DEVO (often capitalized as Devo or devo, it varies) is an early New Wave band from Akron, Ohio. Formed in 1973, they are largely known for their unusual outfits (usually a yellow radiation suit with a red "energy dome" hat) and lyrics, which largely concern the theory of devolution.
The Theory of Devolution states that rather than continuing to evolve, mankind has started to regress into a more primitive form, and eventually may totally revert back to simians alltogether. DEVO formerly tried to warn people to fight devolution, but in recent years they've stated that they've decided to instead, embrace devolution, although they may have been sarcastic.
Early Years[edit | edit source]
DEVO started out as a punk rock/post punk band, who put a high priority on spreading awareness about devolution, even naming themselves after the concept. They started making music videos right from the start, and are considered by some to be pioneers of the music video.
In The Beginning Was The End: The Truth About De-Evolution[edit | edit source]
In The Beginning Was The End: The Truth About De-Evolution was a short film/music video made in 1976 by DEVO. It first brought them to the public eye, even if not on a grand scale. It can either be considered a short film or an extended music video for "Secret Agent Man" and "Jocko Homo". Either way, it cemented DEVO as a punk rock band for the time being, and gave the public something to think about.
Mongoloid and Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo![edit | edit source]
DEVO's debut single, Mongoloid, contained the songs "Mongoloid" and "Jocko Homo" and made it to the #62 spot on the U.K. Singles Chart. Iggy Pop took notice of DEVO and helped them to secure a record contract to record their first album, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! in 1978, which recived mixed feelings from critics and the public, and got extremely negative ratings upon release from Rolling Stone magazine, who, somewhat ironically, included it in their list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" in 2003.
Duty Now for the Future[edit | edit source]
DEVO's second album, continuing in the direction of their first with gritty post punk music, but with more focus on synthesizers,but still featuring raw guitar and non electronic drums.
Freedom of Choice[edit | edit source]
The last album to be released by DEVO which could genuinely be labelled "punk rock" it is probably their most well-known album, as it contains their #1 hit song, "Whip It".
New Traditionalists and beyond[edit | edit source]
In the 1980's, DEVO abandoned punk in favor of synth pop and new wave, starting with the album, New Traditionalists, although, other than the change in genre, their music, appearence, and stage presence remained largely the same, even their music itself still retained a similar structure, albeit, now on synthesizers and digital instruments.
Something For Everybody[edit | edit source]
DEVO is once again touring. They've had great success with their newest album, Something For Everybody, although, they are still choosing the New Wave/synthrock approach to their music, rather than going back to their punk roots.
Discography[edit | edit source]
- Q: Are We Not Men ? A: We Are Devo ! ( 1978 )
- Duty Now For The Future ( 1979 )
- Live ( 1980 )
- Freedom Of Choice ( 1980 )
- New Traditionalist ( 1981 )