The Suicide Commandos

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The Suicide Commandos
Suicide Commandos.jpg
The Suicide Commandos at the Pilot's Club, Minneapolis in 1976
Background information
Origin Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Genres Punk rock
Years active 1975–79; 1996–present
Labels Blank
Members Steve Almaas
Dave Ahl
Chris Osgood

The Suicide Commandos are an American punk rock trio from Minneapolis, Minnesota. They formed in 1975 and released two 7" EPs on an indie label in 1976 and 1977 before signing with Blank Records (a subsidiary label of Mercury Records) in 1977 and releasing one album, Make a Record.[1] Despite their short original 4-year stint together, the Suicide Commandos are considered the pioneers for jump-starting a punk rock music scene in the Twin Cities, which eventually produced bands like The Suburbs, Hüsker Dü, The Replacements and Soul Asylum.[2]


Their first album, Make a Record was recorded and released in 1977,[3] and then re-released on Mercury Records on CD in 1996 and on Island/DefJam iTunes in 2007. A live album, The Suicide Commandos Commit Suicide Dance Concert was released on Twin/Tone Records in 1979, which was their last performance together before the band broke up. Only 1,000 numbered copies were pressed. In 2000 it was re-released on CD by Garage D'Or Records. The original vinyl release contained 19 tracks while the CD re-release increased this figure, bringing the total number of tracks to 32.

Their 1977 song "Burn It Down" inspired a short film directed by rock video pioneer Chuck Statler, which featured the burning of a house the band had used for rehearsing for several years.[4] "Burn It Down" was part of a Chuck Statler video retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 2006.

Their song "Complicated Fun" was used for Target commercials for Xbox and Play Station products in 2003-2004. The band was a headline act at the Minnesota State Fair in 2007.

Ahl and Osgood were street corner acoustic musicians in St. Paul during the 2008 Republican convention.

On January 17, 2009 the Suicide Commandos played a benefit at Nick & Eddie in Minneapolis for Laura Kennedy, bassist and founding member of the NYC no-wave band the Bush Tetras, who had recently received a liver transplant. David Thomas of Pere Ubu was guest vocalist. November 7th, 2009 was declared "Suicide Commando Day" in the city of Minneapolis, MN by Mayor RT Rybak.

On January 29, 2012, the band were a co-headlining act at the 7th Birthday Party for the popular member supported radio station, "The Current" (89.3 FM). The event was held at 1st Avenue in downtown Minneapolis and brought thousands of the most dedicated fans of the radio station together to witness an important piece of punk rock history at a legendary Minneapolis venue.

Member supported radio station The Current (89.3FM) released a Ten inch EP called "The Current Makes A Record" featuring studio performances by The Hold Steady and The Suicide Commandos in a limited, numbered 1000 copy edition to celebrate their 10th Anniversary in January 2015. (Much like the limited, numbered 1000 copies of Twin/Tone Records "The Commandos Commit Suicide Dance Party"- recorded performances of the Commandos "final shows" at The Longhorn Bar, Minneapolis in December 1978.) There was a Record Release Party featuring The Commandos and Craig Finn and Tad Kubler of The Hold Steady at The Turf Club, St. Paul January 16, 2015.

On July 29, 2015 a new Hennepin County highway sign revealed that "The Suicide Commandos Punk Rock Band" had adopted a 1.5 mile stretch of Hennepin County Road 16 or McGinty Road in Minnetonka, MN.

In 2016 the Commandos recorded their first studio album in 38 years. “Time Bomb” was recorded by Kevin Bowe at Master Mix, Minneapolis, MN, mixed by Mitch Easter at Fidelitorium, Kernersville, NC and mastered by Bruce Templeton at Microphonic Mastering, Minneapolis, MN. Additional recording happened in West Saugerties and Chester, NY. Minneapolis' pioneering alternative music label Twin/Tone Records was revived to release "Time Bomb"- the label’s first release since 1994. Each member contributed four songs to the album. The thirteenth song, "If I Can't Make You Love Me" was co-written by the band. The first single, “Boogie’s Coldest Acre” became available to United States radio April 5th, 2017. Twin/Tone Records began taking pre-orders April 15th. 1000 numbered copies of vinyl and downloads of the album release May 5th, 2017, with Listening Party and in-store appearances that weekend.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges declared May 5th, 2017 "Commando Day" in the Twin Cities. Vinyl copies of "Time Bomb" sold out immediately.



