Shout (Devo album)

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Shout
Studio album by Devo
Released October 9, 1984
Recorded July 1983-April 1984, The Record Plant, Los Angeles
Genre New wave, synthpop
Length 32:48
Label Warner Bros. & Virgin
Producer Devo
Devo chronology
Theme from Doctor Detroit
(1983)
Shout
(1984)
E-Z Listening Disc
(1987)
Singles from Shout
  1. "Here to Go"
    Released: 1984
  2. "Are You Experienced?"
    Released: 1984
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 1.5/5 stars link
Robert Christgau C[1]

Shout is a 1984 album by the new wave rock band Devo. It was their sixth album for Warner Bros. Records and retained the synthpop sound of their previous records with all instrumentation provided on the then new Fairlight CMI computer synthesizer. Despite the popularity of synth-pop in 1984, the album was a critical and commercial failure and ultimately led to Warner Bros. Records dropping the band. Criticism centered on the polarizing sound of the Fairlight as well as weak songwriting. They would not release another album through the label until Something for Everybody in 2010. Following its release, the band went on hiatus for four years.

One of Shout's best-known tracks is "Are You Experienced?", a Jimi Hendrix cover that carried on the Devo tradition of 'mutating' famous songs which began with their 1978 cover of the Rolling Stones classic "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction". Ironically, the cover was marginally more accessible than the heavily experimental Hendrix track. Additionally, the chorus melody of Hendrix's "Third Stone from the Sun" is transformed into a guitar solo partway through the track. The track "The 4th Dimension" also incorporates the guitar hook from The Beatles' song "Day Tripper", "Jurisdiction of Love" has a few notes from "Love Machine" by The Miracles, and "Here to Go" quotes a bit of the Wilson Pickett hit "Land of a Thousand Dances."

The album was the first of two albums to use the Fairlight CMI computer, the other being 1988's Total Devo. These approaches further pushed the sound of the guitar into the background of their music. According to a 2005 interview with Bob Mothersbaugh, "Mark and Jerry kept saying in interviews that the guitar was obsolete and wanted to prove it with the Shout album." [2] Drummer Alan Myers left the band shortly after the album's release, citing feeling creatively deprived, primarily from the band's near constant use of drum machines as well as the Fairlight.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald V. Casale except as noted.

  1. "Shout" – 3:15
  2. "The Satisfied Mind" – 3:07
  3. "Don't Rescue Me" (M. Mothersbaugh) – 3:07
  4. "The 4th Dimension" – 4:24
  5. "C'mon" – 3:15
  6. "Here to Go" – 3:18
  7. "Jurisdiction of Love" (M. Mothersbaugh) – 3:00
  8. "Puppet Boy" – 3:10
  9. "Please Please" – 3:04
  10. "Are You Experienced?" (Jimi Hendrix) – 3:08

Rereleases[edit]

In 1997, Shout was released on Infinite Zero Archive/American Recordings, and included two bonus tracks: "Growing Pains" (a B-Side to "Are You Experienced?"), and "Shout (E-Z Listening Muzak Version 1)", a version of the title track from Devo's E-Z Listening Music collections.

In 2004, Collectables Records re-released Shout without bonus tracks. This version is currently in print, but the first printing misspelled Gerald Casale's last name as "Casle". This mistake was corrected in subsequent printings.

In 2008, the album was digitally remastered and released as part of the box set This is the Devo Box in Japan.

Music videos[edit]

A lavish video for "Are You Experienced?" was produced by the band and Ivan Stang of the Church of the SubGenius. Its many highlights include Devo as floating blobs of 'wax' in a lava lamp (a definite '60s image) and Hendrix (played by an impersonator) stepping out of his coffin to play a solo. Despite being one of Devo's most visually impressive (and expensive) videos, it wasn't included on the 2003 DVD-format video retrospective The Complete Truth About De-Evolution (although it had been included on the Laserdisc of the same name issued in 1993). This is explained below in an extract from an interview with Gerry Casale for Earcandymag.com:[3]

E.C.: Speaking of de-evolution, why didn’t the Hendrix estate give you permission to put the “Are You Experienced?” video on the DVD?

Gerald Casale: Further de-evolution. You understand that the consortium of people that now represent the Hendrix estate are basically run by lawyers; the lawyer mentality. Lawyers always posit the worst-case scenarios. Though that video was loved for years by anybody who saw it including the man who commissioned it —Chuck Arroff, a luminary in the music business, who still claims to this day that it was one of his five most favorite videos ever—, they [the lawyers] didn’t get it and assumed we were making fun of Jimi. That’s like saying “Whip It” makes fun of cowboys. This is so stupid it’s unbelievable."

Tour[edit]

As the band were dropped by their record label and went on hiatus following Shout's release, there was no tour to promote it, and in fact none of Shout’s songs were ever performed live by either of the two re-formed editions of Devo.[4] They had apparently planned a show with a video projection backdrop similar to the Oh, No! It's Devo tour of 1982.

Personnel[edit]

  • Mike Shipley — mixing
  • Jim Mothersbaugh — technical assistance
  • Will Alexander — programming consultation
  • Al Horvath and Bill Wolfer — additional Emulator programs
  • DEVO — graphic concept
  • Vigon Seireeni — art direction
  • Karen Filter — photography
  • Effective Graphics — computer graphics
  • Zachary Chase (boy), Alex Mothersbaugh (girl) -- cover kids
  • Clacton and Frinton — DEVO's Chinese-American Friendship Suits

Charts[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
position
Top 200 Albums (Billboard) 83

Notes[edit]