I’m not going to ramble on and on about the genius that is DEVO. Let’s assume my readers are hip and musically sophisticated enough to know all the background – bred in Akron, Ohio, conceptualized the concept of de-evolution (“we must repeat”), groundbreaking videos and albums, blah, blah. Let’s concentrate on Devo’s downward slope period.
After releasing what I feel is their second best LP, “Oh No, It’s Devo”, to a largely indifferent reception, Devo had reached the end of their initial contract with Warner Brothers Records. Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh were uncertain about Devo’s future, so there was a lull period between 1982 and 1985 that saw only one new Devo release.
The theme for the horrific Dan Aykroyd vehicle “Dr. Detroit”.
Let’s not dwell on the bad things – the “Theme From Dr. Detroit” was a great little middle-period Devo single, with a characteristic motivational lyric and hyper beat. It was also Devo’s first chart hit in some time, bringing the band enough exposure to get them another one-album deal with Warner Brothers – unfortunately, that resulted in 1985’s “Shout”…but hey, we’re staying positive here!
Let’s give some half-hearted praise to the WB for leasing out all the Devo albums to Collector’s Choice, who has reissued them all this year. I say “half-hearted” cuz they’re pretty skimpy on bonuses, unlike the vastly superior Infinite Zero reissues from the early ‘90s. Would it have killed them to simply pick those up and put ‘em back out? Feh.
Major praise goes to Target Video, who just released “Devo Live 1980”, a full-length Devo live show from, um, 1980, complete with all the filmed segments the band would show between costume changes.
Help support this site by purchasing The Devo Catalog
via this link. Thanks!
One thing you won’t
find on any of those CDs is the original single version of the “Theme From Dr. Detroit”
. Rhino did put an extended version on the “Pioneers Who Got Scalped” anthology, but six minutes of this tune is about three far too many. So here, direct from my little Backstreet Records 45, is the single mix. Enjoy. ”Theme From Dr. Detroit” peaked at #59 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Oh yeah, “Dr. Detroit” the movie makes is now on DVD as well, but I ain’t linking to it!