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.