Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death is an album by the Dead Kennedys. Its title is a play on the famous quip by Patrick Henry, "Give me Liberty or Give Me Death!", and is intended as a commentary on American consumerism. The album is a compilation of several of the Dead Kennedys prior works. 15 of the 17 tracks were previously unreleased on any of their albums. The original vinyl version had tracks 16 and 17 on an extra flexi disc. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA in December 2007.
This is the last Dead Kennedys album that Jello Biafra approved the production of as well as the last one on the Alternative Tentacles label.
All songs written by Jello Biafra
except when stated.
- "Police Truck" – 2:27 (Jello Biafra/East Bay Ray)
- "Too Drunk to Fuck" – 2:42
- "California Über Alles" – 3:28 (Jello Biafra and John Greenway)
- "The Man With The Dogs" – 3:04
- "Insight" – 1:42
- "Life Sentence" – 2:41
- "A Child And His Lawnmower" – 0:57
- "Holiday in Cambodia" – 3:46 (Jello Biafra/East Bay Ray/Klaus Flouride/Bruce Slesinger)
- "I Fought the Law" (And I Won) – 2:21 (Sonny Curtis | New lyrics: Jello Biafra)
- "Saturday Night Holocaust" – 4:21 (Jello Biafra/Dead Kennedys)
- "Pull My Strings" – 5:47 (Jello Biafra/Bruce Slesinger)
- "Short Songs" – 0:29 (6025)
- "Straight A's" – 2:15 (Jello Biafra/6025)
- "Kinky Sex Makes The World Go 'Round" – 4:17 (Jello Biafra/Klaus Fluoride/East Bay Ray/D.H. Peligro)
- "The Prey" – 3:50 (Jello Biafra/East Bay Ray)
- "Night of the Living Rednecks" – 5:14 (Jello Biafra/Klaus Fluoride/Bruce Slesinger)
- "Buzzbomb From Pasadena" – 2:22 (Jello Biafra/East Bay Ray)
- "Police Truck" - originally appeared as the B-side to the "Holiday in Cambodia" single.
- "Too Drunk to Fuck" - single released May 1981.
- "California Über Alles" - the single version, a different recording to the one which appears on the Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables album.
- "The Man with the Dogs" - B-side to "California Uber Alles" single, June 1979.
- "Insight" - B-side to "Kill the Poor", October 1980. As a side note, the version of "Kill the Poor" on the single is not the same version as the one found on Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. The differences are hardly audible, however, hence it was not included on the compilation.
- "Life Sentence" - B-side to "Bleed for Me", released July 1982.
- "A Child and His Lawnmower" - originally released on the Not So Quiet on the Western Front Alternative Tentacles compilation in 1982.
- "Holiday in Cambodia - like "California Über Alles" the single version appears here, and is a different recording to the one which appears on the Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables'' album.
- "I Fought the Law" - Reworking of the song originally by Bobby Fuller, made famous in the punk scene by The Clash. Unreleased.
- "Saturday Night Holocaust" - B-side to the "Halloween" single, December 1982.
- "Pull My Strings" - Recording of a live performance at the Bay Area Music Awards. The band was asked to play California Über Alles, but played this instead. The band members were wearing white shirts with a black letter S printed on each one, and the audience can be heard applauding as they pulled black neckties around from the backs of their necks to form dollar symbols. This was the only performance of the song. March 25 1980.
- "Short Songs" - Live performance originally released on the compilation album Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club. Recorded March 3 1979.
- "Straight A's" - Live performance originally released on the compilation album Can You Hear Me? Music from the Deaf Club. Recorded March 3 1979.
- "Kinky Sex Makes the World Go 'Round" - Features the same backing track as "Bleed for Me", with additional screaming, feedback and other sound effects. The vocals are supposedly a recording of a telephone conversation between the "Secretary of War at the U.S. State Department" and the British Prime Minister, most likely to be a parody of Margaret Thatcher. The American government aide outlines plans for a third World War, as the British Prime Minister reacts orgasmically. Originally released on the "Wargasm" compilation in 1982, subsequently re-released on the P.E.A.C.E. compilation in 1984.
- "The Prey" - B-side to "Too Drunk to Fuck", released in May, 1981.
- "Buzzbomb from Pasadena" - Cover of "Buzzbomb", which appears on the album Plastic Surgery Disasters. This version features Biafra singing in the style of an elderly woman, achieved through playing the track (recorded at the standard 33⅓ rpm) at 45 rpm.
- "Night of the Living Rednecks" - Live improvisation, featuring singer Jello Biafra recounting a story to the audience with a bebop style bass guitar and drum backing, as guitarist East Bay Ray fixes his "broken" guitar.
- Jello Biafra - vocals, producer, artwork, compiler
- East Bay Ray - guitar, echoplex, producer, mixer
- Klaus Fluoride - bass, backing vocals
- D.H. Peligro - drums, backing vocals
- Ted - drums, artwork
- 6025 - guitar
- Thom Wilson - producer
- Geza X - producer, backing vocals
- Norm - producer
- Elliot Mazer - producer
- Jim Keylor - engineer
- John Cuniberti - producer, engineer
- Oliver Dicicco - mixer, engineer
- Pippin Youth - mixer
- John Yates - artwork
- Winston Smith - artwork