3435-2 Freedom of Choice
Produced by Devo in association with Robert Margouleff
Released on July 1980
US CHART POSITION #22 . . . PLATINUM RECORD . . . UK CHART POSITION #47
Find it at GEMM
3435-2 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

I (I), O (O), U... an apology for my first review of Freedom. The record always sounded mechanical to me. But then it clicked: this was the robot revolution we’d been warned about. It was Buddy Hologram and Roy Orbitron singing about picking up chicks and putting down the human race. Yes, it’s a cold record, but Devo wants you to make the chilling discovery that you and rock & roll are dead. No more hugs and kisses; Devo has distilled the chemical that makes you feel loved and they’re shooting it directly into your veins through a tiny steel tube. On the opening “Girl U Want,” desire is a malfunction (compare this to “Uncontrollable Urge”). “It’s Not Right” and “Ton O’ Luv” are songs about strong emotions that have been completely stripped of emotion. As I said, pretty deep stuff, and I’m surprised I missed that on the first go ‘round. Then there are the crazed pop songs that channel Devo’s inner monkey: “Freedom of Choice,” “Whip It,” “Mr. B’s Ballroom.” Fun stuff from a band that could write a good guitar hook when they weren’t busy putting one in your mouth. There are a few cold tracks that go nowhere (a harbinger of Oh No! It’s Devo), but a good half of Freedom is classic Devo. As for the silly flower pots, forget ‘em. Devo was planting the seeds of revolution with their music not their fashion. Freedom of Choice does sound mechanical, but that’s the whole idea. This is revolution without a trace of emotion, where slogans are simply passwords to a preprogrammed response. Not the kind of stuff to whip you into a frency on the first listen, but over time it does have a snowball effect.

3435-2 back sleeve
3435-2 back sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. GIRL U WANT    (Mark Mothersbaugh/Gerald V. Casale)    2:55
  2. IT'S NOT RIGHT    (Mark Mothersbaugh)    2:20
  3. WHIP IT    (Mark Mothersbaugh/Gerald V. Casale)    2:37
  4. SNOWBALL    (Mark Mothersbaugh/Gerald V. Casale)    2:28
  5. TON O' LUV    (Gerald V. Casale)    2:29
  6. FREEDOM OF CHOICE    (Mark Mothersbaugh/Gerald V. Casale)    3:28
  7. GATES OF STEEL    (Gerald V. Casale/Mark Mothersbaugh/S. Schmidt/D. Smith)    3:26
  8. COLD WAR    (Robert Mothersbaugh/Gerald V. Casale)    2:30
  9. DON'T YOU KNOW    (Mark Mothersbaugh)    2:14
  10. THAT'S PEP!    (Mark Mothersbaugh)    2:17
  11. MR. B'S BALLROOM    (Mark Mothersbaugh)    2:45
  12. PLANET EARTH    (Gerald V. Casale)    2:45

CREDITS

BOB CASALE --
GERALD V. CASALE --
MARK MOTHERSBAUGH --
ROBERT MOTHERSBAUGH --
ALAN MYERS --
Robert Margouleff -- engineer
Howard Siegal -- engineer
Artrouble -- album cover
Lorenza -- Devo's modern apparel
Devo, Inc. -- package concept

return to DEVO discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US July 1980 Warner Bros. LP/CS BSK/M5 3435 insert
UK July 1980 Virgin LP V 2162 poster
CAN 1980 Warner Bros. LP XBS 3435  
FRA/GER/NET 1980 Virgin LP 202 283  
ITA 1980 Virgin LP VIL-12155  
JPN 1980 Warner Bros. LP P-10803W  
MEX 1980 Warner Bros. LP LWB-5439  
UK   Virgin LP OVED-39  
US 1988 Warner Bros. CD 3435  
US May 20, 1993 Virgin CDX CDV 2241 repackaged w. OH, NO! IT'S DEVO
EUR June 1993 EMI/Virgin CD 786997  

 

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