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Duty Now for the Future Import

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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2 new from CDN$ 69.76 4 used from CDN$ 33.68

Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 22 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000784WN6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
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Product Description

Keyboards jumped to the fore as Devo continued their rise to pop power with this hit 1979 Warner Bros. album. Their unforgettable take on Secret Agent Man joins inspired originals like The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprize; Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA , and the faux-fascist track that kicks off the record, Devo Corporate Anthem !

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Possibly one of Devo's strongest albums. Not as well-known as Freedom of Choice or Q & A, and the material is much less accessible or mainstream-friendly than any of the albums to follow it, but it's a real treat for the more devoted fans. The guitars, synths, basses, and drums seem to work very well together on this one. Throw in some of Devo's strange lyrical themes and the shrill, cartoony voices of Mark and Jerry (plus Bob 1's boy-ish "geek" vocals on such tracks as "Secret Agent Man"), and the sum of its parts creates an intriguing experience.

It begins with a dramatic synthesizer fanfare, "Devo Corporate Anthem", composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, which sets you up for the cynical and futuristic world of Devo. Submit, and obey!

Then Jerry throws down a groovy tune called "Clockout", which has some nice bass and guitar work, plus some ascending synth lines at the end, which admittedly may hurt your ears if you're sensitive to really high pitched sounds.

"Timing X" is the least necessary track here, but it's a pretty good transitional track. It's a short instrumental which adds new musical elements each time it repeats its simple pentatonic riff.

We're just getting warmed up. "Wiggly World" packs a huge punch, with a catchy blues riff, bouncing laser-synth noises, and some of Devo's manifesto in its lyrics ("They say the fittest shall survive/Yet the unfit may live..."). Definately a classic track for any fan.

"Blockhead" is interesting because it switches back and forth between what is apparently 11/8 time and common 4/4 time. "Strange Pursuit" has a terrific pulse, and probably the most interesting lyrics on this disc, which are unfortunately a bit incomprehensible at first with this particular production of the song.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9f77a5d0) out of 5 stars 43 reviews
55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0c4bc60) out of 5 stars Devo's best album by a long shot March 6 2005
By James F. Mcdermott - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Some people prefer Devo's first, Eno produced record, or the later "sellout' records like Freedom Of Choice and New Traditionalists. But nowhere did Devo strike a more perfect balance between guitars and synthesisers than on Duty Now.

The first record was really a guitar/punk album, and the later records rely heavily on synths, which in retrospect make all the records which followed Duty Now kind of dated in that cheesy 80's way (i.e. Whip It). But on Duty Now For The Future, the guitars and keyboards mix to form a perfectly synergised, melting plastic kind of sound, which they never bettered. There are amazing songs on this record - Pink Pussycat, Blockhead, Wiggly World, and the epic Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA. This is a truly unique record which still sounds fresh today.

Devo's tableau of de-evolution, punk perviness, and corporate toxemia really click on this record. At no point does this heady subject matter seem forced - the schtick is delivered confidently, artfully and with much humor. This is a truly visionary record that deserves to be rediscovered - one of the few records from that period that can be held up as genius 25 years later.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0c4bc48) out of 5 stars So Strange...Yet So Compelling April 24 2010
By Pasko1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Understand that when this album was released in 1979, those of us who bought it -- on vinyl, with the "postcard" of the band on the cover perforated for removal -- were surrounded by a sea of slick, ponderous AOR mediocrity. Even the heretofore edgy Blondie released their "manistream" Parallel Lines album in the same year, complete with 'The Disco Song.' The spuds' sophomore effort is substantially more futuristic, warped, and in your face than their first album. Ditties like the odd but fathomable "Space Junk" and "Mongoloid" on 1978's Are We Not Men? have now devolved to songs like "Swelling Itching Brain" and "The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprize."

