Renaissance by Village People

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The greatest punk anthem of all time

Sep 25, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:"Food fight" is the greatest punk anthem of all time

Cons:the remainder of the album

The Bottom Line: You can find this for a dollar in any used record store in the country.


Probably not many Epinions readers are familiar with the punk rock record collector phrase "Killed By Death". The term comes from a series of bootleg compilations that showcase super-rare punk tracks (usually from very limited release singles, generally released between 1977 and 1981). The term itself has come to be applied to any item considered a "lost gem" of punkdom, and these records generally fetch high dollars from collector goobers worldwide. Most "Killed By Death" type records tend to be the records that were never bought when they were initially released because they just weren't that good to begin with, yet somehow, are now considered (by the people that can afford them) to be classic anthems.

There's one punk anthem that has been criminally overlooked by the drooling fanboys. Somehow this punk rock classic was skipped over in the flipping through of tens of thousands of mildewy record racks. Though pouring over issues of Goldmine with a magnifying glass, they somehow missed one of the greatest unheard punk rock songs of all time... and it would have only cost them the price of about 10 Bags Unlimited poly record sleeves. Now the cat is coming out of the bag, and the common man will have a chance to snatch up the plentiful copies of this record sitting in dollar bins all across the country without having to fight a losing battle against the Ebay Killed By Death squad.

This was an easy one to miss. The record isn't a single with a xerox sleeve and a band name like "THE DUMMYFUX", or "THE BEEFY IRREGULARS", or "THE DOT DASH DOTS" or "THE IDI ARMENIANS". Those kind of records are all too obvious to the sharp-eyed Killed By Deather. Hell, this song wasn't considered important enough at the time to have even been released as a single at all. What if I were to tell you that the greatest undiscovered punk rock song of all time is the last track on a goddamn VILLAGE PEOPLE album!?!

It's true.

Back in 1981 after the VILLAGE PEOPLE left (or were booted from) CASABLANCA RECORDS, some megagenius of an A&R guy at RCA signed the washed-up disco act (and probably found himself without a job 6 months later). The band was back on the scene with some new clothes and a new sound. RCA tried to market the group with a "New Romantic" look, apparently to cash in off of the success of acts like DURAN DURAN and ADAM ANT. Gone were the trademark workman's uniforms... replaced with harlequin-like fancy-pirate-boy duds, CULTURE CLUB hairdo's, and lots and lots of beauty marks (one of the members has at least four!). The album release was called "Renaissance" and was a pastiche of bad New Wave, bad Disco, and bad MOR Rock. That is, of course, except for the last track on the album. The song is called "Food Fight". It's one of the greatest punk songs ever written... and it's by the goddamn VILLAGE PEOPLE.

Imagine a trainwreck involving THE RAMONES, DEVO, THE DICKIES, OINGO BOINGO and WEIRD AL YANKOVIC. Out of this twisted wreckage comes an overdriven, staccato screamer about teenage rebellion in the cafeteria. Throw in some YOUTH OF TODAY-style shouted-chorus vocals and you've got yourself a "Food fight". It's one of the greatest punk songs ever written... and it's by the goddamn VILLAGE PEOPLE.

The VILLAGE PEOPLE never did another song anything remotely like "Food fight", and it's a f*cking damn shame. One would have thought after hearing "Food fight" that the band would be aware of the bright future ahead of them as a punk rock supergroup, but alas their next album found them going in more of a KOOL AND THE GANG direction. F*cking damn shame. "Food fight" sounds like the music you'd hear in an early 80's teenage T & A movie where there'd be some "punk" band playing on the beach in wrap-around sunglasses and jams while a bunch of girls in bikinis did robot dances in the sand. It's that f*cking good! It's one of the greatest punk songs ever written... and it's by the goddamn VILLAGE PEOPLE.


"Food fight" is the sort of guilty pleasure I'd usually keep to myself, but I wanted to let the common man know about this treasure before the Killed by Deathketeers found out about it. I'd rather see these records rescued from the dollar bins by afficianados of the genre than eventually seeing them wind up on Ebay going for 200 bucks a pop. Of course, now that I've let the secret out, there are thousands of record nerds gassing up their cars and heading out to the highway in search of VILLAGE PEOPLE's "New Romantic" record. You've gotta beat 'em to it. I can't recommend this song highly enough. It's one of the greatest punk songs ever written... and it's by the goddamn VILLAGE PEOPLE.




Recommend this product? Yes


Great Music to Play While: Romancing

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