The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Devo


3-26-09 Devo

DAY MY BABY GAVE ME A SURPRISE VIRGIN UK VS 265 7"
1979 2 TRKS with pic sleeve US
DUTY NOW FOR THE FUTURE INFINITE ZERO 14501.2 CD
1979 15 TRKS (2 x bonus tracks) ('94 issue) US
DUTY NOW FOR THE FUTURE WARNER US BSK 3337 LP
1979 13 TRKS 2nd US
FREEDOM OF CHOICE WARNER US BSK 3435 LP
1980 12 TRKS 3rd US
MECHANICAL MAN (EP) ELEVATOR UK NICE 1 7"
1978 4 TRK EP; pirate? US
NEW TRADITIONALISTS WARNER US BSK 3595 LP
1981 10 TRKS poster US
OH, NO! IT'S DEVO WARNER US 23741.1 LP
1982 11 TRKS easel back cover US
PEEK-A-BOO WARNER US 29906-0 12"
1982 3 TRKS with pic sleeve US
POST POST-MODERN MAN ENIGMA US 75551-0 12"
1990 7 TRK EP; with pic sleeve US
Q: ARE WE NOT MEN? WARNER US BSK 3239 LP
1978 11 TRKS 1st US
Q: ARE WE NOT MEN? A: WE ARE DEVO! WARNER US 3239.2 CD
1978 11 TRKS US
SATISFACTION / SLOPPY BOOJI BOY US 72843 7"
1977 2 TRKS with pic sleeve US
SMOOTH NOODLE MAPS ENIGMA US 73526.2 CD
1990 11 TRKS US
UNCONTROLLABLE URGE / SATISFACTION WARNER US WBS 8675 7"
1978 2 TRKS no pic sleeve US
WORKING IN THE COAL MINE / PLANET EARTH ASYLUM US E-47204 7"
1981 2 TRKS no pic sleeve US


Seems like Devo has been in my “to be gotten to” stack for about 30 years now…


Odd, I’ve met and talked with Mark Mothersbaugh; he was kind enough to ‘introduce’ me to Hajime Tachibana (when I went and interviewed Tachibana in Tokyo). I love Mothersbaugh’s “Muzik For Insomniaks” CD set.


But Devo never were my thing at the time – maybe I felt competitive with them? When my band’s first album was being pressed in 1978, the same pressing plant was also working on Devo’s first album – and you could definitely tell who was getting more attention (i.e. it wasn’t us!). And when we took our record into KROQ, they were more interested in the test pressing of the first Devo album that our manager brought with him (I think they played “Praying Hands” instead of anything by us). So maybe that’s what killed it for me…


And then they got so popular…with those hats etc. Too popular – it seemed like every idiot in the world had a Devo T-shirt or button. Yuck, yuck, yuck – I’m going to stick with British acts!


But three decades hence, I have some time for Devo. I recently obtained their first two albums on CD, which means that I will get to listen to them in my car real soon.

= = =

Thanks for the almost-a-whole-month of topics, Jim-san!

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Devo were the original nerd-rock band and a huge influence on thousands since then. Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! is one of the prime "Johnny Appleseed" records than laid more influence down than their sales can account for. Not all of their canon is stellar. The first three are unimpeachably sound. I would also argue, so is their fourth, from a musical point of view at least. The first three albums are as much crypto-sociology as music! And don't forget, their sexual frustration accounts for a good HALF of their material. Has there ever been a band as horny yet thwarted in that regard?

Their new single is, unlike their last, best forgotten album, really great! I'm really looking forward to the album. But now that they're back will Polysics have an audience? Or has the dreaded Tori Amos Effect [tm] taken root?

7:32 AM  
Blogger chas_m said...

I just love these guys, and have done since I first saw/heard them on a show called "Friday's" (ABC's answer to SNL, and the program that gave the world Michael Richards!).

It was a very "WHUT TH--" moment, to put it mildly.

The Brian Eno-produced debut album, along with the accompanying videos, really set a unique tone that did a lot to define New Wave as something other than "palatable punk."

I've written about "Watch Us Work It" on my own music blog so I won't reiterate, other than to say it's one of the very few songs of the last few years that gets me COMPLETELY PUMPED.

If the rest of the new album is HALF that good, it will be one of Devo's best albums and a remarkable comeback.

4:25 AM  

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