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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo

Devo

1978

Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo

Album Summary

Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! is the debut studio album by the American new wave band Devo. It was originally released in August 1978 on the Warner Bros. label (Virgin Records in Europe). Produced by Brian Eno, the album was recorded between October 1977 and February 1978, primarily in Cologne, West Germany. The album received somewhat mixed reviews from critics and peaked at No. 78 on the U.S. Billboard chart and No. 12 on the UK Albums Chart. Recent reviews of the album have been more uniformly positive and the album has been included on several retrospective "best of" lists from publications including Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and Spin. On May 6, 2009, Devo performed the album live in its entirety for the first time as part of the Don't Look Back concert series curated by All Tomorrow's Parties. On September 16, 2009, Warner Bros. and Devo announced a re-release of Q: Are We Not Men? and Freedom of Choice, with a tour performing both albums.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.11

Votes

5172

Genres

  • Post Punk
  • New Wave
Reviews
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Tue Apr 13 2021
5

Produced by Brian Eno, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! was a seminal touchstone in the development of American new wave. It was one of the first pop albums to use synthesizers as an important textural element, and although they mostly play a supporting role in this guitar-driven set, the innovation began to lay the groundwork for the synth-pop explosion that would follow very shortly. It also doesn't hurt that this is arguably Devo's strongest set of material, though several brilliant peaks can overshadow the remainder. Of those peaks, the most definitive are the de-evolution manifesto "Jocko Homo" (one of the extremely few rock anthems written in 7/8 time) and a wicked deconstruction of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," which reworks the original's alienation into a spastic freak-out that's nearly unrecognizable. But Q: Are We Not Men? also had a conceptual unity that bolstered the consistent songwriting, making it an essential document of one of new wave's most influential bands.

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Fri Mar 12 2021
1

What a waste of time and energy. Why this is on the list, I have no idea but it needs to be removed. It's just utter shit.

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Fri Apr 16 2021
5

So nice I listed to it twice. It's only 35 minutes long. I had this, on vinyl. In 1980. Maybe even earlier.

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Mon Feb 22 2021
5

Probably got the fifth star because I listened while going for a run and it helped me along

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Wed Apr 07 2021
3

Where is "Whip It"

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Sun Feb 14 2021
5

Great satire delivered in solid music

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

But Q: Are We Not Men? also had a conceptual unity that bolstered the consistent songwriting, making it an essential document of one of new wave's most influential bands.

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Tue Nov 03 2020
1

Starts with the fucking Devo guy singing "yeah, yuh-yuh-yeah yeah yeah!" over and over, moves on to the least essential Rolling Stones cover in history, and somehow goes downhill from there. All of the thumbs down. Best track: Space Junk

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Fri May 07 2021
5

Great album! It was like a crazy mix of the ramones and the beach boys

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Mon Nov 22 2021
5

10/10 I love new wave

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Mon Dec 20 2021
5

Strong hat game.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
4

Super fun and energetic. Could see most of these songs being in a movie soundtrack.

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Sun Mar 07 2021
4

Dug it. Dug it good.

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Mon Apr 19 2021
4

This album kicks ass. 70s pop-punk with fat riffs and some ethereal 80s sounds that were clearly ahead of their time.

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Wed Jul 14 2021
4

For me, listening to this album for the first time all the way through was a bit like discovering as a kid that your dad cheats on his taxes or keeps porno mags under the bed, in other words that he's a not a superhero, but just a regular flawed human being. The problem is, I've had Devo's greatest hits collection for a decade or so and I guess a part of me was expecting that kind of unabashed brilliance from their debut album. Completely unfair. Most of Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! is merely very good rather than brilliant. One nice surprise is that, even though the songwriting isn't for the most part at the level of masterpieces like Gut Feeling/Slap Your Mammy or Jocko Homo, the production completely slaps. For a pop album, QAWNMWAD easily boasts the most well thought out synth patches of 1978. Yes, getting an appropriate synth sound is easier when your stock in trade is satire, like Devo, or tongue in cheek pop deconstruction, like The Cars, but the range of decent synth sounds on QAWNMWAD is impressive nonetheless. I suspect a lot of that is producer Brian Eno's doing. He also does a beautiful job of balancing the various elements of Devo's sound. The guitars are crisp and the vocals have just the right amount of echo and reverb. I love the way the bass is processed on Mongoloid, with a clean, springy sound up front with almost imperceptible tweaks that create depth. Eno's production manages to be both immediate and deep. You can elect to groove along on the surface, but there's a lot going on in these tracks if you care to drill down. Another thing I gained an appreciation for is the basic musicianship of the band, which is apparent even in the lesser tracks. Drummer Alan Myers is the glue that holds the band together. His big robotic beats are a major part of Devo's sound, and he handles the tricky time signatures and section shifts with aplomb. Singer Mark Mothersbaugh is a maniac--I love his phrasing and energy, which never flags. It's not easy to do full on satire and rock out at the same time. But what about the songs themselves? Well, most of the compositions, like Come Back Jonee, are built on short snippets with layered, interlocking rhythms. Much of the interest comes in these tunes comes from the performances, the arrangements, the production touches, and the amusing and thoughtful lyrics, which is admittedly far from nothing. But these songs feel like an additional section or two or some twist would have pushed them into classic territory. The one discovery here is Too Much Paranoias, which is possibly just as nuts as Gut Feeling/Slap Your Mammy although a lot less commercial. Yes, it's built on one riff, but the melody is practically atonal, and there's that improvised bridge in the middle of the tune. Pure insanity, in a good way. I dunno. Yes, Devo's style is unique and a lot of fun. The playing, production, and arrangements are first rate. And there are a handful of outright classics on this album. But I can't give this a 5/5 because of there are just too many songs that feel like underachievers.

