ARTIST: Dead Kennedys
TITLE: Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
YEAR RELEASED: 1980
CHART ACTION: #33 UK
SINGLES: California Uber Alles, Holiday in Cambodia, Kill the Poor
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Chemical Warfare, Let’s Lynch the Landlord, Viva Las Vegas
LINEUP: Jello Biafra, East Bay Ray, Klaus Flouride, Ted
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Demented surf guitar, abrasive lyrics, relentless drumming, skilled and musical bass playing, and a IDGAF attitude. In other words, a punk rock milestone.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first four songs of this album (“Kill the Poor”, “Forward to Death”, “When You Get Drafted”, and “Let’s Lynch the Landlord”) I often cite as punk rock’s greatest opening salvo. Then you move towards other classics throughout this record and this, this may be the best record in US punk history.
At times, you need to be fully versed in the US pre-Reagan (but moving towards his election) to get some of the references Jello Biafra is on about, but you gotta know your history, man. “Holiday in Cambodia” will make you want to pick up a Pol Pot primer.
At times, it’s really creepy and uncomfortable. But that’s good art.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: This was released in the UK first, then went through numerous changes to the back cover, additions to track lists (on accident, maybe?), and weird colorations. It’s nuts. But the music is the thing, right?
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: At times, “Too Drunk to Fuck” and “Police Truck” were inserted into the track list on some European versions.
GRADE: A+: Essential music for those times, this time, any time.