Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Buzzcat, Jun 26, 2007.
Sheesh. Well put.
DualDiscs have one side of audio and one side of video. They do not conform to red book industry standards and are thicker than regular discs. As such, many people have problems playing them.
My "Devo Live" DualDisc plays pretty well, but I had a Franz Ferdinand one that I had to take back. Both sides had pops and skips.
Ken, was this same technique used to record the guitars for "The Day My Baby Gave Me A Surprize"? I've always enjoyed the sound of the guitars in that song, and they sound very treated.
They weren't out for very long. His Infinite Zero label went under in just a few years, IIRC.
Anyhow, IZ managed to reissue "Duty Now," "New Traditionalists," "Oh, No! It's Devo" and "Shout" before folding, all with a few bonus tracks (some of which have never reappeared anywhere). Glad I picked them all up when I did. "Shout" was the last one released, and IIRC was only out for about a year.
I don't know, but I have the "Collectebles" cd of "New Traditionalsists" and it's very, very muddy. Maybe that's the way the orig lp sounded - I don't know.
I just, recently, digitized my New Traditionalist LP and it didn't seem muddy or dirty to me.
When New Traditionalsists was being recorded the multi-track tape, Scotch 250 I think, started shedding oxide. By the time the mixing took place there was noticeable high frequency loss. The record company would not fund and/or wait for Devo to re-record the songs so it just went out that way.
Anyway that is what I remember reading in, I think, Keyboard magazine in the mid-80's.
Whoa! Now that is an interesting piece of information. You ought to add that to wikipedia.
I love that record, but I've always thought it sounded a little...boxy or muffled, somehow.
See, I would reverse that opinion exactly 180 degrees, although I agree that Total Devo doesn't have any depth to it, lyric-wise. I think Smooth Noodle Maps is a total bore in every respect, useless for anything except the single track - Post-Post Modern Man, which is a truly great pop song, IMO.
I think Devo pretty much ran out of gas early on and coasted on fumes. The first two albums were basically all songs they had written for their stage act long before they even got a record contract. Sure, they may have come up with a few pieces in the studio, but I think they had all their conceptual stuff and best songs worked out before they even signed a contract.
I will give them this, though: They proved their own theory by "devolving" right before our ears and eyes.
Well it's an album I'd be interested in getting (along with their debut) but have avoided the Virgin 2fers because of the poor sound quality. I take it the Infinite Zero one is now discontinued; are Devo intending to remaster their back catalogue at some point?
It's probably not really Devo's decision as much as it is Warner Bros - but since they've recently licensed some of the recordings to Collectables, a remaster series seems unlikely anytime soon.
I also want to add my voice to those who favor the first two Devo albums - I like about half of "Freedom Of Choice," but after that I don't think they ever came close to greatness. "Duty Now For The Future" is my favorite Devo album; it always has been. It's the most "Devo," with the first album seeming a little lightweight (I like how "Duty" manages to increase the abrasive aspect of their sound while still providing really "pop" material like "Pink Pussycat" and "Secret Agent Man") and the third is just too commercial.
I've got to hand it to Ken Scott - I never would have expected someone who produced and/or engineered some of the most effortlessly commercial (but excellent) albums from Supertramp, Elton John, George Harrison, David Bowie and the Beatles to do such a fine job remaining absolutely true to Devo's often uncommercial style. I'd love to know how they chose him - it doesn't make any logical sense really, though the end results certainly justify the decision.
"Smoothnoodemaps" is a lot more enjoyable if you look at it as Devo in more of a relaxed pop mode. It has a lot more hooks than "Total Devo" and is far more diverse. It's not just the lyrics of "Total Devo" that bore me...it's the music. To me, they turned into a big, dumb, bloated dance band on that album. The technology they were using on that album was especially lifeless.
Yeah, I noted that earlier.
Well, I think the first five albums are all very strong.
Most critics would agree with you and I've even seen some make the same "de-evolution" tie-in you have. I can't say I agree, though. Heck, there are times when I'd take "Oh, No!" over the first record.
Jerry Casale used to do a question and answer thing at Club Devo. One time he was asked about the possibility of remasters, and his answer was something like "Warner has total control."
I may have stated this a few pages back, but I know for a fact that Devo had absolutely no input into the Infinite Zero remasters.
It makes logical sense if you consider that Devo were huge Bowie fans. At one point, Bowie was considered to produce their first album, but Bowie passed and introduced them to Eno. I'm guessing he introduced them to Ken as well, although we would have to ask Ken himself to be sure.