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Mon Dec 20 2021
4

dunno if i'm a man or devo any more.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
2

invested 34 minutes during my morning ablutions to discover i do not like Devo. that talk-singing with shitty surf rock riffs doesnt do it for me. i cant believe i listened to the whole thing

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Tue Jul 27 2021
5

Seminal …. Fruits all through the 80s and beyond … with Devo and Dave Byrne/talking heads … Something was brewing

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Sun Dec 18 2022
5

Kanonplatta med åtskilliga hits. Ägde skivan som ung och den gick varm på skivspelaren. Mongoloid är en av världens bästa låtar dessutom.

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Mon Dec 20 2021
4

Q. What does SHACK eat for breakfast? A. Lamb chops.

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Thu Mar 10 2022
4

This is very much music of its era, the late 70s where electronic music and synthesisers were becoming quite common. Music was changing,to me this wss the foundation of the 80s pop sound. There are similarities with Talking Heads. This is fun, humerous music and less confrontational than the contemporary punk sound coming from the Clash, the Pistols and Iggy Pop. it is fun to listento, but sounds very 70s

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Sun Jun 26 2022
2

Certainly they transcend the novelty act trap (and memories) but don’t get to actual substance or any real merit beyond the occasional chuckle or non-negligible cleverness. “Satisfaction’ works pretty well and “Gut Feeling” is the closest to straight-up effectiveness in the New Wave/indie rock vein – but there’s a saminess has the satire wearing thin before too long. One likes the commitment to doing something different and pretty damn original without loving the output. In time, the funny hats would make it hard to take the music seriously; one wonders if they were taking the piss out of their fans or who took whom too seriously (or not seriously enough). One doesn’t think enough of the product to be inspired to consider the depth or poignancy of the social satire (consumer culture is a pretty fat target) or how this fares as performance art. (That it was on the radio makes pop music the main genre. Were they merely a less serious Talking Heads? Were they outdone by their spiritual heirs (e.g., They Might Be Giants, Dead Milkmen and Magnetic Fields)? 2.5 > 2

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Fri Apr 30 2021
5

Nice discoverment

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Thu Jul 15 2021
5

Yezaa

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Sat May 15 2021
5

New wave that sounds like something new, and not Duran Duran or whatever. There’s an energy here that is really infectious to listen to, exciting. Their cover of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” sounds like it should have been their song, not the Stones’. Favourite track: “Jocko Homo.”

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Fri Jul 09 2021
5

5/5 - well that was unexpected! Off to Dead Kennedy's and Sex Pistols now

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Tue May 25 2021
5

The moment the first song started I knew I would like this album. The take on "Can't get no satisfaction" is interesting, but for me one of the weakest tracks on the album.

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Thu Nov 04 2021
5

Such manic oddball fun. Overseen by Bowie and Eno in Conny Plank's studio near Cologne so it comes with some serious avant-pop pedigree. I really like their "dehumanized" approach and the bizarre concept they have going. Probably the best album of their career, hitting a home run right off the bat. Certainly among the greatest things that ever came out of Ohio.

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Fri Dec 31 2021
5

What a great album . I remember watching them play Satisfaction on SNL and not knowing what to think. Now I just think they're brilliant and ahead of their time. 5 🌟

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Fri Feb 11 2022
5

Like listening to a blueprint of what was to come in 1980s.

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Mon Apr 04 2022
5

Yuss!

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Wed Apr 13 2022
5

Killer

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Thu Apr 14 2022
5

Classic! What's not to like?

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Wed Apr 27 2022
5

A great album. It's absolutely criminal that many people see Devo as nothing more than a "one hit wonder". I'd probably give it a 4 for my enjoyment and an additional star for its influence and my assumption that others have probably given this too low of a score.

