90480-1 Spreading The Disease
Produced by Carl Canedy and Anthrax
Released on October 1985
Find it at GEMM
90480-1 cover
[high resolution photo]

T his is their Nursery Cryme or Fly By Night. A couple of tweaks in personnel and the whole thing comes together like you couldn’t imagine. The past sins of their Priest worship? Sweated out since Fistful. Spreading the Disease also dispenses with the Dungeons & Dragons imagery. The real demons come from the contemporary world: fascism, war, repression. Like Rush before them, Anthrax connected with the audience by elevating the musical discussion beyond sex and drugs. The lyrical wordplay isn’t nearly so intricate, but the themes are the same: think for yourself, question authority. And all of it written in a language indecipherable to any but the ears of adolescence: amphetamine fast and loud and aggressive. A new age of metal was dawning, and Anthrax was spreading the word. Spreading The Disease is the first album to feature the classic Anthrax sound: “A.I.R.,” “Madhouse,” “S.S.C./Stand or Fall.” While the band clearly spent time honing their sound, the didn’t spend it writing new material: “Armed and Dangerous” and “Gung-Ho” are both holdovers from the early Lilker/Turbin days. That’s a little disappointing, and prevents their sophomore effort from earning genuine classic status. Ultimately, Spreading The Disease is half of a very good metal album. When it works, it’s wonderful. When it doesn’t, it’s still pretty good (“Medusa,” “Lone Justice”). What makes it so attractive to fans is that you can actually begin to build a mythology from here. Honestly, you weren’t going to build a temple out of Fistful of Metal any more than Rush! or Yes! or Trespass. But the band that gave you “A.I.R.” and wacked-out illustrations and Dan Spitz? You could follow them into the desert without feeling foolish. Some did, and found their promised land in the follow-up, Among The Living.

90480-1 back cover 90480-1 lyric sleeve
90480-1 back cover 90480-1 lyric sleeve


  1. A.I.R.    5:44
  2. LONE JUSTICE    4:37
  3. MADHOUSE    4:17
  4. S.S.C./STAND OR FALL    4:09
  5. THE ENEMY    5:23
  6. AFTERSHOCK    4:29
  7. ARMED AND DANGEROUS    (lyrics by Neil Turbin, music by Anthrax/Dan Lilker)    5:43
  8. MEDUSA    (lyrics by Jon Zazula, music by Anthrax)    4:43
  9. GUNG-HO    (lyrics by Neil Turbin, music by Anthrax/Dan Lilker)    4:35

    All songs written and arranged by Anthrax unless noted


CHARLIE BENANTE -- drums, album cover concept
SCOTT IAN -- guitar
DAN SPITZ -- lead guitar
Jon Zazula -- executive producer
Alex Parialas -- engineer
Peter Corriston -- art direction
David Heffernan -- illustration
Kent Joshpe -- logo

Neil Stopol -- photography
Frank White -- photography
Gary Gershoff -- photography

return to ANTHRAX discography

US October 1985 Island/Megaforce LP/CS 90480-1/4 lyric sleeve
UK 1985 Music for Nations LP/LPPIC MFN-62/P avail. as picture disc
GER 1985 Island LP 207 476 lyric sleeve
JPN 1985 Island LP R28D-2025  
US   Island CD/CS 826 668  
UK   Island CD IMCD-136  
JPN   Island CD PHCR-4812  


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