DEVO began as an art project in the early 1970s between a few art students after the massacre at Kent State University on May 4, 1970. After a discussion of what devo music would sound like, Gerald Casale, Bob Lewis, and Peter Gregg began recording proto-Devo songs in a small studio located above a pizza shop. With Casale on bass, Lewis on slide guitar, and Gregg on rhythm guitar, they wrote and performed prototypes of "Auto Modown", "I Need a Chick", "I Been Refused", and "Beehive".
In 1973, Devo played as a sextet at the Kent State Creative Arts Festival. They dropped Gregg from the lineup and added Bob Casale on rhythm guitar, Mark Mothersbaugh on keyboards, Rod Reisman on drums, and Fred Weber on vocals. Mark treated the early Devo to some high-tech gear, including a Leslie sound system, a Hammond organ, and, of course, a MiniMoog. Most of the music around this time was described, according to the biography We Are Devo!, as having "a vague sense of the traditional sound of a rock band, but with Mark’s keyboard squealing and squawking over the top and Jerry’s sense of intentional monotony running underneath."
Devo returned in 1974 as a quartet, this time with Bob Mothersbaugh on guitar and Jim Mothersbaugh on drums. Jerry and Mark kept their places on bass and keyboards, respectively, and Jerry handled most of the singing. Jim dismantled a MiniMoog and made one of the first electronic drum sets out of it. Live shows during this era were very confrontational, often beginning with devo claiming they were a Top 40 cover group and ending in fistfights and the band's equipment being unplugged, especially at the infamous Sun Ra party at the WHK in Cleveland, Ohio, on Halloween of 1975. Around this time, Devo made time to record and produce their first movie, The Complete Truth About De-Evolution.
By 1976, Jim had left the band, and Alan Myers replaced him as drummer. Bob Casale returned on rhythm guitar. A large amount of the material that Devo later became famous for was created between 1976 and 1977.
Between April 1974 and December 1977, Devo spent time in small studios, basements, and garages honing their skills and recording songs, some of which would either be re-recorded for official album releases, or would remain undetected until the release of Hardcore Devo... or would never see the light of day.
Their first EPs and singles were self-released, although they soon got picked up by both Warner Brothers (in the US and Canada) and Virgin (everywhere else), through a very costly mistake. The head of Virgin took DEVO to Jamaica and tried to convince them to have Johnny Rotten as the lead vocalist. They declined. Their first album had some hits, but it was the third, Freedom Of Choice that had some of their most popular songs, "Girl U Want" and "Whip It".
They briefly broke up in 1985, but reformed for 1986, for three more records. Since then, they've been performing together occasionally (both for soundtracks and tours) and scoring films together as part of Mutato Muzika. Their most recent tour setlist include songs from the album Something for Everybody.
RIYL[edit | edit source]
Gerald Casale's Jihad Jerry & the Evildoers included background vocals by group members Alex Brown and Geri Lynn. Music was made with contributing artists including Bob Casale, Bob Motherbaugh, Mark Mothersbaugh, and Peter Gregg, according to AllMusic.com
Mark Mothersbaugh's The Wipeouters album had music by group members Mark, Bob Casale, Bob Mothersbaugh, and Josh Mancell. Guest artists included Gerald Casale, Jim Mothersbaugh, and Ursula Mothersbaugh.
Gerald, Bob, Mark, Bob, and Alan performed as DOVE - The Band of Love before a few DEVO concerts and in the comedy movie Pray TV. As The Cumberbuns, they released the song Softcore Mutations. Without Alan they released the song It's All Good as The Big Dirty Farmers.
They recorded music for the bands Devo 2.0 and The Smart Patrol. For Toni Basil they recorded You Gotta Problem (Pity You) by Mark Mothersbaugh, Space Girls by Gerald Casale, and Be Stiff by Gerald Casale and Bob Lewis.
Discography[edit | edit source]
Albums[edit | edit source]
- Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO!
- Duty Now For The Future
- Freedom Of Choice
- New Traditionalists
- Oh, No! It's DEVO
- Total DEVO
- Now It Can Be Told
- Something For Everybody
Live Albums (main)[edit | edit source]
- Live: The Mongoloid Years
- DEVO Live 1980
- New Traditionalists - Live 1981 Seattle
- Now It Can Be Told: DEVO at the Palace
- Live at the Observatory, Santa Ana, CA
Compilations (main)[edit | edit source]
- E-Z Listening Disc
- Hardcore DEVO Volume 1
- Hardcore DEVO Volume 2
- Recombo DNA
- Pioneers Who Got Scalped
Box Sets (main)[edit | edit source]
EPs[edit | edit source]
Singles[edit | edit source]
- "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
- "Be Stiff"
- "Jocko Homo"
- "Come Back Jonee"
- "The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprize"
- "Secret Agent Man"
- "Girl U Want"
- "Whip It"
- "Freedom of Choice"
- "Working In The Coalmine"
- "Beautiful World"
- "Through Being Cool"
- "That's Good"
- "Theme From Dr. Detroit"
- "Here to Go"
- "Are U Experienced?"
