Author(s): Evie Nagy; Fred Armisen (Foreword by)
Finally, after all that waiting, The Future arrived in 1980. Ohio art-rockers Devo had plainly prepared with their 1979 second LP Duty Now for the Future, and now it was go time. Propelled by the new decade's high-tech, free-market, pre-AIDS promise, 1980's Freedom of Choice would rocket what Devo co-founder Gerald Casale calls his alternate universe, hermetically sealed, alien band both into the arms of the Earthlings and back to their home planet in one scenic trip.
Before an artistic and commercial decline that resulted in a 20-year gap between Devo's last two studio records, Freedom of Choice made them curious, insurgent superstars, vindicated but ultimately betrayed by the birth of MTV. Their only platinum album represented the best of their unreplicable code- dead-serious tricksters, embracing conformity in order to destroy it with bullet-proof pop sensibility. Through first-hand accounts and musical analysis set against an examination of New Wave's emergence, this book explores Devo's peak of success, when the band's hermetic seal cracked open to let in mainstream attention, lots of cocaine and the occasional violent Italian dwarf. Freedom of Choice was the end of Devo innocence - it turned out to be the high point before the s***storm of a total cultural move to the right, the advent of AIDS, and the press starting to figure Devo out and thinking they had our number, says Casale. It's where everything changes.
In-depth, unprecedented look at Devo--by Rolling Stone editor--including band interviews, on the eve of the 35th anniversary of their platinum-selling album.
Evie Nagy is an arts and business journalist who has been a staff editor and writer at Rolling Stone, Billboard and Fast Company. She lives in Oakland, CA.
Foreword by Fred Armisen Introduction 1. Girl U Want Look at you with your mouth waterin', look at you with your mind spinnin'. Why don't we just admit it's all over? 2. It's Not Right I sit around in a trance all day and think about you all the time. 3. Whip It Go forward, move ahead, try to detect it, it's not too late. 4. Snowball Like a snowball grows, until it gets too big. Until she lost control. And it rolled back down. 5. Ton O' Love Take your turn, now make your move. Crush that doubt with a ton o' love. 6. Freedom of Choice Freedom of choice is what you got, freedom from choice is what you want. 7. Gates of Steel Half a goon and half a God, a man's not made of steel. 8. Cold War I owe you absolutely nothing. 9. Don't You Know I got a rocket in my pocket, but I don't know what to do. 10. That's Pep! Vigor, vim, vitality and punch. 11. Mr. B's Ballroom Yellin', laughin' tryin' hard to act smart, we put 'em under pressure and you watch them fall apart. 12. Planet Earth Planet Earth, it's a place to live your life. Acknowledgments Notes