Various Artists - Flex Your Head (Dischord, 1982): If you seek a Rosetta Stone not just for the DC scene but all of American hardcore, this is the place to start. Almost every niche of DC hardcore –- and a young performance from almost every crucial DC performer -- is covered in this must-own collection. The Teen Idles (featuring a young MacKaye) blaze in meat-and-potatoes songs like "No Fun." Henry Rollins (then Garfield) gives his first recorded performance with S.O.A. (State Of Alert) shouting about druggies and girl problems; crossover masters Void offer three tracks, and Government Issue lampoon Reagan with "Hey Ronnie." Iron Cross, Artificial Peace, Youth Brigade, and others also appear. In addition to Bad Brains' debut, this is the jumping-off point for everything that followed. At an original price of $5 for a vinyl LP, it seemed like the best deal ever.