Repo Man (soundtrack)

I ain't gonna be no repo man!

Favorite cut: Suicidal Tendencies, "Institutionalized"
Least favorite cut: Anything by the Plugz

Heads up, folks, it's time to revisit a classic soundtrack to a classic flick. Repo Man entered screens way back in the Summer of Reagan, '84, and tore us up with its brilliant skewering of contemporary L.A. punk culture and the aridity of modern suburbia. It's got Dennis Hopper as a gubmint agent, Emilio Estevez as yer average alienated youth, stores in which all the food comes in white canisters labeled "Food," and it's as funny as all get out, too. If you haven't seen the movie, then mosey on down to the generic "Video Store" and rent "Movie" tonight. The soundtrack contains as accurate a snapshot of early '80s L.A. punk as you'll likely find, until K-Tel or Rhino release their "Golden Oldies" packages in the first decade of the new millenium. Let's look at the tracks:

Iggy Pop, "Repo Man" - Goes on too long at 5:11, but at least the old leatherfaced man-dog still has some bite in him.

Black Flag, "TV Party" - Black Flag fans note: this is not the same version found on Damaged. They've updated the beer chant by substituting 1984's fall lineup in place of 1981's. Too bad they didn't have cheap cable back then.

Suicidal Tendencies, "Institutionalized" - Omigod. This is the greatest song anyone has ever rapped about going crazy and dealing with your parents. I've never heard anything else by S.T. that I can stomach, so if they're a one-shot wonder, what a one-shot! "All I wanted was a Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to me!"

The Circle Jerks, "Coup d'Etat" - Not my favorito L.A. el punko bando, but these jerks can come up with a passable non-tune every now and then.

The Plugz, "Clavo Y la Cruz," - I believe this translates into, "We are an Eagles-influenced mainstream rock band pretending to punks who'd much rather be playing La Bamba right now." To be confused with the Cruzados.

Burning Sensations, "Pablo Picasso" - A bunch of nobodies do a remake of a great Jonathan Richman tune. No big deal, since Richman's ditties are pretty basic anyway, which makes this about on par with the original. Song that will make you feel better when you can't pick up chicks.

Fear, "Let's Have A War" - Punk does not equal asshole, which was these overrated rednecks' fatal mistake. However, this is one of their rare good songs, and ooo, that vocal sound - you try to gargle like that.

The Circle Jerks, "When The Shit Hits The Fan" - The jerkoffs again? Only this time they sound totally different - it's a folky protest number that sneers at welfare cadillacs. Who started that Republican propraganda?

The Plugz, "Hombre Secreto (Secret Agent Man)" - Makes me want to hear the original.

"Bad Man" - Not a song, a rap, and it's as cool for white kids to laugh at as blaxploitation.

The Plugz, "Reel Ten" - Not these jokers again! Here's where I pull the plug.

Overall Grade: **** - Some of the songs suck, some don't, and some are pretty great. It all holds together as a valuable artifact, and the gestalt allows me to overlook the weak points.

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Reader Comments

in your little "repo man" review you blasted both the circle jerks and fear, two excellent bands. perhaps you haven't heard the jerks' group sex album or fears' the record album. fear are not "overrated rednecks" as you put it they just arent a serious band they actually have a sense of humor unlike all the faggot bands today. and the jerks well they are one of the greatest bands to ever not carry a tune. your a dick..............jerkboy.

John Farris,

Dennis Hopper ain't in that gottdamm pitcher, ya dammed idjit!

If you're think of J. Frank Parnell, the lobotomized driver of the Chevy Malibu, he was played by the late Fox Harris, who may bear a passing resemblence to Dennis Hopper if you are lobotomized too.

To see the entire cast and credits, mosey on over to: