Judge Brett Cullum is through being cool and must whip it, but he can't get no satisfaction!
Are we not men? We are DEVO!
DEVO was founded around 1972 in the unlikely state of Ohio. The classic lineup of the band included two sets of brothers, the Mothersbaughs (Mark and Bob) and the Casales (Gerald and Bob), along with Alan Myers. They were geeks making rock music, and they ushered in the electronic-driven sound of the New Wave. 1980's "Whip It" was their biggest hit, but DEVO had a devoted following that has let them make music for over four decades. The name came from an idea that mankind is "de-evolving," and rather than progressing falling apart in an apocalyptic mass of bad behavior. When a problem comes along, you must whip it!
Devo: The Complete Truth release has been out in a couple of forms including one by Rhino video in the mid-2000s. This is an MVD edition, and it has some differences which I will try to illuminate for you. First up, the quality of the video seems rougher around the edges as if this DVD was mastered from a little less pristine source. For the most part that is not a deal-breaking problem when you consider DEVO was largely a band of note during the early days of MTV and pioneers of the low-tech video look. Still, colors suffer a bit, and detail is not as high. The sound is clear enough with stereo working well without any hiss or distortion.
Most every video DEVO made is here in the correct full-screen ratio. There are still title cards and sometimes abrupt endings, but on the whole this is certainly better than scrounging through YouTube in hopes of getting a good quality upload. Fans had a beef with Rhino not including a couple of songs, and here we get one and not the other. MVD does include the missing video for "Theme from Doctor Detroit," but "Are You Experienced?" remains missing from the catalog, thanks to a legal battle with the Jimi Hendrix estate.
Extras are plentiful! More footage of the primitive live early gigs are here, so that's a nice touch that should make fans happy. There is the commentary with Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale which was recorded a long while ago, but they offer a great oral history of the band and it's truly invaluable for fans who want their DEVO mythology straight from the source.
There are also these features:
DEVO doesn't have all surviving original members, but it still has a tight core. In 2014 we lost Bob Casale, and in 2013 Alan Myers died of stomach cancer. Right now we only have Mark Mothersbaugh, Bob Mothersbaugh, and Gerald Casale to carry on the de-evolution message, but I bet they'll find a way to soldier on. This compilation captures the band at their most glorious, when DEVO were kings of the wild frontier of music videos and the New Wave movement. Devo: The Complete Truth About De-Evolution is a DVD every fan should own as a chronicle and testament to the enduring legacy of these college kids from Ohio who threw down the cool gauntlet once and for all. Freedom of choice is what you want!
A great record of a great band doing great things! It's a beautiful world we
live in! It's a beautiful not guilty verdict!
Give us your feedback!
What's "fair"? Whether positive or negative, our reviews should be unbiased, informative, and critique the material on its own merits.
Other Reviews You Might Enjoy
Scales of Justice
Studio: MVD Visual
• Live Footage
Review content copyright © 2014 Brett Cullum; Site design and review layout copyright © 2014 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.