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Thu Jul 28 2022
5

Love this album. The synths sound strange in all the perfect ways, it's catchy and weird, but it's not so out there that it's not enjoyable. It's just excellent.

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Thu Jul 28 2022
5

The first 4 Devo records are all great. This is my favorite. There is a nice blend of instruments and synths before they really settled on their sound.

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Thu Jul 28 2022
5

Genius record with all the weirdness and musical brilliance that made Devo the greatest thing I had ever heard at the time. This is something nobody had ever heard before. Catchy, fun, odd, anti-normal, punk, new wave synth, and one of the greatest covers of all time (Satisfaction) - this record packs so much into 11 tracks. It’s even more surprising today to think that Bowie and Eno were part of this. Six stars if I could.

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Thu Jul 28 2022
5

Such a great album!! I love the raw punk edges the band had with the new wave sound. It's so damn good.

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Thu Aug 18 2022
5

Fuckin banger. In my collection

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Thu Aug 18 2022
5

Classic

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Thu Sep 01 2022
5

This is one of my favorites. Good from start to finish.

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Fri Sep 23 2022
5

Yeah yeah yeah yeah ye ye ye ye ye ye ye ye YEAH The satisfaction cover is actually so good The lyrics and substance of Mongoloid are problematic but the music goes hard Lots of Talking Heads vibes which makes sense since this was produced by Brian Eno Why tf did they spell Johnny “Jonee” Wow loved this album so much more than I thought I would

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Sun Oct 09 2022
5

cool

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Fri Nov 04 2022
5

I love this! It's an essential work of burgeoning punk/new wave fusion. Uncontrollable Urge is a perfect opening track and that horribly jarring cover of Satisfaction is glorious in all its subversive cheekiness. Devo rules.

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Wed Dec 21 2022
5

My first Devo album, it holds up

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Fri Dec 30 2022
5

New wave classic from the end of 70s, and together with 'Freedom of Choice', my favourite Devo album. The first four tracks could be skipped but the sequence Mongoloid - Shrivel Up = 5-star new wave songs.

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Wed Jan 04 2023
5

Innovative and ahead of their time. They weren't afraid to just be themselves, and it shows. At the time nobody knew what the hell to make of them. Now, it's pretty obvious the impact that they had on a vast majority of 80s new wave and alternative music.

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Fri Jan 27 2023
5

Geniuses at the top of their game

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Fri Jan 27 2023
5

Look at those smartass with funny hats making some of the most advanced new wave music you will ever hear. I love those guys.

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Sun Jan 29 2023
5

The rhythms are airtight, the synths punchy, Mark Mothersbaugh’s vocals yelping along at just the right pitch. But the magic of Devo really takes hold once their real meaning clicks: wicked social satire masterfully painted with sci-fi and kitsch.

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Thu Feb 02 2023
5

icon

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Mon Sep 21 2020
4

Devo sure is weird. Glad I listened the Frankenstein-like cut of the album + six live tracks + three B-sides as listed on Spotify. That meant I got Whip It again. Wild that "Mongoloid" doesn't cause more Discourse.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
4

Wonderfully odd, and a precursor to an onslaught of ska and new wave sounds. I don't have a good reason to like it, since the vocals are absolutely the type I despise, but it works for me in this combo. Still, this isn't an album I would reach for as readily as the other 5-stars, so 4 stars it is!

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Thu Jul 08 2021
4

A very curious album with sounds that probably had never been heard before. Very cool

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Wed Mar 31 2021
4

poop

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Wed Jan 20 2021
4

Real fuckjng good!

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Thu May 27 2021
4

Devo is weird but I like it.

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Sat May 29 2021
4

Maybe the only Talking Heads rip-off band worth a damn

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Sun Feb 14 2021
4

This is a solid album! The music is great, the concepts are wild -- it's all around a good/interesting listen.

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Fri May 21 2021
4

Devo is a one-of-a-kind band. Though they weren't quite coneheads yet, you could sense their weird nerd-iness and quirky delivery through many of their songs. The album starts with a banger and follows up with a cover that rivals the original. Devo rules at playing their songs in their little oddball world. Not ever song is a winner but this album is an undeniable new wave cornerstone. We Are DEVO!

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Tue Apr 20 2021
4

Finest band in plastic flowerpot hats ever. Really great album.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
4

So rad.

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Mon Apr 19 2021
4

Great!

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Thu Jul 08 2021
4

Quirky, nerdy, urgent and paranoid post punk/new wave/surf rock with tons of humor and satire. Weird, but in that good way.

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Tue May 11 2021
4

It was alright. Kind of punk-ish

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Sun Jun 06 2021
4

Too much paranoias is a track that fits in perfectly with what alternative rock would become in the 90’s. Gut feeling is a bop

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Mon Jul 26 2021
4

DEVO isn’t really my jam, but the album was good enough 🤷🏻‍♂️

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Tue Jul 27 2021
4

Have to like it as an akronite.

