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Freedom of Choice

Devo Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 44.73 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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"Thirty years ago, people said that we were cynical, that we had a bad attitude," says Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh. "But now, when you ask people if de-evolution is real, they understand that there was something to what we were saying. It’s not the kind of thing you want to see proven right, but it does make it easier to talk about."

"The world is in sync ... Read more in Amazon's Devo Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Aug 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B001AIRW2K
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 569,467 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New decade, new DEVO 31 July 2012
By Tim
Format:Audio CD
This is the album that secured DEVO's place in mainstream US culture in the 1980s. Their 'energy dome' headgear has been an enduring image of the decade and remains part of their regular stage costumes to the present day. The single - Whip It is easily their most famous song in America (not so much here in the UK) and along with it's accompanying video, is what most people associate with DEVO. The rest of the album is solid and contains many other new wave favourites such as Girl U Want and the awesome title track. The sound is slightly more commercial than previous albums and it's considerably more upbeat than the dark Duty Now For The Future. A great place to start.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Girl U Want...... 13 Sep 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Brilliant stuff !!! Sounds crisp and clear. Remastering really helps.
Tons of their good stuff, sounds so fresh. Feet-tapping, high-kickin heaven.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  54 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The quintessential Devo 27 Aug 2002
By Michael G. Hannaford - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Twenty years after I first heard it, this album still makes its way into regular rotation on my stereo. This is a collection of brilliant songs recorded at the peak of Devo's career; compositionally superb, lyrically eloquent, catchy and singable. And it rocks - albeit in a robotic, highly quantized way.
Even setting aside the radio hit ("Whip It," as if you didn't know), the album has so many of my favorite Devo songs: Girl U Want, Freedom of Choice, Gates of Steel, Ton O Luv, the weirdly touching Snowball... there's not a bad song on there.
What makes this album so perfect is that it keeps the weirdness and edginess of their previous albums, but adds in a few shades of pop. Regrettably, this mixture only succeeded for one more album (New Traditionalists) before they started leaning too far to the pop side of the fence. I think by the time the album "Shout" was released they had thrown away their guitars completely, which made me sad. Also, some of my favorite songs were written by Jerry Casale, whose compositions are notably absent from later Devo albums. I've always wondered about that.
The original LP also had the most hilarious (or was it serious?) record sleeve - a catalog of the oddest Devo products imaginable. To this day I regret not ordering the leisure suit.
I hear people compare this band with other supposed "new wave" bands, whatever that means. Two comparisons work for me - Oingo Boingo and Talking Heads. If you like them, you will most definitely like this.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Not Right 12 Feb 2010
By SpudOz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
As with my review of the remastered Q. Are We Not Men? We. Are Devo!, it is rather ironic that the last of Devo's albums to be remastered for CD are their two most iconic albums: the grand statement of De-evolution with Q. Are We Not Men? A. We Are DEVO! and the commercial breakthrough, Freedom of Choice. Nearly fifteen years after Henry Rollins first began releasing the remasters of the remainder of Devo's WB catalogue on his Infinite Zero label, WB have finally gotten around around to remastering these groundbreaking albums.

Hallelujah, Freedom Of Choice has been remastered for CD. You can actually hear bass on the CD of this reissue and the remastering reveals so much more detail and clarity. Instrumentation sounds much more open and not the muddy mess evident on the previous CD release of this abum. It's as if a wet blanket has been lifted off your speakers. However, as with Q?A!, the remastering process has not entirely corrected everything and has even introduced a few glitches of its own.

Again, in going back to the "original analog recording tapes", all of the artifacts of 30 years of analog tape storage have once again come to the fore. There are numerous tape print through (ghosting) artifacts that detract from the overall enjoyment of this album. The worst examples of these is the end of Girl U Want where there is a persistent echo of "She's just a girl, she's just a girl" as well as a pre-echo of the bass intro to It's Not Right. Ditto between Mr. B's Ballroom and Planet Earth where there is a post echo on the former and a pre-echo on the latter. None of these artifacts were on any previous vinyl or CD release of this album. Hello remastering engineer, did you actually listen to this before signing it off? It's Not Right. Every one of these glitches should have been removed during the remastering process.

As for Deluxe, I don't think so. Maybe WB should've passed this one over to Rhino as well for the Deluxe treatment. Tacking the Dev-O Live EP onto the end of the album as Deluxe bonus material is plain lazy. For a format that can hold up to 80 minutes of content, this "Deluxe" disc still clocks in at just over 50 minutes. Where is the bonus material/disc of B-sides, demos and other oddities? Where is Turn Around (you know, the song covered by Nirvana) and the remix of Snowball that were also recorded during these album sessions? Where are the demos recorded during the FOC writing process that didn't appear on the Rhino Handmade Recombo DNA set: Red Shark (that became It's Not Right), Ton O' Luv, Freedom Of Choice and Don't You Know? What about Fountain of Filth that was recorded numerous times during the demo sessions? Or how about a DVD with the live TV appearances on Fridays or Don Kirshner's Rock Concert? And not a liner note in sight. As with Q?A!, this reissue offered a golden opportunity to release a Deluxe version of this iconic album by an iconic band that has been lost.

Devo truly were Pioneers That Got Scalped and now us long denied fans have been scalped as well. Hopefully the forthcoming Devo reissues from WB will have a bit more effort put into them in terms of both remastering of the audio and bonus materials.

