Tuesday, February 18, 2014

10 Best Devo Songs in Honor of Bob Casale

Founding Devo member Bob Casale passed away yesterday. The band is criminally under-rated, with most people thinking of them as a one-hit (or few-hit) wonder. That's just ridiculous and a great reason why judging a band based on their "hits" is nonsense. Here are my 10 favorite songs by the band, noticeably leaving out hits "Whip It" and "Girl U Want."

10. Please Baby Please: They were still making good music in recent years

9. Head Like A Hole: They had a lot of good covers, but none better than this one

8. Peek-A-Boo: A perfect example of the band's instrumental and vocal experimentation

7. Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA: A perfect example of the band's lyrical experimentalism

6. Beautiful World: The band were also masters of irony, particularly on this song and video, which could also be taken straightforward if you weren't paying attention

5. The Day My Baby Gave Me A Surprise: Even when a song of theirs hints at something darker, like this one, it can still be a beautiful song

4. Come Back Jonee: Devo's version of a "death rock" song from the 50s/60s is brilliant music on multiple levels

3. Jocko Homo: One of Devo's most quotable songs is also one of its harshest criticisms of the failures of people and society

The acoustic live version is surprisingly soulful

2. Freedom of Choice: Is a powerful political song, with it's closing switch of "freedom from choice is what you want." I saw the band mention this live that even this many years later, people still misunderstand this song and don't catch the irony

1. Gates of Steel: Is a bit surreal, but is one of my all-time favorite songs by any artist. It's even better live than on record

Bonus: I just learned that "Turnaround," which I knew from Nirvana's "Incesticide" was actually a Devo B-side. Wow.

Double Bonus: Dr. Detroit wasn't a great movie, but the directly-connected theme song by Devo was. I have very fond memories of both the movie and the song as key parts of my youth

No comments:

Post a Comment