Tag Archives: Devo

Devo • Turn Around: B-Sides & More (1978-1984) [LP]

Limited to just 3,256 copies, the latest Run Out Groove release is a collection of semi-rarities from Akron’s finest, DEVO. Turn Around: B-Sides & More (1978-1984) features fifteen tracks on one slice of tomato red marbled vinyl and is something for the devotee who must have everything. I say this because most of the tracks here will be on the hardcore Devo collector’s record shelf and so this limited edition release would be superfluous if it weren’t for the album’s own likely future rarity.

About half of the tracks on Turn Around are B-sides, such as the title track, “Social Fools,” “Penetration in the Centrefold” and “Growing Pains.” A bunch more are remixes, either for single release or as extended mixes, such as “Snowball (Remix),” “Through Being Cool (Dance Velocity)” and my favorite, “That’s Good [extended version].” And then there’s “Working in a Coal Mine,” which is here presumably because it was originally released as a bonus 7″ single that came with the New Traditionalists vinyl album. It’s not very rare, at least not like “Mecha-Mania Boy,” which was the B-side to “Jerkin’ Back and Forth” and is new to me. (I’m not as hardcore as some Devo fans, for sure.)

Turn Around’s fifteen tracks make for an enjoyable listen, yes, and though it’s running time may seem a bit long for a one record set, the mastering job is good and the record itself was pressed at Record Industry in the Netherlands. Mine’s got some surface noise between tracks but that will presumably wear away after a few listens. The cover is definitely of a 1980 vibe, with a painting that looks like something from a 1930s WPA billboard (not counting the energy domes) and was “adopted for commercial release,” whatever that means. To purchase Turn Around – paraphrasing from “Nu-tra Speaks” – “…is not like spending money, but rather it is an investment in the future and a blow against the empire.” Or something.

3/5 (Run Out Groove ROGV-043, 2019)

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Devo • Freedom of Choice (LP)

21506264Nice 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 redevo-foc-colorvinylissue 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.

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