Well, surely not total control. Sure, the US rights may currently have been leased to Collectables, but there's nothing (AFAIK) stopping Virgin from remastering and reissuing them overseas.
We might end up with nothing better than the recent Captain Beefheart "remasters" or we might end up with something as good as the Eno and King Crimson sets.
But, really, it's just 'Freedom Of Choice' and 'Q?A!' that need it.
Can't agree with that. I think the percussion and sampling was very cool, and didn't sound like anything else out there, at least not that I was aware of. Granted, the technology may have mastered them more than the other way around...but then Kraftwerk wouldn't object to that situation, would they? Hey, that's the question any self-respecting electronic musician should pose...What would Kraftwerk do? (WWKD)
I remember reading that they asked someone for another suggestion because they didn't want to do the second LP with Eno again. Perhaps they asked Bowie for another recommendation.
I have to ask, where does Birds Of Fire and Spectrum fit in ? The Tubes ?
I consider my job to put the act across in the best way possible, in the way THEY wish to be perceived. I hate it when I'm part of the final equation. The act was signed for their talent not mine. I just wish the modern A&R people saw things that way.
I know they chose me because of the Bowie records I did, but I don't know if it was a direct recommendation from Mr Jones. Devo always wanted to learn. That's why they worked with each producer only once. Took what they needed and then time to move on.
Thanks for the compliments by the way.
This is the type of post that makes hanging around here a treat.
Chapeau, Mr. Scott!
On that note...I'll be interested to read your thoughts when we get to "Electric Cafe" in the Kraftwerk thread. If you like "Total Devo"...
The weird thing is I quite enjoy "Electric Cafe." Certainly more than most people.
I think I remember reading something (maybe even at this forum) that suggested that they were not happy with the sound they got with Eno on their first record. Personally, I don't blame them.
Well, yes, but considering the IZ remasters have been out of print for almost a decade now, it'd be nice to see expanded remasters of those albums back on shelves.
Those first six albums really need to be reissued and done proper justice. I was hoping Rhino would do it, but it doesn't look very likely at this point. I consider these Collectables releases to be no more than budget reissues.
I read an interview in which they praised Eno's work and how he respected the artists he worked with, including them. However, they did say they didn't want to repeat themselves on subsequent records. Their stated ideal was to produce their own records, like they did with their independent singles at the beginning. I think when they signed to a major label they had to compromise somewhat, but were also keen on learning from good record producers, as Ken Scott mentioned.
Personally, I think the Eno-produced Are We Not Men ? has a brilliant sound to it, whatever the group themselves may think. They may have wanted a rawer sound, but they didn't go that route later, either, when they had the opportunity to try. I think the first two albums are the edgiest and have the most quintessentially "Devo" sound. Eno was especially good at drawing out the essence of a group's sonic personality, and he did that for Devo very well, IMO.
I agree with you. I've always loved the sound Eno achieved on Q&A. His Enossification of the various instruments accentuated the wobbliness. However, I do remember reading an interview within a year or two after that album where Mark or Jerry complained that Eno had promised to introduce them to some "girls," but then never did. The implication was that the album didn't sound as good as it might have because they were sexually frustrated. Of course, the tongue might have been planted firmly in-cheek during that interview!
Yes, they were real smartasses. I'm sure they were joking around. They did in fact like to talk about the producer-artist relationship or a band's relationship with a record company in sexual terms, referring to the artists as the "women" in a situation replete with prostitution, pimps, etc.
I'd forgotten that Ken Scott produced DNFTF--guess I'll have to dig that one out of my collection again.
Good thing I passed on the Virgin twofer with Q&A and DNFTF when I saw it for 7 euros in Venlo a few months ago--I didn't know the sound quality sucked. Thanks (again) to this forum for setting me straight...
I read that Bowie was slated to co-produce Q&A but had to drop out because of scheduling problems (source: David Buckley's book, "Strange Fascination")
The "Q/A" cd on Warner USA is one of the better sounding cd's I own. Completely lacking in any glare or harshness no matter how loud I turn up the volume. That's saying a lot (at least on my system.)
I consider it one of the "ordinary" (not marketed as audiophile, or rare, out of print, German/Japan) currently available cd's that can't be bettered.
I doubt a remaster would improve it - but I haven't heard the original vinyl, so take what I say here in that context.
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