Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:$15.71+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2006
This edition of the DK's classic first album, inspired either by its 25th anniversery or the regrettable lawsuit that put it in the hands of the band members not named Jello Biafra, is at least a chance to re-evaluate it anew. The question of whether it stands the test of time is perhaps overshadowed by whether any punk should be anointed "classic" status in the first place. The whole point of punk was to get rid of those BS designations and just blast the kind of stuff offensive to parents, guardians of culture and even rock music fans. Heck, a few of the songs on the album could only be considered relevant to a specific period of time. "Holiday In Cambodia" was made all the more relevant by being released during Pol Pot's reign of terror. Does anybody even care about Jerry Brown anymore?

That said, "Fresh Fruit" holds up remarkably well. The pitch-black humor of songs like "I Kill Children" and "Funland At The Beach" upped the ante of punk's deliberate offensiveness in its time and reveals today's pseudo-punk whiners as the childish pablum-pushers they are. Even the more topical songs hold up on their own. The Wagnerian flourishes of "California Uber Alles" are practically begging for a Schwarzenegger-era rewrite, but you'll find yourself singing along regardless. Likewise, "Kill The Poor" makes more sense today if you substitute "Hurricane Katrina" for "Neutron Bomb," but the devilish glee with which Biafra delivers his satire sells it all over again. Say what you will about the antics of the other ex-Kennedys, but East Bay Ray's surf-inspired guitar and Klaus Fluouride's just plain inspired bass created a new vocabulary for punk that was miles ahead of contemporaries such as the Germs (and they were great in their own right).

Now, what about this edition is notable? While one can argue about the lawsuit that made it possible (for the record, I'm mainly on Biafra's side, since even the band members admit that the royalty problems they had were due to an innocent accounting error) the opportunity to remaaster the disc was too good to pass up. Well, I hate to say they dropped the ball on this front, but this is sonically not all that different from the vinyl edition I've been abusing for years. Why an album that was the product of a 22-track studio still sounds like it's mono is a question that's not really answered on the DVD documentary that's included in the package. However, the doc does have some neato live performances (arguably not the best, but I'll leave such aesthetic distinctions aside) and "vintage" local TV news footage of Biafra's semi-dadaist run for mayor of San Francisco. This is about the only time we get to hear from the man himself, as he obviously declined to be interviewed for this project. This of course makes him kind of a ghostly presence here, as if everybody's talking about someone who's died. It should also be noted that Biafra's recently complained that (ironically) he hasn't received any royalties from the DK's reissues, which I fear can lead to yet more lawsuits, which is obviously the most un-punk thing they could do. So what do you say, punk fans? Before such a depressing occurence, get a few torches and ropes, and let's lynch the lawyers!
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2006
When this album was first released it got massive airplay on Los Angeles (Pasadena) radio station KROQ - and the world was never quite the same again. California Uber Alles, Holiday In Cambodia, and Viva Las Vegas filled the airwaves, making mincemeat of AOR (Album Oriented Rock) radio stations. I studied the poster, gleaning the words to the songs, committing them to memory, and wondering when and where I could see this band!

The songs are incredibly fast, the lyrics show intelligence and political insight, and over a quarter century later still hold up well. Other bands were at the forefront of punk before the DKs, but none did it better. Listen to today's punk, then listen to this. Nothing comes close and nothing packs the whallop of these tunes. It's socially acceptable to be 50 and have a gray ponytail. The hippies of the 60's and 70's turned out to be the same greedy execs that they rallied against. But 50 year old punks are still cool and are NOT sellouts.

