Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Devo - The Complete Truth About De-Evolution|
Actors: Devo, Mark Mothersbaugh
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Studio: Wea-des Moines Video Release Date: 10/28/2003
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What is wrong with Rhino Home Video?
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Leave it to Rhino Home Video to get their hands on great material, and somehow manage to put out a lousy dvd. Annoying, cheap menu items pop up between each video. Some of the videos are cut short (WHY?) freeze framing or adding a cheap video effect a moment or two before they're supposed to end. They are not presented chonologically. The flow is further disrupted by inserted snips of DEVO's ad's for pioneer laser disc players. Intro's to some of the videos which originally appeared in "We're all Devo" are hacked off, and buried in a hard to navigate "extra features" section, while others are not (WHY?). The video transfers appear in many places to be from grainy VHS, complete with drop outs, and bad sound. Further, it is not "complete". Where are the skits from "Men Who Make the Music"? Where is "Dr. Detroit" and "Are You Experienced"? Huh?This is the third Rhino DVD I've bought each time I've been amazed how an otherwise quality company falls down so hard when it comes to video.On the plus side, unless you already most of the stuff here, and don't want to hunt around on ebay for "We're All Devo" and "The Men Who Make the Music", and you're a Devo fan, you'll want to buy this DVD. And even if you have those, there are several interesting bonus items that justify the meager price. But why Rhino does such a horrible job putting it all together is beyond me."
Now it can be shown.
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 01/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Well, almost. I consider "We're All Devo" to be essential to any musicologist who really wants to know how video evolved from quirky and fun experiments into the MTV Record company commercials for bands (and eventually into 30 minute infomercials for personalities that may or may not have anything to do with music). Problem is, this being a straight transfer of the old Pioneer laser Disc - complete with uncomfortable shilling from our spudboys - it has a rather incomplete feeling to it. I'd still call it a dream for devotees, but I was hoping for so much more. On the plus side, hearing the commentary for the tracks is good fun, and reading Mark and Gerald's blurbs about how record companies consistently stuck their fingers in stupid places while spinning their heads in others is hilarious (the turmoil surrounding the first album cover in particular) and make this worth having. "Beautiful World," quite possibly the best video EVER made, is here. It's also nice to have the sound upgraded to DVD status. What we really need next is "We're All Devo" represented on DVD, along with "The Men Who Make The Music" and those nads at the Hendrix estate to open the vault on "Are You Experienced?"Also recommended (if anyone of resposibility is reading) for further releases would be the Saturday Night Live appearance, the TV show "Fridays" where the band helps in a skit before playing "Uncontrollable Urge," the TV commercial for Honda Scooters, "That's Good" performed on "Square Pegs" and, if it was video taped, the legendary Trouser Press magazine interview where Mark and Gerald sat down to chat with William Burroughs. I'm already drooling at the prospects.5 stars for the classic videos
3 stars for the final presentation and omissions"
Praise the Lord for plastic!!!
Tomorryo | Southwest USA | 07/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
Yes, I said it: praise the Lord for plastic!!! Because without plastic, DVDs would not exist, and I would not have been able to view this hilarious and delightful compilation of videos. Can you guess yet that I really liked it? Yes it's missing "Are U Experienced," bla bla bla, wah wah wah. However, I'm going to concentrate on what it IS, not what it ISN'T...
For someone who doesn't understand that Devo were/are a bit kooky (to say the least), or who can't come to terms with this fact, some of these videos may seem like a flaming freak show. If you watch it with the Mark/Gerry commentary turned on, you'll find out they put everything in the videos for a reason, and indeed were never on drugs as one would be led to believe. I'll include some details below - if you want to be surprised when you watch the DVD, DON'T read on, because I'm going to be revealing stuff about each video!
