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Rock - Released January 1, 1993 | Virgin Records

Hot Potatoes is the best available single-disc overview of Devo's career, hitting nearly all of the most significant moments from their first five albums, as well as including the non-LP singles "Be Stiff" and "Working in a Coalmine." "Whip It" and "Freedom of Choice" are here, of course, as are cult favorites "Jocko Homo," "Mongoloid," "Satisfaction (I Can't Get Me No)," plus many more. However, even if it's the best available, it isn't that widely available in the U.S.; plus, Devo's first three albums in particular all have at least a few fine songs that aren't included here. But if you only want one disc and don't mind hunting a bit, Hot Potatoes: The Best of Devo is superior to the American Greatest Hits, which for some reason does not feature "Mongoloid," one of the most obvious choices for a Devo hits collection. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1981 | Virgin Records

Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo/Devo Live combines the group's first album plus their 1981 concert album on one compact disc, making it a good bargain for serious fans. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1993 | Virgin Records

Virgin combined two of Devo's early-'80s albums, Oh, No! It's Devo and Freedom of Choice, on one disc. Freedom of Choice, arguably Devo's strongest musical effort, revolves around relationships, insecurity, and the lack of flexibility in the American psyche. Their arrangements achieve an effective balance between guitars and synths, and the band's highly stylized visual component, this time featuring flowerpot-shaped "energy dome" hats, paid off in the video for "Whip It." The single went gold and helped the album sell over a million copies. Just barely less essential than Q: Are We Not Men?. However, by the point of 1982's Oh, No! It's Devo, much of the band's endearing quirkiness had evaporated. Their sound here was not all that distinguishable from other new wave groups, and apart from a few songs, such as "That's Good" and "Peek-a-Boo," they simply weren't as musically or lyrically interesting as before. Incredibly, it seemed that Devo had not only lost their focus, but were out of ideas as well. Subsequent releases would only confirm this assessment. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1993 | Virgin Records

Virgin combined two of Devo's early albums, Duty Now for the Future and New Tradtionalists, on one disc in 1994. Most of the aural weirdness on Duty Now for the Future comes from the band's experiments with homemade synthesizer technology. As a result, both the guitars and jerky rhythms play a lesser role in their sound. Although it isn't quite as interesting, it's still appropriately strange, and Devo still doesn't sound quite like anyone else. Duty is loosely structured around the theme of everyday corporate drudgery and its effects on individuals. Pegged as a novelty act after the mainstream success of "Whip It" and "Freedom of Choice," Devo apparently decided to emphasize their underlying ideas about American culture as an antidote. From the opening statement of purpose, "Through Being Cool," New Traditionalists presents those views in a more straightforward way, with the unfortunate result that Devo is not nearly as absurdly amusing or interesting. The band often comes off as heavy-handed (pointing out on the otherwise terrific "Beautiful World" that the lyrics are intended to be ironic, just in case you didn't get the rather obvious point), as though they want to make Serious Artistic Statements -- but this isn't how Devo's best music works. Furthermore, the band's tendencies toward minimalistic, synth-centered arrangements and melodic deficiencies are much more pronounced here, making the music itself less interesting. New Traditionalists does have some very worthwhile moments, but it is disappointing, and it marks the beginning of the band's decline. © Steve Huey /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 24, 2015 | MVD AUDIO

In order to honor their "fallen comrade," their late guitarist and family member Robert "Bob 2" Casale, veteran new wave band Devo hit the road in 2014 playing music from their formative years. Nothing written outside 1974-1977 was allowed into the set list, but as this live document -- captured at the Fox Theater in Oakland California -- displays, the band don't limit themselves to "period instruments" or the clunkiness heard on the archival studio sets Hardcore Devo, Vol. 1 and 2. Instead, forgotten favorites like "Midget," "Baby Talkin' Bitches," and "Stop Look and Listen" come with a punch that reflects the current gear and a sharpness that comes from a veteran band. Mixed in are early numbers that later became standards ("Satisfaction," "Uncontrollable Urge," and "Jocko Homo") plus others that became B-sides or otherwise deep cuts ("Soo Bawls," "Be Stiff," and "Clockout"). © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Punk / New Wave - Released October 23, 2015 | Virgin

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 11, 2010 | Warner Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 11, 2010 | Warner Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 22, 1996 | Warner Records

Shout was Devo's sixth studio album, and the last they would record before a five-year layoff, and while it's pure speculation if the making of this disc had anything to do with that decision, from a creative standpoint this represents the low point of the group's first era. While the herky-jerky push-and-pull between homemade electronics and cheap guitars was a large part of what made Devo's first few albums so exciting, Shout is so slick and glossy one could fry an egg on its surfaces, and that isn't a good thing -- with the exception of "Puppet Boy" and "Please Please," this music is carefully processed synth pop with all human surfaces stripped away, and possessing no more personality or edge than what Howard Jones or Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark were doing around the same time (and, for that matter, with far less vision or daring than what Prince was starting to do with electronics). It might have helped if the group had come up with a batch of interesting songs, but that sure wasn't the case, and it's hard to believe that Shout was made by the same people who wrote "Girl U Want," "Gates of Steel" or "Big Mess" just a few years earlier. By a slim margin over such post-comeback misfires as Total Devo and Smooth Noodle Maps (which at least have a dash more enthusiasm going for them), Shout holds the distinction of being Devo's worst album. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 12, 2021 | MVD AUDIO

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Rock - Released February 9, 2018 | Funky Si

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Pop - Released November 5, 2019 | BBM

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Alternative & Indie - Released April 22, 2011 | Warner Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released June 14, 2010 | Warner Records

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Punk / New Wave - Released April 16, 2020 | Cult Legends

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Rock - Released February 9, 2018 | Funky Si

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Rock - Released April 27, 2020 | SHOCKWAVES

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Rock - Released April 8, 2019 | Firefly

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Electronic - Released August 14, 2020 | Blue Cactus

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 25, 2015 | FMIC