- California Über Alles
Name = California Über Alles
from Album =
Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
B-side = "The Man with the Dogs"
Released = June 1979
Format = 7"
Length = 3:26
Label = Optional Music
Jello Biafra& John Greenway
Producer = Dead Kennedys
Chart position =
Last single =
This single = "California Über Alles"
Next single = "
Holiday in Cambodia"
"California Über Alles" was the first single by the
Dead Kennedys. The record was released in June 1979 on Optional Music with "The Man with the Dogs" as the b-side. The title track was re-recorded for the band's first album, " Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables" (1980), and the version that appeared on this single, as well as the single's b-side, are available on the rarities album " Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death" (1987).
The lyrics were written by
Jello Biafraand John Greenway, and Biafra composed the musicJello Biafra and The Melvins. Liner notes. " Sieg Howdy!" San Francisco: Alternative Tentacles. 2005.] in one of his rare attempts at composing directly on guitar. [Johnson, Heather. " [http://mixonline.com/mag/audio_dead_kennedys/index.html Dead Kennedys' 'California Uber Alles'] ". "Mix Online". October 1, 2005.]
The title is an allusion to the first stanza of the old (and to this day, most famous) national anthem of Germany, which began with the words "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles." The word-for-word translation of this line is "Germany, Germany above all," which the author intended to mean that a unified Germany was more desirable than division of the Germanophonic countries (
Sprachraum) into independent states. During the Third Reich, anti-German political propaganda claimed the anthem was a Nazi expression of racial superiority.
The song focuses on
Jerry Brown, the Governor of Californiabetween 1975to 1983, and is sung from his perspective. An imaginary Brown outlines a hippie- fascistvision for America, in which his "suede denim secret police" kill un-cool people with "organic poison gas" chambers. The song illustrates lead singer Jello Biafra's concern with left-wing politicians mandating liberal ideas to the point of authoritarianism or fascism. Other lines, such as "Serpent's egg already hatched" (a reference to a line from William Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar"), comment on the corrosive nature of power. The line "Now it is 1984" references the totalitarian regime of George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.
The song is an early example of the Kennedys' trademark use of menace and musical tension. It fades in with sinister military-styled drums, joined by an ominous bass riff. Biafra paints the scene in low, sneering tones before bursting in manic chanting chorus: "California Über Alles [x2] , Über Alles, California [x2] ". After two verses and choruses, the song shifts into a slower middle eight section set to a martial drum beat over which
Jello Biafraimagines the nightmarish actions of Brown's SS-styled secret police ("Come quietly to the camp; you'd look nice as a drawstring lamp"). The pace speeds up as it approaches the last iteration of the chorus, closing with a repeated proto- Thrash metalchord sequence accompanied by a final burst of explosive drums.
German-American author Gero Hoschek was inspired by the song to title a 1988 magazine piece about the "Golden State" in the prestigious German "Zeit Magazin" weekly titled "Kalifornia Über Alles!" (sic), as well as a never produced screenplay. Biafra complained, got and liked a copy of the movie script, understood that there was no copyright violation, and used the same spelling for the song's 2004 remake with the
Melvins, "Kalifornia Über Alles, 21st Century".
There is a faster version of "California Über Alles" on "
Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables", with more strident Biafra vocals and a more garage-like mix.
On their EP "
In God We Trust, Inc.", they recorded an updated version of the song, titled "We've Got a Bigger Problem Now," about then-President Ronald Reagan, including a lounge-jazz introduction, different lyrics, and several verses set at a much slower pace. A live version of the song was recorded with the instrumentals of the original version of the song. Jello Biafrahas made satirical references to the song in his political advocacy. A speech of his appears on the spoken wordalbum Mob Action Against the Statethat is entitled "We've Got a Bigger Problem Now: War, Terrorism & Beyond." After the election of Arnold Schwarzeneggeras governor of California, Biafra commented, "California Über Alles indeed."
In the 1990s, the song was updated by
The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, on their album " Hypocrisy Is the Greatest Luxury". They replaced references to Jerry Brown with references to Pete Wilson.
Another updated version of this song about Governor Schwarzenegger, called "Kali-Fornia Über Alles 21st Century", was performed live (among a few other Dead Kennedys classics) when Biafra toured with
The Melvinsto support their collaboration album in 2004. A live recording of this new version appears on their second collaborative effort, " Sieg Howdy" (2005).
