Thursday, January 19, 2017

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter D, Part 14)

I discovered a minor alphabetizing error on the shelves the other day, but I was already engrossed in those posts on Dexys Midnight Runners. Well, I'm sure you were asking yourselves, "what happened to Devo?" Uh, maybe not, but they are going to get their due anyway, and I love everything they did through 'Oh, No! It's Devo' in 1982. Here are a couple of extended versions from what is often described as their "dark" album. Whatever. To these ears, "That's Good" is a terrific piece of pop that deserved a much better fate than No. 102 on the singles chart.

"That's Good" (Extended Version)
"Speed Racer" (Extended Version)

Of course, by the time 'Oh, No! It's Devo' came out, we already knew the fellas didn't care all that much about commercial success. In 1980, when they were faced with "Whip It" becoming a surprise No. 14 hit, the downside was a legion of new listeners that didn't really get the band. The response was "Through Being Cool," a single that not only conveyed their feelings perfectly but had the added bonus of capturing the sound of the early days. Bottom line, though, "Whip It" was (and still is) a song that deserved those accolades. Here is a live version recorded in San Francisco on Aug. 16, 1980. You can find the following two songs on 'Dev-O Live,' a six-song EP originally recorded for "The King Biscuit Flower Hour." If you can't find it on vinyl, this EP and another show from the same period were combined and reissued in 1999 on inferior formats.

"Freedom of Choice Theme Song"/"Whip It" (Live)


JTFL said...

What happened to Devo? is as good a distraction as any today.

Brian said...

An odd day, indeed, JTFL.