoveSong: "Pavement Saw."
* BadassBoast: The spoken word segment of "Bad Penny."
-->I think I fucked your girlfriend once
-->Maybe twice, I don't remember
-->Then I fucked all your friends' girlfriends
-->Now they hate you
* BreakupBreakout: Steve Albini has remained a prominent figure in the underground music scene after Big Black's breakup, both as a musician and as a recording engineer who has worked with many notable alternative bands like {{Music/Nirvana}}, {{Music/Pixies}}, and Music/GodspeedYouBlackEmperor.
** Then again, his Breakout is somewhat expected, considering part of the reason why the band broke up was so Santiago Durango could pursue his law degree, Dave Riley's music career was cut short by a life-altering stroke, and [[CompanionCube Roland was a drum machine.]] The only other former Big Black member who has remained active in the music scene is original bassist Jeff Pezzati, who was already a member of his main band, Naked Raygun, before joining Big Black.
* CompanionCube: Albini's Roland TR-606 was nicknamed [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Roland]] and credited as such under "Drums".
* ContemptibleCover: [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] on "Songs About Fucking" and "Headache".
* CoverVersion: Several, including Music/{{Kraftwerk}}'s "The Model," {{Wire}}'s "Heartbeat," and {{Cheap Trick}}'s "He's A Whore."
* CreatureOfHabit: A very dark version of this trope drives "Bad Houses."
* DarkerAndEdgier: Big Black's music opted to become this to Music/HeavyMetal and HardcorePunk.
-->"Heavy metal and stuff like that didn't really seem intense to me, it seemed comical to me. Hardcore punk didn't really seem intense most of the time most of the time it just seemed childish. I guess that's how I would differentiate what we were doing from what other people were doing."
* FilkSong: Racer-X, about Anime/SpeedRacer
* {{Gorn}}: The cover of the 1000-copy limited edition of the ''Headache'' EP. [[spoiler: It is a [[GrossUpCloseUp close-up]] of the head of a suicide victim who AteHisGun and split his head in half]]. Only a mini body bag was appropriate to package it.
* IncendiaryExponent: "Kerosene" is about someone applying this to ''sex''.
* IndecipherableLyrics: Part of Steve Albini's signature sound is putting the vocals further back into the mix than most bands, often burying them under the guitar. This makes the already near-unintelligible yelling on heavier songs that much more difficult to make out. It doesn't help things that he never printed lyrics in the liner notes of any of his band's albums and instead merely described what the song is about.
** Annoyingly, whoever did transcribe the lyrics online and let them spread from lyrics site to lyrics site simply put "mm mm" over words they couldn't decipher. Seriously, go look up the lyrics to any Big Black song with the vocals low in the mix. You'll find whole ''sentences'' replaced with "mm mm mm mm mm".
* IntentionallyAwkwardTitle: Not incredibly apparent on the actual song titles, but their second and final LP was named ''Songs About Fucking''. [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin And boy, was it an appropriate title.]]
** Except for "The Power of Independent Trucking", which [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin isn't about fucking]]... [[DoubleSubversion initially]].
** That Albini's next band had the {{hentai}}-derived name Rapeman tells you how much he enjoys this trope.
* IntercourseWithYou: Thoroughly subverted; When you see an album called ''Songs About Fucking'', you'd better believe that they're not pulling any punches in their lyrics.
* InterplayOfSexAndViolence: "Fists Of Love"
* MohsScaleOfLyricalHardness: A solid 10, occasionally drifting into 11.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: A hard 8 at their softest, mostly 9-10.
* MurderBallad: "Fish Fry," and "Kasimir S. Pulaski Day" to an extent.
* NothingIsScarier: "Bad Houses" sports one of the least explicit lyrics in the band's catalogue, yet is deeply unsettling for precisely that reason.
* ParentalIncest: "Jordan, Minnesota". With a ''[[{{Squick}} five-year-old]]''.
-->'''''SUCK DADDY!'''''
* PassFail: "Passing Complexion"
* RefugeInAudacity
* SignatureStyle: Heavy, distorted guitars that play a blend of punk and noise rock backed by a drum machine that adds a vaguely industrial flavor with lyrics usually about dark subject matter.
* SmallTownBoredom: "Kerosene" and "Cables" are both about the extremes that people go to in combatting this.
* TakeThat: This excerpt from ''The Rich Man's Eight-Track Tape'', aimed at [=CDs=] and digital recordings.
-->You should take every opportunity to scratch them, fingerprint them and eat egg and bacon sandwiches off them.
* TruthInTelevision: Many of the songs were based on events Steve Albini encountered in his youth living in the Midwest.
** "Cables" is about two of his classmates in high school who would go to slaughterhouses for entertainment.
** "Pigeon Kill" is about a town dealing with a massive pigeon infestation using poisoned corn.
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