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Dead Kennedys - Frankenchrist cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 1985
RecordedHyde St. Studios, May & July 1985
GenreHardcore punk, post-punk
LabelAlternative Tentacles
ProducerJello Biafra
Dead Kennedys chronology
Plastic Surgery Disasters
Bedtime for Democracy

Frankenchrist is the third album released by the American hardcore punk band Dead Kennedys in 1985 on Alternative Tentacles.

The album is an example of the progressive, psychedelic side of Dead Kennedys' musical personality. The spaghetti western soundtrack influence is also noticeable in the horn parts and in East Bay Ray's atmospheric guitar work. Frankenchrist is noted for its relative lack of traditionally 'hardcore' material. Most of the songs are slower and longer than the majority of other Dead Kennedys songs. "M.T.V. − Get off the Air" is notable for its pointed slam of the music establishment and "Stars and Stripes of Corruption" for its exegesis of vocalist Jello Biafra's political philosophies.

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars link


The album was a subject of controversy because of a poster inserted in the original record sleeve. The poster, H. R. Giger's Landscape #XX, or Penis Landscape, was a painting depicting rows of penises and vulvae. Vocalist Jello Biafra was brought to trial for distributing harmful matter to minors, and though the case did not result in a conviction, his Alternative Tentacles label was almost driven to bankruptcy. It was only through the support of fans that the label was able to stay alive. Biafra gained attention as a champion of free speech, and was subsequently one of the most active opponents of the Parents Music Resource Center.

Frankenchrist's front cover itself depicts a Shriners parade, featuring Shriners members driving miniature cars, wearing their distinctive red fez hats.[1] The four Shriners members pictured in the photograph sued Dead Kennedys in 1986.[2] The image was originally photographed and published by Newsweek in the 1970s, a decade before the Frankenchrist usage by Dead Kennedys and Alternative Tentacles in 1985.[2]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Dead Kennedys, except when stated.

1."Soup Is Good Food"4:18
2."Hellnation" (D.H. Peligro)2:22
3."This Could Be Anywhere (This Could Be Everywhere)"5:24
4."A Growing Boy Needs His Lunch"5:50
5."Chicken Farm"5:06
6."Jock-O-Rama (Invasion of the Beef Patrol)" (Jello Biafra)4:06
7."Goons of Hazzard" (Jello Biafra, East Bay Ray)4:25
8."M.T.V. - Get off the Air" (Jello Biafra)3:37
9."At My Job" (East Bay Ray)3:41
10."Stars and Stripes of Corruption"6:23
Total length:45:12


  • Jello Biafra – lead vocals, producer, mixer
  • East Bay Ray – guitar, synthesizer, 12 string electric bellzouki, acoustic guitar in "MTV - Get off the Air"
  • Klaus Flouride – bass, backing vocals
  • D.H. Peligro – drums, backing vocals
  • John Leib – trumpet on "MTV - Get Off The Air"
  • Tim Jones – keyboards on "A Growing Boy Needs His Lunch"
  • Nina T.R. Stapleton – backing vocals
  • Laura T.R. Muetz – backing vocals
  • Julie Hoffman – backing vocals
  • Susan Caldwell – backing vocals
  • Danielle Dunlap – backing vocals
  • Robyn Lutz – backing vocals
  • Kris Carleson – backing vocals
  • Steve DePace – backing vocals
  • Wild Bill – backing vocals
  • Sweet – backing vocals
  • Wee Willy Lipat – backing vocals
  • Microwave – backing vocals
  • Gary Floyd – backing vocals
  • Eugene Robinson – backing vocals
  • Jeff Davis – backing vocals
  • John Cuniberti – engineer, mixer
  • Winston Smith – artwork


Chart (1985) Peak
UK Indie Chart[3] 1


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[4] Silver 60,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Bierman, Bryan. "Hidden Gems: Dead Kennedys' 'Frankenchrist'". Magnet Magazine.
  2. ^ a b "Album Cover Prompts Suit From Shriners". Sun Sentinel. United Press International. October 3, 1986. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  3. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980-1989. Cherry Red Books. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  4. ^ "British album certifications – Dead Kennedys – Frankenchrist". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Frankenchrist in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.