Smooth Noodle Maps

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Smooth Noodle Maps
Smoothnoodlemaps.jpg
Studio album by Devo
Released June 1990
Recorded October 1989-January 1990
Genre Synthpop
Length 34:28
Label Enigma, Restless
Producer Devo
Devo chronology
Now It Can Be Told: DEVO at the Palace
(1989)
Smooth Noodle Maps
(1990)
Devo's Greatest Hits
(1990)
Singles from Smooth Noodle Maps
  1. "Post Post-Modern Man"
    Released: October 1990
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars link
Robert Christgau (dud)[1]

Smooth Noodle Maps, released in 1990, is the eighth studio album by American new wave band Devo. It was Devo's last full-length studio album until the release of Something for Everybody in 2010, as well as the last Devo studio album to feature David Kendrick on drums.

The album title refers to a kind of discrete mathematical system—a noodle map—which may exhibit chaotic behavior, similar to the standard map. The adjective smooth refers to the lack of kinks or discontinuities. This is referenced in the song "Devo Has Feelings Too," which include the lyric "snake through the chaos with a smooth noodle map."

The front cover of the record (and the fold-out of the CD version) featured the members of the band emerging from a strange circle. The liner notes from the "Post Post-Modern Man" single revealed that the circle is actually a computer simulation of the planet Jupiter. This image of Jupiter was provided by Philip Marcus and Nicholas Socci.

The album includes a cover of the early 1960s song "(Walk Me Out in the) Morning Dew," transformed into a dance song.

Promotional music video[edit]

Two videos was made for the album's first and only single, "Post Post-Modern Man." The first, which was directed by Devo bassist and co-songwriter Jerry Casale and was never officially released, saw the band driving a Lincoln Town Car along the desolate interstate 10 in Southern California. According to Casale, when the finished video was delivered to Enigma Records, they demanded the video include March 1990's Playboy Playmate of the Month, Deborah Driggs, in order to make it more marketable. After acquiescing to Enigma's demands, MTV then rejected the video because it used the Macro Post Modern Mix instead of the "college alternative track" they wanted to market, as featured on the original album. This resulted in a second video directed by Rocky Schenck which featured Devo in a spoof of Home Shopping Network, selling various Devo-related merchandise.[2]

Reception[edit]

Critical reviews were similar to their previous album, with many reviewers pointing out that "There's nothing new here, just a rewritten regurgitation of their mid-80s work", though the single "Post Post-Modern Man" received some praise. This album as well as its only single hold the distinction of being Devo's worst selling efforts, with both failing to chart on the U.S. charts.

Tour[edit]

Like the Total Devo tour before it, the Smooth Noodle Maps tour saw Devo scaling things back and presenting a very basic set with no complex visuals. The band wore plain white Tyvek shirts and shorts with the Jupiter image from Smooth Noodle Maps on the left breast of the shirt. As in earlier tours, Devo removed their shirts later in the set to reveal solid black t-shirts emblazoned with the band name on the front.[3]

Due to poor ticket sales, the Smooth Noodle Maps tour had to be cancelled part way through. The final concert of the tour took place at Perkins Palace in Pasadena, California on March 23rd, 1991. This gig also saw Devo don their multi-colored leisure suits (as seen in the artwork for the album) as well as red pompadours for the encore.[4] Devo would not perform again until a reunion gig at the Sundance Festival of 1996.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald V. Casale unless otherwise indicated.

  1. "Stuck in a Loop" – 3:52
  2. "Post Post-Modern Man" – 2:55
  3. "When We Do It" – 2:57
  4. "Spin the Wheel" – 3:46
  5. "Morning Dew" (Bonnie Dobson, Tim Rose) – 3:01
  6. "A Change Is Gonna Cum" – 3:10
  7. "The Big Picture" – 2:45
  8. "Pink Jazz Trancers" – 3:13
  9. "Jimmy" – 2:51
  10. "Devo Has Feelings Too" – 2:40
  11. "Dawghaus" – 3:23

CD releases[edit]

  • In 1994, Restless Records reissued the album on CD with the following bonus tracks:
  1. "Post Post-Modern Man (Macro Post Modern Mix)" – 3:21
  2. "Post Post-Modern Man (Neo Post Modern Mix)" – 6:43
  3. "Post Post-Modern Man (Ultra Post Modern Mix)" – 6:14

Note: The "Post Post-Modern Man" mixes contain samples of "It's More Fun to Compute" by Kraftwerk.

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Devo". Robert Christgau. 
  2. ^ Devo (2003). The Complete Truth About De-evolution (DVD). Rhino Home Video. 
  3. ^ DEVO 1990 snm tour uk PART1
  4. ^ DEVO - Perkins Palace, Pasadena, California - March 23rd, 1991