Following the breakup of D.C. punk mainstay Government Issue in June 1989, ex-GI J. Robbins made the switch from bass to guitar and within a month, Jawbox began rehearsing. By September 1989 the band had played its first show, a sold-out housing rights benefit with local heroes Shudder to Think and Fugazi. Jawbox released its self-titled 7" debut EP in March 1990 on the collective DeSoto label with help from Dischord Records.
Grippe is Jawbox's first full-length album, recorded with Eli Janney at Inner Ear Studios in October 1990. It captures the group's original three-piece lineup, which included Robbins, bassist Kim Coletta and drummer Adam Wade. Jawbox would go on to release three more albums – Novelty, For Your Own Special Sweetheart and Jawbox, before disbanding in 1997.
This repress of Grippe, the first in over 10 years, has been recut by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service. The LP comes with a complimentary download card, which includes the complete record plus five extra songs – the four tracks from Jawbox's self-titled debut EP and the song "Footbinder," which first appeared on the Simple Machines compilation EP, Screw.