Do I REALLY need to spell out the importance of Akron, Ohio’s finest, the one and only DEVO? Forget it; I won’t. You should know. And if you don’t, there’s a lot you can learn on your own. This band – this art collective – this group of revolutionaries – burst on to the music scene in 1978 and has never left the American consciousness (they sure haven’t left mine). From the moment I saw them on Saturday Night Live for their now-legendary debut, I was immediately hooked. The impression Devo left, not just musically, but visually left a mark on many, many of us. And while, sadly, two of the original Spud Boys are now gone (drummer Alan Myers and guitarist/keyboardist Bob Casale (Bob 2)), this video compilation is a wonderful reminder of what the band created.
This disc contains two items – The Men Who Make The Music, which is the classic Devo compilation, comprised of bits from “The Truth About Deevolution”, their earliest promotional clips (the pre-cursor to “videos”) and early live footage. Here you get to see, once again, the strident General Boy and his creepy mutant son, Boojie Boy, describing and warning an unsuspecting world that we are all jocko homo; the Devo boys in their original yellow boiler suits with their very unusual instruments and those ground breaking film clips, such as “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and “Come Back Jonee”. The visuals are terrific and ahead of their time, as was the music. And for those old enough to have witnessed it, the memories are, indeed, sweet.
As a bonus, a live performance film, Butch Devo & The Sundance Gig, is included. This was shot at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival and shows that the band had lost none of their firepower as a live unit. Yet more interesting is how the band reverted back to their earlier catalog for this unsuspecting audience. Even at this stage of their careers, Devo knew how to shock and surprise.
If you’re of the punk/post-punk/new wave generation, you’ll kick yourself if you don’t take the opportunity to finally own this wonderful document. Who knows how long we’re all going to last – after all, WE ARE ALL DEVO…