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The Politics of Time is the seventh overall release, third album-length release, and first compilation by American hardcore punk band the Minutemen.

Released in between their Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat 12" EP and Double Nickels on the Dime double album on their own New Alliance Records label, the album compiles seven tracks meant for a non-SST Minutemen studio album that never materialized, a variety of live tracks of varying recording quality (most done with ordinary cassette machines), and a recording by the Minutemen's predecessor band The Reactionaries.

Part of the sleeve note on the back cover facetiously asks listeners to "note the quality of the recording" on the live version of "Fanatics" (from The Punch Line). While the recording is an almost undiscernable mess, the cut is apparently included for its historical importance as according to Henry Rollins in his book Get In The Van, on this night at the end of the song, D. Boon had jumped into the audience with his guitar on, hollering the title word of the song while "knock[ing] those skinheads [in the audience] over like bowling pins".

Also of note is a live recording of "Futurism Restated", which had earlier appeared on the 7" EP Bean-Spill. The version that appears on this album contains a full extra verse of lyrics not found in the other version (although the lyrics are almost completely undiscernable and the album lacks a lyric sheet.)

The Politics of Time would later end up as a song title on Double Nickels on the Dime.

SST Records, after buying New Alliance from Mike Watt and Martin Tamburovich in 1987, reissued The Politics of Time on SST in 1987 on vinyl and cassette, as part of the Post-Mersh Vol. 3 CD in 1989, and as its own CD in 1991.

Track listing

Side one

  1. Base King – 1:12 (Boon/Watt)
  2. Working Men are Pissed – 1:17 (Watt)
  3. I Shook Hands – 0:58 (Watt)
  4. Below the Belt – 0:56 (Hurley/Watt)
  5. Shit You Hear at Parties – 1:06 (Boon/Watt)
  6. The Big Lounge Scene – 1:23 (Watt)
  7. Maternal Rite – 1:13 (Boon)
  8. Tune for Wind God – 3:05 (Baiza/Boon/Hurley/Watt)
  9. Party With Me Punker – 0:54 (Watt)
  10. The Process – 1:17 (Boon/Watt)
  11. Joy Jam – 4:46 (Spot/Boon/Hurley/Watt)

Side two

  1. Tony Gets Wasted in Pedro – 2:10 (Lazaroff/Watt)
  2. Swing to the Right – 0:41 (Watt)
  3. ¡Raza Si! – 0:58 (Watt)
    • Recorded September 1980 in George Hurley's shed.
  4. Times – 0:45 (Watt)
  5. Badges – 0:35 (Watt)
    • Demo recordings done by Mike Watt in his living room without D. Boon or George Hurley.
  6. Fodder – 0:42 (Boon/Watt)
  7. Futurism Restated – 1:30 (Joe Boon/Watt)
  8. Hollering – 0:58 (Watt)
  9. Suburban Dialectic – 0:42 (Watt)
  10. Contained – 0:57 (Hurley/Watt)
  11. On Trial – 0:39 (Watt)
  12. Spraycan Wars – 0:55 (Watt)
  13. My Part – 1:35 (Boon)
  14. Fanatics – 0:32 (Watt)
  15. Ack Ack Ack – 0:41 (Talley-Jones/Johansen)
  16. The Big Blast for Youth – 1:20 (Tamburovich/Vandenberg/Boon/Hurley/Watt)

Musical Personnel

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