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September 1980


4.380 (average of 10 ratings)


punk rock



Album Tracks:

  1. Kill the Poor
  2. Forward to Death
  3. When Ya Get Drafted
  4. Let’s Lynch the Landlord
  5. Drug Me
  6. Your Emotions
  7. Chemical Warfare
  8. California Über Alles
  9. I Kill Children
  10. Stealing People’s Mail
  11. Funland at the Beach
  12. Ill in the Head
  13. Holiday in Cambodia
  14. Viva Las Vegas

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated --


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart --
peak on U.K. album chart 33

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Kill the Poor (11/1/80) #49 UK
  • Too Drunk to Fuck * (5/30/81) #36 UK

* on bonus disc of 1999 reissue


In 1999, the album was released with a bonus disc including the single versions of “Holiday in Cambodia” and “Kill the Poor.” Also on the disc are songs “Police Truck,” “In-Sight,” “Too Drunk to Fuck,” “and “The Prey.” In 2005, a 25th anniversary special edition was released. The latter included a documentary “which includes early band footage, recording sessions, interviews and live performances.” SH


Mojo Magazine’s 100 Greatest Albums

Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables

The Dead Kennedys


“A hyper-speed blast of ultra-polemical, left-wing hardcore punk, and bitingly funny sarcasm, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables stands as the Dead Kennedys’ signature statement. As one of the first hardcore albums, it was a galvanizing influence on the musical and attitudinal development of the genre, also helping to kickstart the fertile California scene.” SH

“The record’s tactics are not subtle in the least; Jello Biafra’s odd warble and spat-out lyrics leave no doubt as to what he thinks, baiting his targets of conservatism, violence, overbearing authority, and capitalist greed with a viciously satirical sarcasm that keeps his unflinchingly political outlook from becoming too didactic.” SH

“The thin production dilutes some of the music’s power, but the ragged speed-blur still packs a wallop, and the hooks cribbed from surf and rockabilly give it a gonzo edge. The songwriting isn’t consistent all the way through the album, but classics like Kill the Poor, Let’s Lynch the Landlord, Chemical Warfare, California Über Alles, and Holiday in Cambodia helped define the hardcore genre and, thus, must be heard.” SH

Review Source(s):

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Last updated March 28, 2011.