During a show in
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, The Jeff Penaltyled Dead Kennedys sang a different version of the song, entitled "Pennsylvania Uber Alles". Jerry Brown was replaced by then Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, parodying his conservative politics and calling for fans to vote him out of office next election.
The song was also widely known in Poland (as "Kalifornia Ponad Wszystko") thanks to the cover by Polish rocker
Kazik Staszewskiwith his band Kazik Na Żywo("Na Żywo Ale W Studio" album 1994)
Hasidic New Waveperform a remake of the song on their 1999 album, "Kabalogy". In their version, titled "Giuliani Über Alles", Jerry Brown is replaced by former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani. The song is an attack on Giuliani's alleged dictatorial style and incidents of police brutality during his tenure. The Delgadoscover the song in their Peel SessionsCD set. Six Feet Under also cover the song in their "Graveyard Classics" album. The black metalband Mayhem also cover the song in first demo. Deceased (band)also covered the song on their punk covers album "Rotten to the Core".
Current hardcore band
Ceremonyhas covered the song.
[http://www.whoboys.com The Who Boys] have done a mashup of the song with "
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" by Gil Scott-Heroncalled "Revolution Über Alles". John Linnelland his band The Statesmen covered it live at least once during his "State Songs" tour, choosing to perform it because it mentioned the state of California.
Dramarama has recorded a version, updated in 2003 about current California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger..."You will lift weights in school"
Jello Biafra said in an interview with
Nardwuarthat he feels different about Jerry Brown, as it turned out he wasn't as bad as he thought he would be.
A 1986 live recording focused on Ronald Reagan on the album "Mutiny On The Bay" with live recordings from '82 and '86.
* [http://www.californiareport.org/domains/californiareport/archive/R607141630/e Jello Biafra discusses the history of "California Über Alles"] on KQED's "The California Report", July 14, 2006.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
California über alles — ist ein Lied der kalifornischen Politpunk Band Dead Kennedys. Es erschien im Juni 1979 als erste Single der Band mit The Man with the Dogs auf der B Seite. Die alte Single Version ist auf dem Best Of und Raritäten Album Give Me Convenience or… … Deutsch Wikipedia
California Über Alles — war die erste Single der kalifornischen Politpunkband Dead Kennedys. Sie kam im Juni 1979 mit „The man with the dogs“ auf der B Seite heraus. Die alte Single Version ist auf dem Best Of und Raritäten Album „Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death“… … Deutsch Wikipedia
California Gurls — Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg Veröffentlichung 11. Mai 2010 Länge 3:56 Genre(s) Pop, Elektropop Text … Deutsch Wikipedia
California-Klasse — USS California (CGN 36) 1986 vor Kalifornien Übersicht Typ Lenkwaffenkreuzer Namensgeber US Bundesstaat Kalifornien Einheiten … Deutsch Wikipedia
Alles ist relativ — Die Relativitätstheorie befasst sich mit der Struktur von Raum und Zeit sowie mit dem Wesen der Gravitation. Sie besteht aus zwei maßgeblich von Albert Einstein geschaffenen physikalischen Theorien, der 1905 veröffentlichten speziellen… … Deutsch Wikipedia
List of songs about California — TOC California* All of California and Everyone Who Lives There Stinks by The World/Inferno Friendship Society * All the Gold in California by The Gatlin Brothers * Antennas by Rancid * Atomic by Tiger Army * Away from California by Radio Racer *… … Wikipedia
Dani California — Red Hot Chili Peppers – Stadium Arcadium Veröffentlichung 5. Mai 2006 Label Warner Music Group Format(e) CD Genre(s) Alternative Rock Anzahl der Titel 28 … Deutsch Wikipedia
O.C. California — Seriendaten Deutscher Titel: O.C., California Originaltitel: The O.C. Produktionsland: USA Produktionsjahr(e): 2003–2007 Produzent: McG, David Calloway, Mike Kelley Epis … Deutsch Wikipedia
OC California — Seriendaten Deutscher Titel: O.C., California Originaltitel: The O.C. Produktionsland: USA Produktionsjahr(e): 2003–2007 Produzent: McG, David Calloway, Mike Kelley Epis … Deutsch Wikipedia
O.C., California — Seriendaten Deutscher Titel O.C., California Originaltitel The O.C. Prod … Deutsch Wikipedia