1. Devo Corporate Anthem: This is HILARIOUS!!! It's Mark, Gerry, Bob 1, Bob 2, and Alan standing in formation in futuristic sunglasses looking off into the distance. Partway through, they all simultaneously put their hands up and salute, then stand this way for the rest of the video. It's completely instrumental, and the guys look very sweaty, but someone off-camera very kindly apparently turns a fan on high and points it at them. 7/10
2. In the Beginning Was the End - The Truth About De-evolution: This is a film the guys filmed way back, partly at Kent State, and contains two songs: Secret Agent Man (with Bob 1 on vocals) and Jocko Homo. Secret Agent Man is stricly a performance on a stage, seasoned with the usual Devo freakiness via transparent plastic masks on all the guys except Mark, who is frenetically playing the keyboards as Booji Boy. Jocko Homo is a classic, and features Mark lecturing/singing to a class of medical students about Devo's philosophy of life. This one also features Alan, Jerry, and the Bobs in crazy sunglasses with panty hose over their heads singing the refrain of "We ARE Dev-O!" Absolutely HILARIOUS. Watch for Mark and Bob 1's dad near the beginning of this one as a military general! At the end, there are even credits from the original cut of the film, then a brief slow-motion snippet of a shirtless Mark having the Booji Boy mask ripped off while tied to a chair and threatened with a knife. In summary, this one has it all: freakiness, great music, and a hairless, pasty nerd-chest. 9/10
3. Satisfaction: Sit down for this one!!! It's a total classic, featuring a performance in the legendary yellow jumpsuits, more of the Mothersbaughs' dad, and a HILARIOUS guy that shakes, does somersaults, and throws himself on the ground. 10/10
4. Come Back Jonee: This was the first video Devo did in Los Angeles, so they thought it would be appropriate to adopt a cowboy motif. It features elderly drunk-tank cowboys who enjoy bowling, a VERY hyper Bob 1 on guitar, and perhaps the first videotaped incident of stage-diving by Mark. And of course, the whole band is in complete cowboy regalia. 8/10
5. The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprise: This video isn't fantastic, but I just love the song so much I can't mark it down! The band performs and plays with Bob 1's real-life child. 8/10
6. Worried Man: THIS ONE IS AWESOME!!! It's from Neil Young's movie "Human Highway," so it was shot in 35 millimeter and has AWESOME picture quality. The guys play 1950s radioactive waste-workers, and Mark doubles as Booji Boy, and the six of them drive around in a vintage truck with some barrels of radioactive waste. Watch for a HILARIOUS moment I noticed - Gerry and Mark are in the cab of the truck, and the Bobs, Alan, and Booji Boy are in the bed of the truck... Near the middle of the song, Mark leans out of the cab and sings back to the other guys for a few seconds. Then if you watch really carefully, you can see Bob 2 spit his gum onto Mark's face, and a bunch of them start laughing before the cut to the next shot about a second later. 10/10!!!
7. Whip It: Nearly everybody on the planet has seen this one, so I won't go into detail! 10/10
8. Girl U Want: This one unfortunately was shot on video and has deteriorated to the point where the color of the picture has an extreme bluish tinge, making reddish items (including the energy domes and everybody's faces) appear purple-ish. It features the band performing for a crowd of cheering teenage girls, many of whom have a slightly-mutated look to them (I'm sure this was on purpose). There's one in particular that has a few close-ups who is slightly cross-eyed and has gigantic teeth - I give it an extra point just her! Overall, it's pretty good. 8/10
9. Freedom of Choice: Out of all the "older" videos, this is possibly the crappiest. It's pretty much just the band acting out all the lyrics, dressed up as gladiators, Mark as a dog, etc. 6/10
10. Through Being Cool: This features New-Traditionalist-uniformed Devo members (complete with plastic hair-hats) distributing laser-tag-looking weapons to a group of kids informally called the "Smart Patrol." The Smart Patrol then goes out and disintegrates icons of Devo-lution like cheesy nightclub guys and yuppies in track suits. Heh heh. There's also some old-school hip hop dancing by the kids. 9/10
11. Love Without Anger: THIS ONE IS AWESOME!!!!! The first time you watch it, it might REALLY freak you out, but just keep watching until the whole thing sinks in. It mainly features two people in hen and rooster outfits (spandex and Latex mask-helmets) fighting and generally acting out the spirit of the lyrics. There are retro 1950s-ish snippets of Mark, Gerry, the Bobs, and Alan standing in V-formation singing the chorus with "hymnals" featuring a fighting couple on the cover. It also features a 30-second or so stop-action film of Barbie and Ken having a marital spat. Probably my favorite part of the entire video is during one of the "clap-clap" sounds mid-verse - we see the hen's feet from behind (in high heels of course), and an egg drops and smashes open perfectly synchronized to each clapping noise. Overall, it's semi-disturbing, but adorable and hilarious at the same time! 10/10
12. Beautiful World: Most people have seen this one too - retro and disturbing film / performace clips interspersed with Gerry singing propaganda-style and Booji Boy controlling / losing control of the whole thing. 10/10
