Another DKs masterpiece
Tom P. the Underground Navigator | Park Forest, IL USA | 09/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was prompted to write a review of "Bedtime For Democracy" mainly due to all of the other reviews on Amazon deeming it to be a weak album. In my mind there is no such thing as a weak Dead Kennedys album. They are all classics in my book. And furthermore, I would even elevate "Bedtime..." a little bit above the "In God We Trust, Inc." EP and even "Plastic Surgery Disasters." It's that good. I feel that this album was pretty much the last glimmer of light at the end of the original punk era.
There is always a backlash from longtime fans when an underground band begins to get popular, and the previous year's "Frankenchrist" did get the DKs the attention of a lot of mainstream, otherwise non-punk fans, causing many hardcore "purists" to label the band "sell-outs" or that they had lost their original vision. All of us who know and love "Frankenchrist" know better, but the album did deviate from many "rules" of hardcore in that it featured only 10 songs and generally longer ones (though the band had already started to lean in this direction on "Plastic Surgery Disasters"). I feel that "Bedtime..." was created in many ways in response to these naysayers. This album after all featured 21 songs, most short and to the point in the hardcore tradition.
And unlike the trend of 1986 for hardcore bands to go metal (they called it "crossover"), there is not a trace of metal to be found on "Bedtime..." or any other DKs record for that matter.
Now, to go into the songs themselves, things get off to a brilliant, high speed start with opener "Take This Job and Shove It." I am blown away! Classic Dead Kennedys. The pace never lets up from there.
Some of the most exhilarating tracks are to be found on side 2 of the original LP -- you get classics like "One-Way Ticket To Pluto," "Do The Slag," and "Chickens**t Conformist," Jello Biafra's commentary on the hypocrisy of the punk scene ("Harder core than thou for a year or two/Then it's time to get a real job"), which starts off slow and erupts into brilliant punk fury. "Potshot Heard 'Round The World" continues in similar fashion. One of the absolute crown jewels of the album though, and right up there with the best DKs songs of all time, is "Where Do Ya Draw The Line," a song so good that it is healing to the soul. I got up and danced around the room during it when previewing the album as preparation for this review.
All in all, another classic for the DKs and way unfairly maligned by many, including many fellow Amazon reviewers. The only thing disappointing about "Bedtime For Democracy" is that it was the DKs' last album. Who knows what more great music they could have still made, but with this album they sure exited in top form."
Add another one...
William Hoffknecht | Fernley, NV | 06/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...to the list of good albums by the DK's. Get them, listen to them, enjoy the special goodness that is the Dead Kennedys."