Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, Dead Kennedys

Does anyone even listen to this album anymore? Why not?!


Alex De La Garza, Staff Writer

 Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables was the first studio album released by the San Francisco punk band Dead Kennedys in 1980. The album was published by Cherry Red Records and produced by Norm and East Bay Ray.

It has 14 tracks and it is by far the best album that Dead Kennedys ever released. The amount of energy you get from listening to this album is intense, and the band was WAY more intense live.

A lot of the songs on this album touch on challenging subjects, including the use of chemical warfare in Vietnam, cruel dictators, and how you’d get drafted against your will to fight back in the 1960’s.

The first track on the album, “Kill the Poor”, envisions a neutron bomb that can somehow wipe out poor people while everything else stays the same. 

The song “Holiday in Cambodia” is about how the Cambodian dictator Pol Pot killed 1.5 to 2 million people due to starvation, execution, disease or overwork. The terror of his regime can be found in the lyrics: “You’ll work harder with a gun in your back for a bowl of rice today.” 

“Viva Las Vegas” is a cover song from Elvis Presley. This is one of the best tracks on the album because of how it perfectly describes how Las Vegas was back in the 80s. It seemed so fun to go to Las Vegas during that time. 

“Let’s Lynch the Landlord” is a song about how landlords back than were complete jerks. A final song that you shouldn’t miss is “Chemical Warfare”. This song explains how easy it was to steal gas and use chemical warfare in the Vietnam War and in other wars to come. 

Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables was very controversial when it first went mainstream, and it is definitely an album that every fan of punk music should have on their Spotify playlist. 

And if you like Dead Kennedys or Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables then you’ll also want to check out the music of Black Flag and Fugazi.