Devo: Dev-o Live

Devo: Dev-o Live

Devo: Dev-o Live

Label: Rhino Handmade
Release Date: 1999
Recording Date: 1980
Review Date: 2000

Rhino Handmade specializes in limited edition releases that are only available from their web site. To say that their selection is diverse would be a bit of an understatement, it ranges from the Stooges to Sonny Bono. Once a selection sells out, it’s gone, well at least from this label. This was my second purchase from Rhino Handmade, both with mixed results. This particular release is a re-issue of a re-issue. Shortly after Freedom of Choice came out, Warner Brothers pressed a promotional only copy of live tracks originally recorded for broadcast on the King Biscuit Flower Hour. At the time, Devo was riding a tidal wave of popularity from the hit “Whip It”. Warner Brothers decided to release 6 re-sequenced tracks as a mini ep, packaged in a clear sleeve. Dev-o Live encompasses both of these releases – sort of. There was some re-editing to remove the gap between album sides, and 15 seconds of an anouncers voice has been removed. This choice is odd. Why go through the trouble of releasing both sequences of essentially the same material for the sake of completeness and then change the remaining recordings so that they no longer match the original? Is it worth the $19.99 (plus shipping)? That depends on how rabid a fan you are. The 6 track mini ep is available as a double CD teamed up with the incomparable Are We Not Men? $20 bucks gets you a clear sleeve packing an “8 page booklet” which is really just a two sided page folded into quarters. These pages contain the cover image, one photgraph re-worked twice, the track listings, a brief history and explanation of the releases, and scans of the original releases. Well. that and 10 extra tracks. One good thing about Rhino Handmade is that they offer partial downloads of most if not all of the tracks on their releases. That way you know what you’re getting into before you buy. If you’re not anal retentive, and really just interested in the music, search out the English import from Virgin Records. They’ve also got double releases with Oh No It’s Devo with Freedom of Choice and Duty Now for the Future with New Traditionalists. They might cost more, but you’ll get twice the music. As for the recordings themselves, it’s standard live music fare. Since it was origanlly recorded for FM radio broadcast and not just a bootleg, the quality is good, but sometimes the performance is a bit sterile. If you’ve devolved, It’s the kind of thing you’ll want to hear, but not likely very often.

Dev-o Live: B-

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