Monday, February 4, 2008

Devo - Hardcore Devo Vols. 1 and 2 + Be Stiff EP (1974-77; 1978)

Long before those silly hats and that oh-so-whacky video for 'Whip It,' Devo were one of the most exciting - and bizarre - bands to come out of the first wave of U.S. punk. Comin' straight outta Akron, Ohio to upset freaks and squares alike with their strange combination of 60s sci-fi fetishism and pseudo-corporate advertising, Devo laid down a form of bizarro agit-pop so loaded with irony that it was impossible to tell where the jokes ended and the real message began. While their debut LP "Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!" has been rightfully recognized as an absolute classic, their pre-Warner Bros. material has been more or less neglected by critics, giving the false impression that these Devo boys were some kind of avant-tard flash in the pan whose decent into the banalities of New Wave represent some lack of creative stamina. It is in the name of changing such perceptions that BURNING MINDS presents the entirety of Devo's independent catalog, represented by the two Hardcore Devo 1974-77 volumes and the Be Stiff EP originally released on the band's own Booji Boy label. Most of the songs here consist of 4-track demos, but even in their unpolished form these are some of the coolest, most whacked-out tracks this side of Don Van Vliet (an obvious influence in attitude if not in pure sound). Whether you're an old Devo-tee or a total stranger to the terrifying truths of Devolution, do yourself a favor and grab these yams while they're hot; monkeys might never look the same again.

Buy Vol. 1 + Vol. 2

Download here and here (or get everything here)

edit: in getting higher-bitrate version of these albums, I lost some versions of songs that I much preferred. Get the superior cut of "Social Fools" here.

1 comment:

roy rocket said...

Thanks for this. Most excellent. I saw them at Knebworth, alongside Genesis and Jefferson Starship. The crowd booed and bottled Devo off, I think it was during the performance of Soo Bawls, I was only thirteen, but knew the Knebworth audience were a bunch of narrow-minded, stupid hippies. So thanks for not being a narrow-minded, stupid hippy. Peace. Roy.