Institutionalized (3:49)

Cover of Suicidal Tendencies

From Suicidal Tendencies and 22 other releases

“Institutionalized” is a song penned by frontman Mike Muir for Suicidal Tendencies’ 1983 self-titled debut album. It is often classified as the band’s signature song and would be re-recorded for the album Still Cyco After All These Years ten years later. The 1993 version was nominated for the Grammy for Best Metal Performance in 1994.
The song follows “Mike”, presumably a teenage Mike Muir, through a series of social conflicts with friends and, more significantly, parents. The lyrics in the verses are not sung, but spoken in a run-on sentence style. The lyrics are complemented by the lead guitar, which is subdued at the start of the verses, but becomes more frantic and powerful with the protagonist’s confrontations and emotional outbursts, mainly based on a heavy, funk-influenced riff that increases in speed several sections before each chorus. This is one of the few examples of funk influence in the band’s music before the entrance of bassist Robert Trujillo, the member who introduced the genre to the band with the recording of Lights…Camera…Revolution!.
Although “Institutionalized” was never a hit in the charts, it was the first hardcore punk and thrash metal song to receive significant airplay on MTV and is considered to be one of the songs that defines both genres. Tom Araya of the band Slayer appears in the video, along with actors Jack Nance and Mary Woronov.


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  • YoQueSe666

    A track that overtook MTV like no other punk song had before it. “Institutionalized” wasn’t a chart success, but it did stumble into our stream of consciousness, and made a lot of noise doing so! A hectic, hoarse account of damaging relationships with friends, and more importantly, with parents, it became a staple soundtrack to growing up, and to busting out! -- watchmojo

    22 Jun 11:57am Reply
  • Psychoclone

    yes is Tom!

    5 Jun 11:10am Reply
  • fart-fart-fart

    was that tom araya 0:38?

    5 May 4:42am Reply
  • anirez

    I go, There's nothing wrong, mom And she goes, Don't tell me that, you're on drugs I go, No, mom, I'm not on drugs, I'm okay I was just thinking you know, why don't you get me a Pepsi And she goes, No, you're on drugs I go, Mom, I'm okay, I'm just thinking She goes, No you're not thinking, you're on drugs Normal people don't act that way-----> indeed, mothers

    4 May 3:01pm Reply
  • xKornflakesx

    What are you trying to say, I'm crazy? When I went to your schools, I went to your churches, I went to your institutional learning facilities?! So how can you say I'm crazy? They say they're gonna fix my brain, Alleviate my suffering and my pain, But by the time they fix my head, Mentally I'll be dead.

    31 Mar 8:23pm Reply
  • Jester_US

    Love Jack Nance as the dad!

    13 Feb 10:11pm Reply
  • mktucker41


    28 Jan 11:22pm Reply
  • teguhprayoga

    This song makes me thirsty [2]

    22 Dec 2013 Reply
  • pyota

    no, i don't want to!

    20 Dec 2013 Reply
  • j-yeags

    all i want is a pepsi, just one.

    9 Nov 2013 Reply
  • Huffstuff420

    Why does lastfm love different versions of great songs?

    16 Oct 2013 Reply
  • shadykatie

    Doesn't matter I'll prolly get hit by a car anyway.

    3 Oct 2013 Reply
  • karckrac


    30 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Oyml

    Love this song. Hate this version.

    13 Aug 2013 Reply
  • briantheunholy

    The enemy = myself

    5 Aug 2013 Reply
  • mcflyyoubojo

    no matter what i try it never works out

    3 Aug 2013 Reply
  • Wooshmeister


    29 Jul 2013 Reply
  • TheDarkSide73

    Pepsi?? I Want Coca Cola.. :-)

    31 May 2013 Reply
  • G8Rbuttercups

    Mike!Mike!''';) I Love S.T.♥♥

    22 May 2013 Reply
  • jk20002912

    cool einfach geil

    9 Mar 2013 Reply
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