Classic & Current Contemporary Non-Schlock-Rock Metropolitan Music
Devo Album Commentary
NOBLE PR LTD -- (June 2007) -- DEVO are the unmistakable American rock group formed in Akron, Ohio in 1972 by Kent State art students Jerry Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh. Their debut album, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! produced by Brian Eno, and was originally released to worldwide acclaim in 1978.
They were also one of the first American rock acts to sign to the UK-based record label Stiff Records.
Devo took its name from their concept of "de-evolution" - the idea that instead of evolving, mankind has actually regressed, as evidenced by the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society.
Their music echoed this view of society as rigid, repressive, and mechanical, with appropriate touches - jerky, robotic rhythms; an obsession with technology and electronics (the group was among the first non-prog rock bands to make the synthesizer a core element); often atonal melodies and chord progressions - all of which were filtered through the perspectives of social misfits.
Devo evolved into a cult sensation, helped in part by their concurrent emphasis on highly stylised visuals, and achieved mainstream chart success with the smash single Whip It, (the single made it to #14 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart) whose memorable video was made a staple by the fledgling MTV network in the early 1980s.
Over the years the band have released an collection of unforgettable songs including Jocko Homo, Mongoloid, Come Back Jonee, Secret Agent Man, Freedom of Choice, Through Being Cool, That's Good, Girl U Want, Beautiful World, Peek-A-Boo and a deconstructed version of the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction."
Their style has been variously classified as punk, art rock and post-punk, but they are most often remembered for their late 1970s and early 1980s New Wave music which, along with other name bands, ushered in the synth pop sound of the 1980s.
Devo's music and stage show mingle science fiction themes, surrealist humor, and mordantly satirical social commentary via sometimes-discordant pop songs that often feature unusual synthetic instrumentation and time signatures. After a critically acclaimed 35-year long run, a staggering discography and a solid, inimitable personality, Devo continue to push the envelope, and remain both an innovator and driving force in the ever-changing technological world of music.
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