Greatest Shits: 1978-1998

BY Rob FerrazPublished Jul 1, 2003

Joey "Shithead" Keithly has been keeping a high profile for the last few years, with both new records and re-releases. So a DVD isn't a surprise. But this isn't the documentary that was supposed to be in the works, and even though this has a certain low tech feel to it, it's not all made up of grainy concert videos with crappy sound. D.O.A. has actually made many videos over the past 25 years and ten of them are included here, along with three live appearances. Greatest Shits starts off with a Canada Day performance of "Disco Sucks" in Vancouver's Stanley Park in 1978 and the footage of a young Joey Shithead describing what punk is about is good for a laugh. When the motorcycle cops arrive, you get the impression something is about to happen, but they appear more amused than anything and let the show go on, flag-burning and all. The video for "World War 3," from 1979, gives you an idea of the influence the Clash had on D.O.A., both musically and stylistically, as the band wears army clothes with stencilled-on slogans and bashes out the song with inter-cut stock footage of falling bombs and launching missiles. Also noteworthy is 1985's "Dance O' Death," from the reviled Let's Wreck The Party. Shot in NYC, it features a lot of urban decay and shots of televisions with the band playing on them and getting subsequently smashed. This is the most artsy video here, although the song itself is forgettable. Some of your favourite D.O.A. tunes are also present, such as "The Prisoner," "Get Out Of My Life" and their cover of BTO's "Takin' Care of Business," complete with a Randy Bachman cameo. Much of the material contains the band's trademarked mix of humour and important social issues. And since D.O.A. is one of the most important bands in hardcore/punk history, this gives some insight into the early days of the scene. Extras: a short documentary featuring interviews with the likes of Henry Rollins, Dave Grohl and Jello Biarfra. (Sudden Death, www.suddendeath.com)

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