Make a Record[edit]

Track listing:

  1. "Shock Appeal"
  2. "Attacking the Beat"
  3. "Mosquito Crucifixion"
  4. "Mr. Dr."
  5. "Semi-Smart"
  6. "Call of the Wild"
  7. "You Can't"
  8. "I Need a Torch"
  9. "Kidnapped"
  10. "Premature"
  11. "I Don't Get It"
  12. "Real Cool"
  13. "She" (a cover of The Monkees' song)
  14. "Burn It Down"
  15. "Match/Mismatch"
  16. Mark He's A Terror - 45 Single

The Commandos Commit Suicide Dance Concert[edit]

CD Track Listing:

  1. "Shake"
  2. "Journey to the Center of the Mind"
  3. "My Little Red Book"
  4. "Back in the U.S.A."
  5. "The American Ruse"
  6. "It's My Life"
  7. "Seven Deadly Finns"
  8. "Fire"
  9. "Real Good Time Together"
  10. "Bits and Pieces"
  11. "Emission Control"
  12. "Cliché Ole"
  13. "Monster Au Go Go"
  14. "You Play Too Hard"
  15. "I Think of You"
  16. "There Goes Gladys"
  17. "Keep Your Hands to Yourself"
  18. "Complicated Fun"
  19. "Shock Appeal"
  20. "Attacking the Beat"
  21. "She"
  22. "She Said Yeah"
  23. "I'll Wait"
  24. "Mosquito Crucifixion"
  25. "Three Cool Cats"
  26. "Wild In the Streets"
  27. "Fireball 500"
  28. "You Can't"
  29. "I Need a Torch"
  30. "Burn It Down"
  31. "O Carole / Petticoat Junction theme"
  32. "Born to Be Wild"

The Legendary KQRS Concert 1976[edit]

CDr Track Listing:

  1. "Intro"
  2. "Mosquito Crucifixion"
  3. "The Silent Treatment"
  4. "Commando Rhapsody"
  5. "Premature"
  6. "Call Of The Wild"
  7. "Nervous Breakdown"
  8. "Slow Down"
  9. "Plastic Bullets"
  10. "Emission Control"
  11. "Wipe Out"
  12. "Cliche Ole"
  13. "Monster Au Go-Go"
  14. "Action Woman"
  15. "Bits And Pieces"
  16. "I Fought The Law"
  17. "Tent"
  18. "Motorbikin'"
  19. "Match/Mismatch"
  20. "Shock Appeal"
  21. "Personality Crisis"
  22. "Search And Destroy"
  23. "Anarchy In The U.K."

"Time Bomb" Twin/Tone Records TTR89403

!.) "Hallelujah Boys" (Almaas)

2.) "Milk of Human Kindness" (Ahl)

3.) "Boogie’s Coldest Acre" (Osgood)

4.) "Try Again" (Almaas)

5.) "Frogtown" (Ahl, Osgood)

6.) "Pool Palace Cigar" (Osgood)

7.) "When I Do It, It’s O.K." (Almaas)

8.) "If I Can’t Make You Love Me" (Almaas, Ahl, Osgood)

9.) "Ghost Burrito" (Osgood)

10.) "For Such A Mean Time" (Almaas)

11.) "Cocktail Shaker" (Ahl)

12.) "The Wrong Time" (Almaas)

13.) "Late Lost Stolen Mangled Misdirected" (Osgood)

14.) "Boogie’s Coldest Acre" (Osgood) Radio Edit included on Radio Promo CD


External links[edit]