Nice of Rhino to reissue this, Devo‘s third album, in a special “red, white and blue vinyl” edition. Freedom of Choice was the band’s breakthrough, what with “Whip It” leading the way on MTV and even on hit radio. The album, released in 1980, has some of my favorite songs by the Red Domed Men of Akron, including “Gates of Steel,” “Girl U Want,” “Planet Earth” and the title track. In hindsight I think the production – by Stevie Wonder colleague Robert Margouleff (with Devo) – lacks the edge that their previous effort did. Duty Now for the Future has aged so well that it gives this one a lot to live up to.
My first copy of this reissue was in colored vinyl as noted on the sticker but it had a super NASTY “sweeeccccch…. sweeecccch… sweeeeccccccch…” on it and I had to take it back. I then picked up this copy from a different store and the record was fine. What’s really cool is the red, white and blue that was promised is more of a white, blue ‘n’ violet affair (at least on mine, pictured). The pressing itself is pretty quiet and GOSH is it purty to look at! It’s a limited edition of 4,000, though, so grab this before all the other spuds beat you to the record store.
3.5/5 (Warner Bros./Rhino)
Info on this and other reissues in Rhino’s new Start Your Ear Off Right series is here.