Operation Ivy - Operation Ivy [reissue] (Cover Artwork)

Operation Ivy

Operation Ivy: Operation Ivy [reissue]Operation Ivy [reissue] (2007)
Hellcat Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: Ben_ConoleyBen
(others by this writer | submit your own)

There are two certainties as to what what would happen if there were a debate on the most important punk albums of the last 20 years. The first is that it would be a shitstorm. The second is that the short list would most certainly include Operation Ivy's groundbreaking album, Energy. This versio.
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There are two certainties as to what what would happen if there were a debate on the most important punk albums of the last 20 years. The first is that it would be a shitstorm. The second is that the short list would most certainly include Operation Ivy's groundbreaking album, Energy.

This version of Energy is slapped with the self-titled tag and is essentially a re-release of a re-release. The original version of the album consisted of 19 tracks and was the band's only full-length. It was later re-released on compact disc format with eight additional tracks, tacking the Hectic EP as well as the songs "Officer" and "I Got No" from the Turn It Around compilation.

In a way, Energy had no path in front of it other than success. Tim Armstrong and Matt Freemen on guitar and bass would, of course, continue on to form Rancid while frontman Jesse Michaels would take his lyrical spark and messages about the pursuit for social justice with him when he formed Common Rider.

The influence Operation Ivy had (and continues to have) on the East Bay scene as well as the punk scene at large cannot be overstated. Not only is Energy the most seminal album of the ska-punk genre, but its combination of melodic punk, ska and reggae has influenced almost every band on this website that came after it. Billie Joe Armstrong who went on to form his own little band, used to try to sneak into shows claiming he was a relative of Tim Armstrong. Green Day would go on to cover one of the album's most popular songs, "Knowledge," on an early album and are still known to play it live. It's no exaggeration to say that Operation Ivy have influenced nearly every punk-related band to some degree.

This reissue of Energy doesn't contain any extra material, but at 27 tracks it's already bursting at the seams. In fact, the number of songs on Energy is really the album's only drawback. Length isn't an issue, as most of the songs clock in around the two-minute mark, but with a handful of songs such as "Caution," "Knowledge," "Sound System," "Take Warning," "I Got No" as well as others being so damn good it's nearly exhausting, it's easy for others to begin to feel like filler. To be fair, though, Energy is meant to be a comprehensive collection of songs and it isn't really fair to take points off a collection for having too many songs. What the album does boast this time around is a complete remastering of the material. While at times the improvements seem rather subtle, it has served to fill out many of the thin-sounding parts of the songs. It doesn't sound over-produced and keeps the spirit of the original intact all the while making it a more pleasant listening experience.

The songs on Operation Ivy have held up well, which really isn't all that surprising. The excitement and urgency of the band's songs are as strong as they were the first time I heard the band, causing me to wear out the cassette twice in 1994. Listening to the songs on Operation Ivy it's impossible not to feel the excitement of Energy's first listen.

If you're still not sure whether you want to shell out the bucks for a reissue (especially if you already have a copy of it) feel free to stream it right here.


People who liked this also liked:
Rancid - ... And Out Come The WolvesNOFX - Punk In DrublicThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!NOFX - The DeclineOperation Ivy - Operation IvyThe Clash - London CallingRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl Rose

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
nedsammy (August 24, 2010)

music can change the world, because it provides an anchor against human tragedy.

Dedricthere (August 15, 2010)

One thing that I can depend on.

dbug (February 24, 2009)

Must be included if you truely appreciate punk!

hhrules (December 18, 2008)

Absolutely needed album in your collection.

ChelloveckSkunk (March 18, 2008)

one of my favorite punk ska albums ever.

brett-nola (December 21, 2007)

I'm going to disagree on the idea that this album has "held up well" over the years.

When I first heard 'Energy' roughly 10 years ago, I thought it was the bee's knees.

I listened to it fairly regularly into my early 20's, but since then I think maybe I've grown away from it. Haven't really had much interest in it in a good two or three years now.

'Unity' sounds like a cliched rallying cry uttered by Hot Topic shoppers as they collectively empty their chained-wallets on hair-dye and designer jeans.

'Freeze Up' is still pretty good, but it kind of reminds me that mainstream punk hasn't really broken much new ground in the nearly 2 decades since this record came out.


I'm giving this record an "8" based simply on nostalgia. Recommended for angry 9th graders and 25-year-olds who still think that Pennywise rocks.

perk900 (November 18, 2007)

Undoubtedly one of the most influential albums in my collection.