I love turning people on to this CD. The looks on their face are either Love It or Hate It. I don't care what age you are, music is supposed to move you, one way or the other. Most of today's music can't, even the indie stuff and all the self produced stuff. But this, my friends, is the elixir of angry punk music at it's finest. Try it - you'll LOVE it. Woooooooooo-Hoooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
This was the first Dead Kennedys album I bought and it's the best. The others are good, namely Plastic Surgery Disasters, In God We Trust Inc., and Give me Convenience or Give me Death.
Every song on this album is good and I'm not just saying that. As I try to think of highlights I want to mention them all, but I'll just name a few. "Let's Lynch the Landlord" is an awesome song musically and lyrically and is later covered by Mr. Bungle. "California Uber Alles" is probably the most famous Dead Kennedy's Song other than "Holiday in Cambodia" which is also on this album. "Stealing People's Mail" is a feel good song about going through people's mail, and last but not least is an awesome version of Viva Las Vegas with a few lyrics changed. When I first heard this album I skipped to this song first and I knew that the DK's were something special.
To make a long story short, if you're interested in the DK's buy this album and buy it first. This album is a big part of punk history and many people have called the DK's the US answer to the Sex Pistols. These songs were originally recorded in '79 (the year I was born!) and it's really hard to believe that anything this cool could've existed that long ago! When I was a little kid I thought Metallica was the coolest thing around.
Why couldn't have someone told me about these guys sooner? Years ahead of it's time plain and simple.
It has also come to my attention that the ex-DK's have been suing Jello and releasing remastered versions of the albums, so if you can, try looking at the Alternative Tentacles website (Jello Biafra's label) for the album first ([...] Alternative Tentacles is the DK's original label with the original recordings and is ran by the DK's vocalist Jello. Alternative Tentacles don't have all the DK albums available, so if they don't carry it just go ahead and buy one from anywhere like here.
One last comment, I see a lot of people giving this album one star because of the DK's lawsuit scandal. Well that's pretty stupid because it's a five star album no matter who puts it out. So go ahead and warn people, but don't give it one star.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2000
I love DK. They are one of my favorite American punk bands. With their driving surf guitar music over would-be Green politico Jello Biafra's nagging vocals, they hit just the right notes. To appreciate this band, you need this album. One drawback of the band is their references are often dated ("Jane Fonda" and "Governor Jerry Brown", for example), but the tunes as a whole remain fantastic.
This band was political as hell, or at least Jello is. Some critics have slammed the musical ability of DK, but I've never had any complaints, myself. They get the job done, and they do it fast and furious - most of the tracks will make you want to slam dance in your living room. My favorite tracks are "Kill the Poor", "When Ya Get Drafted", "Let's Lynch the Landlord" (my absolute favorite), "Chemical Warfare", "California Über Alles", "Stealing People's Mail", and of course "Holiday in Cambodia", which sometimes makes me think of Bauhaus, in terms of the music. On top of everything else, you get a nifty mini-poster collage inside. I hope they still include that.
You can race through this album in no time at all; it's not even 33 minutes long. DK just dove in, got down to business, and moved on, in classic punk style.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2008
The second wave of punk, which started around 1978, degenerated into mediocrity, dreary sameness and self-parody within a couple of years, but Dead Kennedys, along with Flipper, Bad Brains, Black Flag, and a handful of others, stand out as the best, most intelligent, and most distinctive.

Jelly Biafra's warbling quasi-yodel and East Bay Ray's reverb-drenched guitar, which borrows heavily from surf music, are are immediately identifiable. All of their albums have great stuff on them, but I think most people agree that the first one is the best.