13. Time Out for Fun: Extremely adorable, and a great message. Starts out with the band as spud-boys while Mark does the "Hello! We are .. Dev-O" intro, then goes into a stage performace in front of a movie screen. Mark (with newly permed bangs) croons Sinatra-style into his microphone, Bob 1 makes the most hilarious constipated-looking faces during his guitar solos, and Gerry ROCKS his key-tar! 9/10
14. Peek-A-Boo: Personally, I love this one. It starts out with clips of a very suave Mark in a smoking jacket, ascot, and John Waters-style mustache, then goes to an extremely freaky close-up of him sans-mustache, lit from below, yelling "PEEK-A-BOOOOOO!" in a highly exaggerated way. It then evolves to another stage performance in front of a movie screen. In this one, the screen features some pretty freaky images... And Gerry once again rocks with his guitar-like item, but is WAY outdone by headbanging Bob 2 absolutely burning up the stage with his GIANT key-tar. Be sure to listen to the commentary track on this one - Mark tells a story of how this song saved a lady's life once! 9/10
15. That's Good: Another stage performance in front of a movie screen. Bob 2 is once again rocking his giant key-tar, and Mark's bangs seem to have calmed down a bit. Warning - this one has images that go beyond the realm of "suggestive" - think of the cartoon in Pink Floyd's "The Wall"... Overall, another high-energy performance, but mostly based on graphics and the message of the song. Listen to the commentary track for some great words of wisdom from Mark during this one! 6/10
16. Disco Dancer: I'm not sure if this one was meant as a parody of Duran Duran or not, but I sure hope so... 6/10
17. Post Post-Modern Man: A little sad - the band is a bit older in this one, and the obviously low budget and effort level signify the disrespect they were receiving from their record company. 4/10
18. Post Post-Modern Man (Rocky Schenck remix): Possibly even sadder - it features the band "selling" props from past videos via a QVC-like entity. 3/10
In the extra features section, the videos of (and stories behind) Devo's early live performances are AWESOME! And the "Are U Experienced?" video isn't THAT great to begin with (though the song is of course wonderful!), so overall, this is a highly enjoyable DVD, and is packed full of images, messages and general kinds of entertainment you ~absolutely~ can't find anywhere else! Yes, if you want to nitpick, there are more things they COULD have included, but there's already so much on here, it's more than was even necessary. I highly recommend this DVD!!!!!
Not Quite Complete, but Still Essential
Richard J. Anderson | 09/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"DEVO, pioneers (who got scalped) of the Music Video. They may not have been the first - such claims going alternately to Bob Dylan or The Residents, but they were one of the most influential and iconic. How many people still recognize those red hats from the "Whip It" video? (Oh, and they're actually called "Energy Domes")
This DVD is a chronological look at DEVO's videos, and an almost complete look at their major filmography. It's also an almost complete rip of the ancient Complete Truth About De-Evolution Laserdisc. I have to emphasize the "almost" here, because that's what it is. First off, it's missing the amusing promo video for DEVO's "Theme from Doctor Detroit." Okay, that's not exactly their most memorable video, but it's still pretty durn amusing. It can be found on the We're All DEVO! VHS, but who the hell watches VHS tapes these days?
It's also missing, however, DEVO's landmark 1984 video for "R U Experienced?" Not only is it one of only two DEVO videos to be done in 35mm, and the first music video to use computer morphing - it's an incredible cover to boot. Sadly, the Hendrix estate denied DEVO rights to use the video for unknown reasons, and it has been slashed from the disc. The listing for the video in the DVD credits even has a big red "X" over it to drive the point home. A shame. To make up for it, somehow, Rhino tacked on the film-collage video for "Mongoloid" made by Bruce Connor. Essential viewing.
The DVD has bonus features out the wazoo, too. There's live footage from 1973(!), 1977, and 1980 (at the M-80 Festival as DOVE). There's audio commentary for all the videos, and bits from a promotional video DEVO made to promote Laserdiscs. There's an interview with Chuck Staler There's photo galleries, and excerpts from "My Struggle..."
Okay, here's the second big problem, aside from the missing videos. Whoever was responsible for converting the galleries was very sloppy. Instead of being able to step through each image, as on the original laserdisc, you have to PAUSE the DVD and use the "next frame" button to move through. Frustrating. Here's what it's like:
3...2...1... *pause* Damn, missed some images. *rewind, try again, and again* Got it! *press next frame* Same image. *press next frame several times* Oh! There's the next one.
Yeah, it's frustrating, but even if you ignore the galleries and missing videos, this is STILL essential. Where else are you going to get most of DEVO's major videos in one place? Not MTV, or even VH1, these days. This is the only way, flawed as it is, so get it."