Even if you've owned this record for 10 years, I would suggest picking up this "new" version.

They didn't fuck it up by adding "new" tracks or adding a bunch of useless crap. All they did was improve on what was already there, without sacrificing its integrity.

mattcaded (November 14, 2007)

didn't even know it was rereleased. amazing album.

Paulrulzdood (November 13, 2007)

one of the 10 best punk albums ever. absolutely essential.


SumWon (November 12, 2007)

I just listened to this and I'm changing my rating from 3 stars to 4. I might have even bumped it up to 4.5 if 5-10 songs had been cut. Not that any of them are noteably bad, just that there is a bit too much of the same.

As far as best song, my vote goes to Freeze Up

fallingupwards84 (November 12, 2007)

Room Without A Window

Matthew330 (November 11, 2007)

Artificial Life.

klonny (November 8, 2007)


Bad Town!

ben_conoley (November 8, 2007)

Not only did we find sweet and delicious BBQ success, we also rocked - totally - the fuck out.

sickboi (November 8, 2007)

See Ben...this album was the key to our BBQ success. On the way down to Florida I couldn't find it in the car, and we stuck with that shitty mustard-based BBQ sauce place in the white power place in South Carolina. Yet on the way back, I find it and we find heavenly vinegar-based sauce in NC at Smithfield.


neffernin (November 7, 2007)

Anything less than a 10 isn't fair. I'm not going to say this is the best album to come out in the past 20 years, but it is definitely among both the highest quality and most influential. Regardless of anything, its hard to deny that OP Ivy was one of the bigger contributing factors to the third wave of ska, even though they weren't technically part of it I don't think.

SumWon (November 7, 2007)

I thought I liked this album a good deal, but all this hype hasnt even made me want to listen to my current copy. I'm not too sure their influence was as widespread as people like to make it out to be, either. There aren't many bands you can argue were influenced by OPIV that you can't equally or superiorly argue were influenced by The Clash (who, by the way, were a monster influence for OPIV). And saying bands that were influenced by Green Day were therefore influenced by OPIV is like saying Green Day was influenced by The Clash. My point, brave soul who is still reading this, is that The Clash rock. Score is for them. Operation Ivy gets a 6.

johnnygoneargyle (November 7, 2007)

i never really got ska. i mean i like some of it a lot actually, but as a genre, it all sounds too similar to me. that being said, this album is pretty good, but i couldn't listen to it all the time or anything.

Autosuggestion (November 7, 2007)

I remember talking with people from Lookout in 1997 about the possibility of releasing the Downfall stuff and rereleasing Isocracy and they pretty much told me that it wasn't going to happen. Who knows what that means now.

The quality of the Downfall stuff I have is about as bad as Solger's, but damn would a proper release be appreciated.

lushj (November 7, 2007)

You'd have to ask the band. Probably something along the lines of "if they'd wanted to release it originally, they'd have released it."

They DID work with Eric Yee on the first pressing of the "Plea For Peace" single... and (not) coincidentally that sounds really good.

I too would love to see an official release of the frickin' Downfall songs.

Cos (November 7, 2007)


Fine, I understand why Operation Ivy reissued this. I'm just saying: they know these bootlegs are out there. They know they have a rabid fanbase of people like myself, so what's the harm in giving them a proper issue? They could even use the old "Plea For Peace" artwork.

Don't even get me started on Downfall....

android (November 7, 2007)

a friend gave that album to me as a christmas gift 1995.It´s still one of my favorite records ever.

lushj (November 7, 2007)

Quick recap:
The reason this is being re-issued is not to cash in, but because its original label, Lookout, couldn't keep its promises to the band. If the band were going to REALLY cash in, they'd have added all those crappy sounding bootleg tracks rattling around that you all have already.

Think of it as a minor tweak to an existing classic. Why screw with perfection?

beansnowboarding (November 7, 2007)

Just wanted to share my favorite ska-punk band of this year: www.myspace.com/havenotsboston
check out the Stray Bullets too, although they're not together anymore: www.myspace.com/straybullets

Autosuggestion (November 7, 2007)

I can see buying this if you've never owned it before or if your current version is scratched to hell and is bordering on being unplayable. I am all for a better version being out there for those who do not have it. But is there really a good argument for someone who has a copy of the Lookout release in good condition to buy this release?

