Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Devo - "Uncontrollable Urge" 45

Devo – “Uncontrollable Urge”/ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
Warner Bros, 1978
Acquired: Salvation Army, Used, 2000
Price: $1

This is the oldest record in my collection. I bought it at that old Salvation Army that used to be up on Lone Elm Road. I distinctly remember buying it. I got a single of Blondie’s “One Way Or Another” too. Until that point my experience with DEVO was limited to seeing the “Whip It” video being made fun of on Beavis & Butthead. So “Uncontrollable Urge” (it’s cut down to 2:15 on the single) was a huge, brain exploding thing. I was just starting to get into legitimate punk rock (after a year of Blink-182 and Fat Wreck Chords bands which in my head is the equivalent of the minor leagues of punk rock and once you’ve made sufficient progress you get promoted to Black Flag and Bad Brains and all that other good stuff) and this was a sort of curveball (so many baseball metaphors, so little time). It kicked ass and almost sounded like punk rock but it wasn’t. Their version of “Satisfaction” threw me for a loop. It was a fucking weird as hell and disjointed version of a song I had heard a million times but it was so cool. It basically opened the door for me to get into Television and the Velvet Underground and any number of proto-punk bands that would have escaped me had I clung to late 90s skater punk. I got to see DEVO live at one of those terrible summer concerts 96.5 the Buzz puts on at City market and they were great. I mean, as great as a bunch of old dudes cashing in can be, but they deserve that payday as far as I was concerned. When they played “Uncontrollable Urge” I turned to Jenny and told her this whole story about buying this 7” and it blowing my mind and I got VERY sentimental. And even though “Uncontrollable Urge” is one of the most slap-in-the-face kick-your-ass songs of the late 70s it still never fails to make me feel sappy.

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