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

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]

Live Albums (main)[edit | edit source]

Compilations (main)[edit | edit source]

Box Sets (main)[edit | edit source]

EPs[edit | edit source]

Singles[edit | edit source]

Appears On[edit | edit source]

Compilations[edit | edit source]

Selected compilations

Soundtracks[edit | edit source]

Full soundtrack filmography on &

Mix CDs[edit | edit source]

Radio Shows[edit | edit source]

Further Reading[edit | edit source]

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