- "Baby Doll"
- "Disco Dancer"
- "Post Post-Modern Man"
- "Watch Us Work It"
- "Don't Shoot (I'm a Man)"
- "Greetings from Akron, Ohio" * (Split 7" with The Black Keys)
Appears On[edit | edit source]
Compilations[edit | edit source]
- When Pigs Fly: Songs You Never Thought You'd Hear
- Best Punk Album in the World...Ever
- The Ongoing History of New Music, Vol. 2
- MTV the First 1000 Years: New Wave
- No Thanks! The '70s Punk Rebellion
- Skate to Hell: The Extreme Skaterock Collection
- Complete Punk Collection: Cash from Chaos
- The Original Electro-Pop Box Set
- Electrónica the Album
- Future Retro
- Shake Some Action: 39 Alternative Classics 1976-1991
- All That Alternative
- 100 Essential Tracks: Alternative
- All That Punk
- Naïve Waves, Vol. 1: New Wave / Post Punk – 1977-1981
- Massive Hits! Punk Rock
- The Definitive Story of CBGB: The Home of US Punk
- Born Stiff: The Stiff Records Collection
- The Big Stiff Box Set
Soundtracks[edit | edit source]
- "Saturday Night Live: Fred Willard/Devo (#4.2)"
- Rock 'n' Roll High School
- Human Highway
- Heavy Metal
- Urgh! A Music War
- "Late Night with David Letterman: Dr. Ruth/Devo (#1.148)"
- Entrées de secours
- Doctor Detroit
- "Miami Vice: Heart of Darkness (#1.2)"
- Fright Night
- Slaughterhouse Rock
- Arise! The SubGenius Video
- "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Blood Is Thicker Than Mud (#4.8)"
- "Beavis and Butt-Head: The Great Cornholio (#4.31)"
- Chef Aid
- Tank Girl
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie
- Adventures Of The Smart Patrol
- "Ellen: Not So Great Expectations (#4.8)"
- Meet Wally Sparks
- Private Parts
- Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
- "The Simpsons: The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase (#8.24)"
- The Rugrats Movie
- The Powerpuff Girls: Heroes & Villains
- Dogtown and Z-Boys
- Raising Helen
- "Live! from Central Park SummerStage"
- The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou
- Lords of Dogtown
- Fun with Dick and Jane
- Employee of the Month
- Director's Cut: Music from the Films of Martin Scorsese
- "Everybody Hates Chris: Everybody Hates Chain Snatching (#2.16)"
- "Nip/Tuck: Everett Poe (#5.3)"
- "Welcome to the 80's: Postpunk und Neue Deutsche Welle (#1.1)"
- "Yo Gabba Gabba!: Superhero (#3.4)"
- "Jimmy Kimmel Live!: Episode #8.126"
- "Late Show with David Letterman: Katie Couric/Devo (#17.153)"
- "The Colbert Report: Devo (#6.78)"
- "Live! with Regis and Kelly: (2010-06-18)"
- "Lopez Tonight: Thomas Jane/Tim Gunn/Devo (#2.136)"
Full soundtrack filmography on IMDB.com & AllMusic.com
Mix CDs[edit | edit source]
- Past The Barber and Gymnasium
- Jeff Bridges... I Don't Need No Jeff Bridges To Put Music To My Poem!
- He's In The Industry
- The Biology of Purpose
- De Revrum's Crash Course In De Muzikum Educatchum
- Obligatory Mix Vol. 1
- Dub Club: Creepy Crawly Creepy Crawly Creepy Creepy Crawly Crawly Creepy Creepy Crawly Crawly - Matt
- Dub Club Matt Auxilliary: KITTY!!!
- The Boys And Girls Are Lifting Up Their Plates
- Dub Club: Aren't You Going To Wish Me Happy Birthday? - Matt
- Dad's Guitar Stuff
- And A Bumper Sticker That Says "No Other Possibility"
- Aila's Mp3 Of The Week
- Dub Club: Born To Kill - Matt
- Dub Club: I'm Singing For You All Covered In Sequins - Matt