This is not to say that the guitars and beats aren't there, as evidenced by their cover of "Secret Agent Man," both the remaster studio version and the bonus live version, but the band is, yes, more devolved. Instead of a standard post-punk rock band with an emphasis on synthesizers, they are now, with this album, becoming one of the first synthesizer bands crossing over into critical and commercial success.

For those who care about such things -- and I suspect the audience for this record fits the description -- the sound of this remaster manages to retain the late 70's/early 80's "sound," but with increased dynamic punch and more natural midrange.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa040db70) out of 5 stars The Future Already Happened. May 21 2010
By Tim Brough - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
DEVO caught a minor case of the sophomore slump after their brilliant debut. "Duty Now For The Future" is a really, really good album that came after a perfect one, and it does shrivel in comparison. The DEVO eyes had turned from the sound of things falling apart to the machinery that made it go. Having used up most of their "conceptual" songs for the debut, we were served up musings on love work and death. "Swelling Itching Brain" and "The Day My Baby Gave Me A Surprise" are a pair DEVO hall of famers.

This is also the home of one of DEVO's best statement-of-purpose songs, the concert fave "Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA." Declaring themselves to be "suburban robots to monitor reality," DEVO make the claim that they are here to protect both man and mutant, only to discover that Mr. DNA deems them fit to "sacrifice themselves so many others may live!" It also rocks harder than anything else DEVO ever recorded for the first part of their career. After this, the slick success of "Whip It" kind of tamed them...if you ever considered DEVO tamable.

And there's something else. I had always been annoyed by the production of the original album, and wondered why the band and producer Ken Scott chose to leave the album in a flat, murky sounding final mix. This re-issue corrects that in a serious way. While there are no indications that the disc was remixed, everything sounds sharper and more distinct. It's raised my original rating of "Duty Now..." to five stars because frankly, this sounds utterly new and exciting all over again.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f77ae28) out of 5 stars GREAT ALBUM, GREAT BAND, SO WHY NOT GREAT RE-RELEASE? July 23 2006
By squarehawk2 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There is no question in the power of Devo's music, philosophy or art (especially in "Duty For The Future"), however this edition of the recording is quite lackluster considering a previous version of "Duty" far out weighs it. The Infinite Zero label (reissue label ran by Henry Rollins) produced a quality re-mastered version sporting two great bonus tracks (Soo Bawls, Penetration In The Centerfold) with lyrics to boot. The release here features no extra tracks, no lyrics, and adding to the insult a weak re-mastering (if any at all). The CD sleeve itself consists of a single 4.75" X 4.75" paper square. The original vinyl gave you more than that.

If you wonder why the album hasn't been repackaged by reissue titans at Rhino, consider the fact that the company who put this one together is actually a subsidiary of Rhino Records; Collectable recordings. Quite a shame, actually.

My advice is that if you are new to this recording, pick it up because the price isn't that high for it. But if you'd like to have quality experience of a great work, seek out the Infinite Zero copy if you can find it (because it's out of print, of course). Or try purchasing the import version by Virgin records which has this album backed with another Devo classic "New Traditionalists".
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f6308b8) out of 5 stars Devo IS a genre and this album proves it June 23 2005
By Gerry Hathaway - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
What more can be said about Devo this far into the future? They were and still are pioneers of their style of music. Its like Devo couldn't decide if they wanted to be a new wave band or a rock band...so they combined the two! I love their first album and totally recommend it, but this album is when they really starting experimenting and it contains the gem Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA.It opens with the silly Devo Corporate Anthem(I can just see the band standing against the wind saluting), then kicks into Clockout and from then on its a wild ride. Its hard to say much more other than the fact that Devo's music is essential to any REAL music collection.Get their first album and stop after you get Oh No! Its Devo! From Shout on it got pretty lame(and it wasnt their fault it was contractual). If you like rock N roll with synthesizers and a whole bunch of social commentary then get this right now! Let me be the first to congradulate you on subscribing to De-Evolution! Go Spuds Go!