Great Punk Albums of 1980: Dead Kennedys- Fresh Fruit for Rotten Vegetables
As I have stipulated in many posts thus far, back in 1980 and before, the term punk was brandished around fairly liberally in regards to bands who brought a unique sound to the music world. However, there are very few of theses acts which I would actually call punk, Talking Heads being one of the exceptions. My idea of punk was always in the form of the Sex Pistols, The Jam, The Ramones and the band whose album I’m visiting now, The Dead Kennedys. For me, Punk has always been the loud aggressive hardcore sound that the forementioned bands provided.
I have to confess, I didn’t listen to the Dead Kennedys much back in the day. I knew and loved their more notable songs, including two from this album “Fresh Fruit for Rotten Vegetables,” “Let’s Lynch the Landlord” (something I wanted to do to two of mine) and “Holiday in Cambodia” but I never listened to their albums in real earnest. My interest in listening to the Dead Kennedys again came about 8 years ago when I listened to some political speeches by former lead singer Jello Biafra. Side note: His speech on school shootings gave me lots of inspiration for my new book “He Was Weird.” And of course, when I get to 1986and 87, I will be writing posts on the criminal charges brought against him on the Dead Kennedys’ “Frankenchrist” album. Still, that’s down the line so let’s look more closely at their debut album.
Like I said, I already knew the songs “Holiday in Cambodia” and “Let’s Lynch the Landlord” and hearing them in recent times, I love them even more. However, two songs does not an album make. The rest of this album is just as hardcore and kickass. You can name any track on the album and I would give it my thumbs up but the standouts for me are: “Forward to Death,” “Kill The Poor,” “California Uber Allies” and “Chemical Warfare.” I also really love the cover of Elvis’s “Viva Las Vegas.” For me, this is what punk should be; loud, powerful and to the point. The combined total of the fourteen songs is just over thirty-three minutes.
1. Kill the Poor
2. Forward to Death
3. When Ya Get Drafted
4. Let’s Lynch the Landlord
5. Drug Me
6. Your Emotions
7. Chemical Warfare
8. California Uber Allies
9. I Kill Children
10. Stealing People’s Mail
11. Funland At the Beach
12. Ill in the Head
13. Holiday in Cambodia
14. Viva Las Vegas
Jello Biafra- lead vocals
East Bay Ray- lead guitar
Klaus Flouride- bass, backing vocals
6025- rhythm guitar on Ill in the Head
I slam danced my way for the entire thirty three minutes of this album. Thank God there wasn’t a stage for me to dive off of. But this is the effect “Fresh Fruit for Rotten Vegetables” has on me as is the case with most hardcore punk. By 1980, punk was moving away from the UK and re-establishing itself on the West Coast of the US. This album is prove that it had done so successfully.
Next post: Aerosmith- Greatest Hits
To buy Rock And Roll Children- go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html
Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London
This entry was posted on September 26, 2013 at 5:28 pm and is filed under 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags Classic Rock, Dead Kennedys, Fresh Fruit for Rotten Vegetables, hard rock, Heavy Rock, Jello Biafra, punk, The 1980s, The Jam, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.