Nothing about Devo really made sense: not their ever-changing matching outfits and hats, their AC/DC meets Kraftwerk sound, their undergrad philosophy of De-Evolution, their robotic cover of classic rock staples, their nerdy synchronized dance movements and, least sensible of all, the fact that for a time in the late seventies and early eighties, they defined punk to the straight world in North America.
All those incomprehensible elements (their defining punk aside), their alien-ness made Devo irresistible to those who sorta understood. Even though I was listening to a steady diet of North American hardcore and British punk, I had tapes of every Devo album (though I admit that, fittingly, they got gradually worse through till 1984's Shout). Blame it on Fridays, that easier-for-kids-to-see version of Saturday Night Live for whom Devo was practically the house band.
This bootleg includes all those Fridays appearances as well as ones on Letterman, SNL and a set from the King Biscuit Flower Hour. It all makes clear Devo's complicated but comprehensible influence on much of modern music.
MRML Readers: Leave us a comment with your take on Devo and whether or not you want to hear more!
TV + Radio Appearances 1978-1983
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