Autosuggestion (November 7, 2007)

Whether or not there are bands "on this site with members that have never even heard Operation Ivy" is irrelevant. One merely has to live in a world that has been influenced by Operation Ivy. They could listen to bands that listen to Operation Ivy or like 1990s melodic punk or 3rd wave ska without actually listening to this album or even knowing it exists.

You can be a young film student and really like modern directors like Tarantino, Cronenberg, or Paul Thomas Anderson (never having seen early Scorsese, Peckinpah, and Altman), just like you can be a fan on modern poetry and never have read T.S. Eliot or Ezra Pound. That doesn't mean that you haven't been greatly influenced them without you knowing it. And this isn't like saying that every band in 2007 owes something to The Beatles or Mozart or Gregorian chants. If you were to sketch a tree of influences and genres featured on this site, a lot could be attributed to the influence of this band.

Lmnndtlgrph (November 7, 2007)

Influenced almost ever band on this site? Really?

Were they the first of a new wave/sort of ska-punk? Maybe -in any case, they were the most influential of those bands. But they didn't touch everything.

Shit, I'll bet that there are bands on this site with members that have never even heard Operation Ivy.

skolarx (November 7, 2007)

anyone else see the ad in the new ap? i found it funny that there is a thing saying to pick it up at hot topic for only 9.99 or whatever, then something else telling you to look for their full line of op ivy shirts or whatever. just seems very much against everything i had always thought the band stood for

that said, i don't know that i would really want a better sounding version of this album. it has always seemed to be something that would sound better left rough

jimbojones (November 7, 2007)

An album that really does deserve 10/10. I can't imagine the lengths i would go to to see them play a live show. I heard they were amazing

feeeding5000 (November 6, 2007)

You rated the original album. Rate the reissue. Considering there's nothing new, I'm sure it would get a 6 or below.

tommy_jarvis (November 6, 2007)

"To the dude who said that Destruction By Definition does not hold up to Operation Ivy get your ears fucking checked."

Word up. The first two suicide machines cds were pretty much drum clinics..

Mikey: Repetitive? Listen to the beats, listen to the organ, listen to Vinnie Noble blowing his horn.
Nothing is sacred.

misterspike (November 6, 2007)

Another one lost in a fire a few months ago. So stoked for this re-release to finally come out. I'm happy to say I saw Rancid play some Op-Ivy last year when they came through South Florida. Two acoustic, two electric. Awesome. Half those kids had No Clue they were being Schooled.

DickAround (November 6, 2007)

This is a classic. I fucking hate Rancid... But this stuff honestly slays. Bankshot gives me a woody.

dusticles (November 6, 2007)

im kind of embarassed to say i dont have this. never could find it...and now i might buy it. score is for the review.

KlashedKi (November 6, 2007)

To the dude who said that Destruction By Definition does not hold up to Operation Ivy get your ears fucking checked.

ryang (November 6, 2007)

For anyone wanting to check out old bootlegs, www.operationivy.com

I'm not sure if all the bootleg MP3s are still there or not, but look around.

cantsitstill (November 6, 2007)

the cool think about this album was/is that you can put it on for anyone: stoners, punks, drunks, preps, jocks, etc. and everyone digs it.

Archangel (November 6, 2007)

Has someone already put the "This band is so overrated that you all make Pitchfork look like naive, wide-eyed prepubescents at their first Fergie concert" comment up?

If not, uh, here it is.

sugarfull (November 6, 2007)

"almost every band on this website that came after it."

Really? That's a bit of a stretch. I'm not saying that they weren't influential--there are a ton of bands on this site taht are influenced by OpIvy--but "almost every band" is not taking into account the scores and scores of bands on this website that don't play punk, ska, or even old-school hardcore.

vocalyouth (November 6, 2007)

Dear Todd, (veggieska)
this album is so much fucking better than anything the suicide machines ever put out that it's not even really comparable! you're kidding, right? Destruction by Definition is a great album and it was one of my first forays into punk rock but it is really repetitive and nowhere near as brilliant as Energy! Come on!

also, this album is a life changer. Suicide Machines helped get me through the door 10-12 years ago, but this is the album I continue to come back to and will for years to come.
Mikey (vocalyouth)

ps make me more vegan cookies, it's adam thomas's birthday!

Cos (November 6, 2007)

I have a bootleg called "Unity: The Complete Collection" which is a sort of uber-bootleg; its got everything. There's 22 tracks, including the Gilman St. demos, Hectic outtakes and live tracks. Its all releases of stuff that was originally issued on vinyl with little notations about each release. Its great, way more than I could ever hope for in a boot. To the guys at "Berkeley Archive Records", thank you!

