"California Über Alles" was the first single by the Dead Kennedys. The record was released in June 1979 on Optional Music with "The Man with the Dogs" as the b-side. The title track was re-recorded for the band's first album, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980), and the version that appeared on this single, as well as the single's b-side, are available on the rarities album Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death (1987).
The song focuses on Jerry Brown, the Governor of California 1975-1983 and 2011–present, and is sung from his perspective. An imaginary Brown outlines a hippie-fascist vision for America, in which his "suede denim secret police" kill un-cool people with "organic poison gas" chambers.
The lyrics were written by Jello Biafra and John Greenway, and Biafra composed the music in one of his rare attempts at composing on bass.