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Wed Jul 28 2021
4

Album cover and name are an easy 5*, Songs are good weird Devo tracks so only makes it to a 4 overall

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Wed Jul 28 2021
4

Groovy tunes. Very fun to bop to.

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Thu Aug 05 2021
4

4.4 + The album that proves that Devo isn't just an oddball sideshow act. It's raucous, manic and catchy from jump, full of jagged edges and jangly surprises. The sound is a blend of Talking Heads and Kraftwerk, with the sneering irony of punk rock. \"Mongoloid\" is an absolute banger. A good album to play when you're over-caffeinated and needing to crank out some annoying tasks.

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Wed Sep 01 2021
4

4.5

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Wed Sep 29 2021
4

All the familiar and obscure-ness.

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Wed Oct 06 2021
4

I remember seeing the video for Satisfaction back in the day, with the sawn-off guitars and weird vocals, I was hooked. Not recommended for fans of .38 Special, just sayin'

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Thu Oct 07 2021
4

I'd forgotten how punky this album was! Jittery, flinchy and angular with a very perverse sense of humour. You couldn't get away with calling a track Mongoloid today, but kudos for using the quantum term 'superposition' in a lyric.

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Fri Dec 10 2021
4

What a fun listen

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Thu Jan 20 2022
4

Classic Jams. Much better than I expected.

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Sun Jan 30 2022
4

Hard to imagine the shock this would have had on release. Still utterly bonkers in places, the best ever Satisfaction cover, and in Mongoloid a song that could never have been written today (I remember the lyrics being printed in Smash Hits). Only not a 5 as one too many song follows the same template.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

Classic. Impossible to not love

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Fri Feb 11 2022
4

So easy to only think of Whip It when you hear Devo. Enjoyed this album and it's fast raw sound. Reminded me of early Talking Heads at some points which would have been contemporary to this album's release.

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Sun Feb 20 2022
4

I absolutely love the insanity of this Album.

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Thu Feb 24 2022
4

Early new wave sound still very much influenced by punk. I heard a lot of the Kinks in this album. I enjoyed the strange lyrical content and the playfulness with rhythms. Overall not a bad album. I can definitely see how this links to later new wave and post punk sounds

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Mon Mar 14 2022
4

Serves well to remember this is an amazing album - avant garde and still relevant. I forgot - I had devolved - now I remember.

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Wed Mar 23 2022
4

A fun romp with the zany introduction to devo. Favorites: "Uncontrollable Urge", "(I Can't Get No) Satisfsction", "Gut Feeling / (Slap Your Mammy)"

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Fri Apr 15 2022
4

Great, top-to-bottom!

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Wed May 04 2022
4

Devo is nuts, love em forever

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Thu May 05 2022
4

NERRRRRRRDS

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Thu May 12 2022
4

Great album. Are We Not Men? Stradles that punk / post-punk / new wave perfectly. As a bonus, the only non-Devo song written by the band, The Rolling Stones (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction is a great example of taking an original and putting your spin on it. 4/10

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Fri May 20 2022
4

Very good

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Mon Jun 06 2022
4

From the art design, to the sound, and the cover of the Stones Satisfaction and the reminder of gut Feeling being used in Wes Anderson's (shocking!) The Life Aquatic, just a lot to enjoy here.

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Mon Jun 06 2022
4

It’s fun and out there in just the right ways.

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Fri Jul 01 2022
4

Right off the bat, great, known song (Uncontrollable Urge) and in a few movies. Satisfaction is obviously a cover but a great take on it - reminds me of the movie Casino. All else is good too but it does taper off. 8/10.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
4

Campy but fun.

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Wed Jul 27 2022
4

So good! Classic. Original sound. Image this came out in 1978! 4/5

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Fri Jul 29 2022
4

Classic.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
4

I listened to Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo for the first time in the last year and a half. I wanted to see what else was on the album with "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "Jocko Homo". In general I like the mix of electronic, new wave, and punk that is Devo. There are several tracks from the band that I will always be willing to listen to, and some that I will play again just because the song scratches a particular itch. "Space Junk", "Gut Feeling" and "Mongloid" were new tracks to me that I added to my personal playlist. Rating this album is a little strange because based on my individual track ratings this album gets 3 stars, but I would have to admit that I might just listen to the album again to have a full Devo experience.

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Fri Sep 09 2022
4

4.5

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Thu Sep 15 2022
4

bien qsy! muy diver. 8 /10

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Mon Oct 17 2022
4

Littéralement mind blown, le mélange de son est ahurissant, c'est tellement en avance sur son temps. L'une des découvertes les plus surprenantes des 1001

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Mon Oct 17 2022
4

Awkward, angular and all the better for it

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