Hey_Ska (November 6, 2007)

You can still find Unreleased Energy, which contains pretty much the rest of their stuff. Its terrible sound quality but the songs are awesome. It's not easy to find, but i found it in a local punk record store so i'm sure it's in your city somewhere.

Cos (November 6, 2007)

I still don't understand why they couldn't have put on the Plea For Peace 7" or some of the other Gilman St demos and Hectic outtakes that have had pseudo-official release. The CD is only about 50 minutes--there's definitely room for more.

Here's hoping that there's an official "bootleg" CD in the works, because those songs are still great and they could use some remastering.

ben_conoley (November 6, 2007)

whats the meaning behind the band name? does anyone know?: It was the name of a series of nuclear tests done by the US - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Ivy

skolarx (November 6, 2007)

schlong was amazing. i saw them open for the glowskulls in 95. if i remember right dave looked a lot like screech

LooseKanonYankee (November 6, 2007)

whats the meaning behind the band name? does anyone know?

Dante3000 (November 6, 2007)

so we know what eveyone else did, what happened to dave mello?
Think he still plays with the Boweltones:

Saw them open for Arnocorps. Fun, kinda surf rocky punk stuff. Nothing amazing, but he seemed to be having a good time.
P.S. apparently he also had a baby.

tommy_jarvis (November 6, 2007)

rerelease or not, destruction by definition is better. and although it can be argued that without op ivy there would be no suicide machines, i'm not really concerned with cause and effect or the foundations of modern ska punk.

i don't know, i guess it's just fun to downplay the importance of a classic. common rider was pretty much amazing, though.

DrGunn (November 6, 2007)

this was the first punk album i ever bought, ten years ago. i still love it every time i play it. one of the few albums i can say genuinely changed my life and opened an entirely new world to a pair of young ears that were desperate for music and a scene that reflected the way i looked at things. pure magic.

wasn't dave mello in samiam for a little bit? or am i talking out of my ass?

GlassPipeMurder (November 6, 2007)

so we know what eveyone else did, what happened to dave mello?
he played (plays?) in Schlong. only song i've heard by them is their version of "Gee Officer Krupke" from Westside Story that was on a Hopeless Comp.

theoriginalsmellgoats (November 6, 2007)

so we know what eveyone else did, what happened to dave mello?

fallingupwards84 (November 6, 2007)

in the defense of rereleases, try putting an OpIvy song on a mix cd with songs produced in the last ten years and you'll see a HUGE difference

Oldpunkerforever (November 6, 2007)

I Love this cd, however, why is everything seemingly being " re- released" with " new art work " or new " pictures" ..are these people just running out of good ideas?? or is this what music is coming too..lets re-release the same shit with new more fresh shit and get dumbasses to buy it?. The state of music sure is changing if this is what it has come to. And before all of ( or some of you rant) I agree that there is allot of good new stuff out there, but what has become of this sudden re- release craze that seems to have little purpose other than to cash in-oldpunker-

GlassPipeMurder (November 6, 2007)

One of the most important albums in my lifetime. I still get encouragement every time I hear "Unity"--which I can say--has been many, many times.

Dante3000 (November 6, 2007)

I recently looked into picking up a copy of the Laytonville pressing of this album and was quite surprised to find copies going as cheap as they were. I guess it has something to do with the general saturation of the album...But kids are paying more for the Purple copies of Duh and that's odd.

Anyhow, a great damn album. I'm not in the camp who say it's the greatest album ever or the best ska/punk album ever but it's damn good. Too bad Jesse Michaels isn't up to much musically these days.

ben_conoley (November 6, 2007)

You're right, I don't know why I put 10.

the_other_scott (November 6, 2007)

last 10 years? really?

great album. glad i don't have to buy this shit. can't wait till they get their shit together and tour.

SloaneDaley (November 6, 2007)

I thought I was the only one that liked side B more

fallingupwards84 (November 6, 2007)

a near-perfect album... i think Side B is stronger than Side A (which drags a little with Take Warning), but overall its one of my favorite albums of all time

dont think i'll be picking up the rerelease, however

SloaneDaley (November 6, 2007)

wouldn't that be closer to the last 20 years, I have Energy on vinyl and the original of this on cd, doubt I need anymore. Great album though


Great album but it was not originally released in the past 10 years, it was originally released in the late eighties (or maybe in 1990 as the were disbanding).

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