Shout (Devo album)

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Shout
Devoshout.jpg
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 an extensive focus on the then-new Fairlight CMI computer synthesizer. Despite the popularity of synthpop in 1984, the album was a critical and commercial failure and ultimately led to Warner Bros. dropping the band from the label. Following its release, the band went on hiatus for four years. Although the band would release two studio albums through Enigma Records, they would not release another album through Warner Bros. until Something for Everybody in 2010.

The album was the first of two Devo albums to use the Fairlight CMI, the other being 1988's Total Devo. These approaches further pushed the sound of the guitar into the background of their music. Drummer Alan Myers left the band shortly after the album's release, citing that he felt creatively deprived, due to the band's increased use of drum machines and electronics.

One of Shout's singles is "Are You Experienced?", a Jimi Hendrix cover that carried on the Devo tradition of radically transforming famous songs, which began with their 1978 cover of the Rolling Stones classic "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." The chorus melody of another Hendrix song, "Third Stone from the Sun," is transformed into a backwards guitar solo partway through the track. Similarly, "The 4th Dimension" incorporates the guitar hook from The Beatles' song "Day Tripper", "Jurisdiction of Love" contains 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."

Reception[edit]

The album received very negative reviews upon its release, with Allmusic's Mark Deming calling it a "forgettable, slick and glossy product with all human surfaces stripped away". According to a 2005 interview with Devo guitarist Bob Mothersbaugh, "Mark and Jerry kept saying in interviews that the guitar was obsolete and wanted to prove it with the Shout album."[2] In a 2007 interview with Billboard magazine, Devo bassist and co-songwriter Gerald Casale said the Shout album was the biggest regret of his career, "because the Fairlight [synthesizer] just kind of took over everything on that record. I mean, I loved the songwriting and the ideas, but the Fairlight kind of really determined the sound." [3]

Promotional music video[edit]

A lavish video for "Are You Experienced?" was produced by the band in conjunction with Ivan Stang of the Church of the SubGenius. The video includes Devo as floating blobs of wax in a lava lamp and Jimi Hendrix (played by famous Hendrix impersonator Randy Hansen) stepping out of his coffin to play a guitar solo. Despite being one of Devo's most visually complex and expensive music videos, it wasn't included on the 2003 DVD music video collection The Complete Truth About De-Evolution (although it had been included on the Laserdisc of the same name issued in 1993). In an interview with Jerry Casale for Earcandymag.com,[4] he explained:

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. The only songs performed live from the album are the title track, as part of the "Somewhere With Devo" suite from 1988 to 1991, and a one-off performance of "Here to Go" in 1991.[5] Devo had apparently planned a tour show with a video projection backdrop, similar to the Oh, No! It's Devo tour of 1982.

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

CD releases[edit]

  • In 1997, Shout was digitally remastered and reissued on CD by Infinite Zero Archive/American Recordings and included the following bonus tracks:
  1. "Growing Pains" – 3:45
  2. "Shout (E-Z Listening Muzak Version 1)" – 4:12

"Growing Pains" was previously released as the b-side to the "Are You Experienced?" single.
"Shout (E-Z Listening Muzak Version 1)" was previously released on the E-Z Listening Cassette, Volume 2.

  • In 2004, Collectables Records re-released Shout with no 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 pressings.
  • In 2008, the album was remastered again and released as part of the box set This is the Devo Box in Japan.

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]