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The Firesign Theatre|Give Me Immortality Or Give Me Death

Give Me Immortality Or Give Me Death

The Firesign Theatre

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Firesign Theatre had been out of commission for nearly a decade when they reunited for an anniversary show in 1994, and it had been even longer since all four members had performed together, as David Ossman had bailed out before the release of Nick Danger: The Three Faces of Al. The reunion had gone well for all concerned, so it was probably not a real surprise that all four of them decided to start recording again, though the fact that it took four years was a bit surprising. Though the group had sent up the media before, both television and radio, Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death takes on a style of commercial radio that was more surreal than even the group had imagined back in the '70s. If the members of the troupe are a bit long in the tooth, they're not really showing it here -- they're as sharp as they've ever been. The album details the end of one day in the life of Radio Now, a radio station that changes formats more that it changes its play list, and that day just happens to be the last day of 1999, with the Y2K angst looming over nearly everything. Because of that (and knowing how it all turned out), it's impossible for the album not to feel just a little bit dated, but as usual, the album is well-written enough for it to still be entertaining.
© Sean Carruthers /TiVo

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Give Me Immortality Or Give Me Death

The Firesign Theatre

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1
Unconscious Village: Wake Up
00:01:44

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

2
Eyeballs in the Sky
00:02:40

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

3
Us Plus: Pork
00:00:37

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

4
The Celebrity Stalker
00:01:14

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

5
Sports in Your Shorts
00:01:02

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

6
Ralph Spoilsport's Going out of Body Sale
00:00:52

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

7
The News Drought Continues
00:02:30

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

8
Goddess Air Presents "Hullo, Don't Worry!"
00:02:24

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

9
A Developing Chase Situation
00:01:49

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

10
Pull My String
00:01:09

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

11
Princess Goddess Escapes the Celebrazzis
00:01:24

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

12
Chump Takes Some Hits
00:01:14

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

13
Polar Pro:Texas Trots
00:01:10

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

14
Miss Shelob's Feelin' Poorly
00:01:28

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

15
Unconscious Village: Last Days Sale
00:00:59

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

16
Mr. Coffee Comes up Zeros
00:01:31

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

17
Glacier
00:00:24

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

18
Gridlock at Homeless Stadium
00:02:13

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

19
Polar Ice: Party Vertical
00:00:30

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

20
Going, Going, Gone a la Blonde
00:02:16

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

21
Sex with My Hat
00:02:38

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

22
Trippple Ripppoff
00:00:57

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

23
Night Whispers
00:04:26

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

24
Bebop and Dwayne Feel No Pain
00:01:13

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

25
Smokin' Joe Says Farewell
00:00:48

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

26
Us Plus: Zeros and Ones
00:00:33

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

27
Chump Makes a Resolution
00:01:12

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

28
The Doll Drop
00:02:21

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

29
Radionow Says Good-By and Hello
00:03:06

The Firesign Theatre, MainArtist

© 2006 Rhino Entertainment Co. A Warner Music Group Co. ℗ 2005 Rhino Entertainment

Album Description

Firesign Theatre had been out of commission for nearly a decade when they reunited for an anniversary show in 1994, and it had been even longer since all four members had performed together, as David Ossman had bailed out before the release of Nick Danger: The Three Faces of Al. The reunion had gone well for all concerned, so it was probably not a real surprise that all four of them decided to start recording again, though the fact that it took four years was a bit surprising. Though the group had sent up the media before, both television and radio, Give Me Immortality or Give Me Death takes on a style of commercial radio that was more surreal than even the group had imagined back in the '70s. If the members of the troupe are a bit long in the tooth, they're not really showing it here -- they're as sharp as they've ever been. The album details the end of one day in the life of Radio Now, a radio station that changes formats more that it changes its play list, and that day just happens to be the last day of 1999, with the Y2K angst looming over nearly everything. Because of that (and knowing how it all turned out), it's impossible for the album not to feel just a little bit dated, but as usual, the album is well-written enough for it to still be entertaining.
© Sean Carruthers /TiVo

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