I'm giving this five stars for simply because of the iconic nature of this album. If I could break it down between rating the audio quality, the bonus materials and the remastering the individual ratings for these categories would be a lot less.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a man is real, not made of steel! 12 Jun 2000
By Funkmeister G - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This album very much signalled the start of the 80s. This contains their 3 biggest hits, Girl U Want [covered by a million bands], the immortal Whip It & Freedom Of Choice itself, about the dilemma of modern society obsessed w/ consumerism & all the choices available that the drones want the decisions made for them, not forgetting that it rocks like hell. Other highlights include Gates of Steel, Planet Earth, Cold War ["so we are told that all is fair in love & war, so what's life for, the endless tug of war"]. Kurt Cobain had said that Devo were the most subversive of all the punk era bands that became pop stars. The thing that's great about Freedom of Choice is that it's not even their best album, their debut Are We Not Men? is so fundamentally excellent but FOC is extremely important to global consciousness nevertheless [ooh big words]. I think they liked toying w/ the minds of MTV viewers & K-mart shoppers by appearing to be so plastic & disposable whilst really being quite intellectual [I think maybe they took Zappa's Plastic people to its illogical conclusion "you think we're singing about someone else?"]. Buy it or don't, use yr freedom of choice... [that has to be 1 of the best album titles of all time along w/ Confusion Is Sex & Safe As Milk]...
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic remaster - and HDCD too! 11 Nov 2009
By Carl F. Green - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The only version I had ever heard of this album was the original CD release from the late 80's. I never owned the vinyl on this one. Well, I can tell you, if you have that old CD release, this new mastering is definitely worth the price. It's almost like hearing a completely different mix. Incredible improvement compared to the original CD release. And as a nice bonus for those of us that have CD players with HDCD decoding, the CD is encoded with HDCD (though this is not indicated anywhere on the packaging). Frankly, this was never one of my favorite DEVO albums, but I think now it was because the CD sounded so dull and lifeless, almost like I had cotton stuffed in my ears. With the way the new mastering sounds, this just might become my favorite DEVO album. One quibble: I wish they had included "Turn Around", which was the B-side on the "Whip It" 45 single.
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Q: Are These Not Flower Pots? A: They Are Energy Domes! 11 Jan 2005
By Interplanetary Funksmanship - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Something you'll know if you're in the know about Devo. The spudboys from Akron, O-hi-o were music's inside joke for their useable shelf life: A musical act, predicated on the premise of de-evolution, which surely and steadily devolves into a corporate computer and synth outfit.

I can't tell you how many times I heard that "Devo sold out!" Well, the joke's on you, because that is what Devo was all about: Selling out! Why do you think they went to great lengths to create the cheesy Rod Rooter and insert him in their videos as a stand-in for the hack producers who were forced upon them?

Devo was all about packaging and marketing. Is it any wonder that twenty years later, Target uses "Beautiful World" to sell consumer America on their idea of a beautiful world, a cold and grinch-like place in which Salvation Army bellringers are sent back to their slums, out of sight of Target's newly upscale clientele?

But, I digress.

Devo started dropping little "Paul Is Dead" style hints about their parodies of corporate music in their second album, "Duty Now for the Future," which indeed begins with the highly official and authoritarian "Devo Corporate Anthem." Spreading their (Mr.) DNA by means of the Smart Patrol, Devo infected America's ears with the seminal fluid of a one-size-fits-all prefabricated world. Flying beneath the radar, it was a Triumph of the Will on their part.

Which brings us at long last to this album, whose signature marketing gimmick was the vacu-plastic Energy Dome (or, red flower pots, to the uninitiated); an Energy Dome hat pin was available to students on a budget, or fair-weather spuds. Again, my punker friends told me "Devo is selling out!" They entirely missed the send-up of tie-in marketing the pop music had foisted on them for generations. Devo's yellow suits (official nomenclature: Anti-Human-Element suits), Duty Now atomic symbol student-T's, plastic pompadours, maxi speak-no-evil-turtlenecks, spudring collars and Chinese-American friendship pins were all Devo's antisceptic answers to the Monkees' lunchbox, Partridge Family shopping bags, the Jackson-5ive cartoons and Beatles coloring books.

"Freedom of Choice" is Devo's hallmark of artistic fame and corporate shame. "Use Your Freedom of Choice," they wail -- whilst narrowing your freedom of choice to five identically uniformed petrochemical rocker nerds. "Whip It!" About the joys of self devo-tion, sadomasochism or (to quote Mark Mothersbaugh, in a later interview) simply "a self-help song?" YOU make the choice!

This album's chock full of eminently danceable songs in 4/4 time: Aside from the aforementioned, "Girl U Want," "Ton O' Luv," "Gates of Steel" and "That's Pep" are the least devolved.

"Planet Earth" is code for Devo's observation that we really don't have freedom of choice, but can be satisfied with the illusion of same. It looks forward to "Beautiful World" on their next vinyl offering.

Devo-ted spuds will make note that the contemporaneous tune "Turnaround" is not on this or any other album version; It was only available as the flip side to the "Whip It" 45 rpm.

But, thanks to corporate music mavens such as Rod Rooter of Big Entertainment, you can't get 45's anymore. Just compact discs. And, government-controlled MP-3s.

Now *that's* what I call Freedom of Choice!
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