Home Read Classic Album Reviews: Dead Kennedys | Remasters: Plastic Surgery Disasters & In...

Classic Album Reviews: Dead Kennedys | Remasters: Plastic Surgery Disasters & In God We Trust, Inc./ Frankenchrist / Bedtime for Democracy / Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death / Mutiny on the Bay: Dead Kennedys Live

The ’80s punk icons' resurrect most of their catalog, along with a new live album.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


If you’re a Dead Kennedys fan, this might seem pretty swell: Remastered reissues of the ’80s anarchist-punk pioneers’ catalog (except for their first and best album), along with a new live CD.

Of course, if you’re a Dead Kennedys fan, you probably know the back story: How the band ganged up on former singer Jello Biafra after he refused to license their signature song Holiday in Cambodia for a Levi’s ad, successfully suing him for back royalties and wresting control of these recordings from his Alternative Tentacles label. And you might notice these new discs don’t sound that much better than the old ones — East Bay Ray’s priority in remastering seems to have been improving his guitar sound. Sure, the live album — compiled mainly from shows in ’86 — features expectedly fever-pitched versions of classics like Kill the Poor, Cambodia, California Über Alles, MTV Get Off the Air and more, making it the one essential purchase of the lot. (Second comes Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death, which collects the best bits of their too-short career.) But if you’re really a Dead Kennedys fan, you also oughta buy their essential debut Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (still available on Alternative Tentacles) just to make sure Jello sees a few bucks, too.