21 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Released in 1986, Bedtime for Democracy was the last official album from political punk-rock pioneers Dead Kennedys (though the compilation-style Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death) would hit stores the following year). Disillusioned with the state of the music scene and the growing presence of both fashion-first wannabes and violent knuckleheads, the DKs would soon disband; the members went their separate ways before engaging in a drawn-out legal fight over royalties, credit, and ownership of the band name. On this set, Dead Kennedys sound off about heady issues like South African apartheid ("A Commercial"), Reaganism ("Rambozo the Clown"), the commercialization of punk ("Anarchy for Sale"), and covert wars overseas ("Potshot Heard 'Round the World"). One gets the sense that Dead Kennedys knew this would be their last gasp—the album tellingly starts with a cover of "Take This Job and Shove It"—but it's still a solid release from one of the most important bands of the '80s.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Released in 1986, Bedtime for Democracy was the last official album from political punk-rock pioneers Dead Kennedys (though the compilation-style Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death) would hit stores the following year). Disillusioned with the state of the music scene and the growing presence of both fashion-first wannabes and violent knuckleheads, the DKs would soon disband; the members went their separate ways before engaging in a drawn-out legal fight over royalties, credit, and ownership of the band name. On this set, Dead Kennedys sound off about heady issues like South African apartheid ("A Commercial"), Reaganism ("Rambozo the Clown"), the commercialization of punk ("Anarchy for Sale"), and covert wars overseas ("Potshot Heard 'Round the World"). One gets the sense that Dead Kennedys knew this would be their last gasp—the album tellingly starts with a cover of "Take This Job and Shove It"—but it's still a solid release from one of the most important bands of the '80s.

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