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Devo - The Men Who Make the Music

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This is a very interesting title from the late '70s that has until now been available only on highly sought after VHS tapes and that nearly didn't see a release at all. Back in those days a record company would shut things down if they were offended by content, and I don't mean lewdness or profanity.

The Men Who Make the Music hit the recording industry where it hurts by presenting a tale of how bands are (sometimes ruthlessly) taken advantage of by big business with little regard for anything but their bottom line.

Here Devo makes their case with biting commentary presented in goofy sketches that come between music videos and live performance slots. There is still animosity towards major labels today but with the advent of the Internet and the ease of selling music independently, many viewers won't get what the band is talking about; more likely they'll just think "Wow those guys were really stoned!" Either way the music is still potent and among the included songs are a couple of variations on "Jocko Homo," the punkish "Wiggly World," "Red Eye," "Come Back Jonee," "Uncontrollable Urge" and a great take on the Johnny Rivers hit "Secret Agent Man."

Also included is a live show filmed at the Sundance Film Festival in 1996 called Butch Devo & the Sundance Gig; by this point Devo had really polished up their playing while retaining all the quirk and performances of favorites like "It's a Beautiful World," "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Blockhead," "Girl U Want" and "Whip It" are a sheer joy to behold.

Order the DVD here.

Devo - The Men Who Make the Music
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