The album contains two classics, "Holiday in Cambodia", which deals with middle class complacency, and "California Ueber Alles", a mockery of then-governor Jerry Brown (later updated to a "lounge" version when Reagan became president). "Holiday in Cambodia" is the clear highlight of the album. These guys do not take the subtle approach to anything. Each song is a high-speed rant dealing with one political or social issue or another, but always with a very sharp sense of humor and irony ("Kill the Poor"). Jello Biafra's distinctive talent is his ability to deliver often wordy lyrics at lightning speed with perfect timing and delivery. The politics are decidedly left-wing, but you don't have to agree with them to enjoy it, because throughout the attitude is very much tounge-in-cheek and humorous, so it never gets ponderous, and most of it is just really funny. The little "Somewhere My Love" bit towards the end of "Chemical Warfare" still cracks me up. The album ends with an absurdly funny rendition of "Viva Las Vegas". The shock value has long-since worn off, of course, but this album, unlike the vast majority of hardcore punk, still stands the test of time.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2001
god bless the dead kennedy's, jello biafra especially. with this debut album, they were not only able to make some killer sounds, but they pretty much re-defined punk music for generations to come. with strange, theremin-esque vocals and some hilarious songwriting, 'fresh fruit for rotting vegetables,' never lets up.
this is partially because, even though the dead kennedy's were a punk band, they had a twisted pop mentality. songs like, 'kill the poor,' 'let's lynch the landlord,' and, 'california uber alles,' all have bouncy rhythms and are valiantly anthemic; insane odes to biafra's favorite subject matter, politics.
it's true that parts of this album sound a bit dated, and this is most evident on one of the albums most amazing tracks, 'holiday in cambodia,' a true landmark for music in general. the sneering, embittered vocals blend surprisingly well with the heavily distorted guitars.
listen to me. i sound like a complete jerk. this album really does not need to be analyzed. it has it's imperfections, but don't let those prevent you from buying a life changing listening experience.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2006
Just a cursory glance through the titles of this 1980 San Francisco punk classic should prepare you for the madness contained within the album's 14 tracks. Landlords are being lynched, children and the poor killed, drugs and chemical warfare indulged in, and somewhat tamely in comparison, people's mail stolen. It all rounds off with one of the classic punk covers, as the DK's tear through the King's Viva Las Vegas. Hearing them lambast then-Californian Governor Jerry Brown and the American army- on California Uber Alles and When Ya Get Drafted respectively-you get the impression Messrs. Bush Jnr and Schwarzenegger are relieved this lot were born twenty-five years too early to shower them with vitriol.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2004
First, I have to give my input on the GC fan's review--if you do not like this Dead Kennedys album, you do not like, as you put it "tru punk acts." The Dead Kennedys are a classic punk band, and this is by far their best album. When I first heard "Kill the Poor" and "Holiday in Cambodia," I knew this would end up being one of the best albums I've ever owned. There isn't a single song I didn't like, and the CD is constantly in my stereo. So if you REALLY want to listen to some great punk rock (other than that corporate emo junk) then definitely check out this album, it's one of the best.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2000
The brilliant, biting left-wing lyricism of Jello Biafra and the dark surf styled guitar-work of East Bay Ray first exploded onto the underground scene with this gem, "Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables". Although the politics are refined, they aren't as prevalent as on other albums, with topics ranging from drugs, "Drug Me", to boring people "Your Emotions", to violence and mayhem, "I Kill Children", "Chemical Warfare" and "Stealing People's Mail". However, many of the political songs are as biting as the Dead Kennedys get until "Bedtime for Democracy". "California Uber Alles" is a brilliant indictment of Brown-era California politics with an excellent guitar riff. Some are very direct, like "When Ya Get Drafted", while the point of "Forward to Death" or "Funland at the Beach" might be more evasive. The musical variation is less, but still works in some areas. "Ill in the Head" shines with complicated art-rock styled instrumental tangents and "Drug Me" adds keyboard to the madness. "Kill the Poor" has a classic rock feel to it, and the cover of "Viva Las Vegas" is musically crass and annoying. With the exeption of the poorly excuted closer, this is a very strong album that runs at an extreme pace and is sure to entertain and maybe even enlighten.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2001
I'm not an expert on the Dead Kennedys, but what I do know is that I like this disc a lot. The Kennedys are probably one of the most influential and famous American punk bands in history, and this CD will let you know why.
"Holiday In Cambodia" remains possibly my favorite DK song of all time, and combined with other great ones like Kill the Poor, Viva Las Vegas and Chemical Warfare, it makes for one killer album.
Some people take offense at their lyrics, but you just have to realize the DK are one of the most sarcastic, say-the-opposite-of-what-you-mean bands ever. They obviously aren't advocating blowing up the poor or lynching the landlord. Just listen to Jello's (heck, just look at his name) voice, it's obvious.
Anyway, this is a great CD and belongs in the collection of any punk fan.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death
Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death by Dead Kennedys (Audio CD - 2010)


Bad Brains
Bad Brains by Bad Brains (Audio CD - 1996)
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.