Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death
|Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death|
|Compilation album by|
|Dead Kennedys chronology|
Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death (stylized as Give me convenience OR give me death) is a compilation album by the American hardcore punk band Dead Kennedys. It was released in June 1987 through front man Jello Biafra's record label Alternative Tentacles.
The album consists of songs (or in some cases, different versions of songs) that were not released on the band's studio albums. The original vinyl version had tracks 16 and 17 on an extra flexi disc. The album was certified gold by both BPI and the RIAA in December 2007. The title is a play on the ultimatum by Patrick Henry, "Give me liberty, or give me death!", and is intended as a commentary on American consumerism. Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death was the last Dead Kennedys album that Biafra approved the production of, which also led to it being the last album released through Alternative Tentacles.
The album includes "Pull My Strings", which was played only once on March 25, 1980, when Dead Kennedys were invited to perform at the Bay Area Music Awards in front of music industry bigwigs to give the event some "new wave credibility". The band spent the day of the show practicing "California Über Alles", the song they were asked to play. About 15 seconds into the song Jello Biafra said, "Hold it! We've gotta prove that we're adults now. We're not a punk rock band, we're a new wave band."
The band, who all wore white shirts with a big, black S painted on the front, pulled black ties from around the backs of their necks to form a dollar sign, then started playing "Pull My Strings", a satirical attack on the ethics of the mainstream music industry. The song also referenced The Knack's biggest hit, "My Sharona". The song was never recorded in the studio but this performance, the only time the song was ever performed, was included on the album.
Also included is "Night of the Living Rednecks", which was recorded during a show in Portland, Oregon in 1979. East Bay Ray snapped a string on his guitar as the band finished their song “Chemical Warfare”, and to pass the time Jello decided to tell a story, with an accompanying bebop-style instrumental from the rest of the band, about how on the last trip the band made to Portland, he had a confrontation with some “dumb rich kids” in a “life-size Hot Wheels car” that involved him throwing a rock at their vehicle after they sprayed water on him and later trapping himself in a telephone booth when they retaliated. 
|1.||"Police Truck"||East Bay Ray, Jello Biafra||"Holiday in Cambodia"||2:27|
|2.||"Too Drunk to Fuck"||Biafra||"Too Drunk to Fuck"||2:42|
|3.||"California Über Alles" (single version)||Biafra, John Greenway||"California Über Alles"||3:28|
|4.||"The Man with the Dogs"||Biafra||"California Über Alles"||3:04|
|5.||"Insight"||Biafra||"Kill the Poor"||1:42|
|6.||"Life Sentence"||Biafra||"Bleed for Me"||2:41|
|7.||"A Child and His Lawnmower"||Biafra||Not So Quiet on the Western Front||0:57|
|8.||"Holiday in Cambodia" (single version)||Greenway, Biafra,||"Holiday in Cambodia"||3:46|
|9.||"I Fought the Law"||Sonny Curtis, new lyrics: Biafra||Play New Rose for Me – Rose 100||2:21|
|10.||"Saturday Night Holocaust"||Biafra||"Halloween"||4:21|
|11.||"Pull My Strings" (live)||Biafra, Ted||March 25, 1980 – Bay Area Music Awards||5:47|
|12.||"Short Songs" (live)||6025||Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club||0:29|
|13.||"Straight A's" (live)||Biafra, 6025||Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club||2:15|
|14.||"Kinky Sex Makes the World Go 'Round"||D.H. Peligro, Ray, Biafra, Flouride||Wargasm||4:17|
|15.||"The Prey"||Ray, Biafra||"Too Drunk to Fuck"||3:50|
|16.||"Night of the Living Rednecks" (live)||Biafra, Flouride, Ted||November 19, 1979 – Earth Tavern, Portland, OR||5:14|
|17.||"Buzzbomb from Pasadena"||Ray, Biafra||N/A||2:22|
|UK Indie Chart||1|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Silver||60,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||Gold||500,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
- Dead Kennedys (1980). "Pull My Strings".
- Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980–1989. Cherry Red Books. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
- "British album certifications – Dead Kennedys – Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
- "American album certifications – Dead Kennedys – Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.