Devo – Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (1978)
Though this album may not end up near the top of my 1001 album rankings, its punctuation-happy title surely deserves to be classified among the best titles!
It appears the term ‘one-hit-wonder’ should perhaps be discontinued (along with words like chillax, swag…). The reason in this case? It reveals the ignorance of the speaker.
What are some one-hit wonders? Before this project I would have said groups like Dexys Midnight Runners, A-ha, Soft Cell, and Devo. Well, they all have albums on the 1001 list, Dexys has three! So calling a group a one-hit wonder seems to show the accuser is only familiar with the mainstream hit and he/she is solely responsible for not bothering to explore beyond the most accessible tune.
Satisfaction is anything but a carbon copy of the Stones’ original. Stones fans may find it somewhat sacrilegious but it’s a fresh take, if not overly memorable. Jocko Homo‘s chorus features the album title call and answer and is the track that drifts furthest into ‘novelty territory’ (1980’s Whip It would of course redefine Novelty!).
Devo’s (anyone else think of Devon White when they hear Devo?) debut was not an album I loved or loathed, more a lesson in not jumping to conclusions.
Naturally, the two finest movies of all time summarize my learning experience here about the dangers of pigeon-holing groups like Devo:
Wayne Campbell (said in Cantonese, with English subtitles) – “If you label me, you negate me”
Marty McFly (when saying goodbye to his parents in 1955) – “It’s been…educational”