DEVO – ” Girl U Want ” Classic Single

Posted: March 19, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , ,

Image result for devo girl u want images

 

Devo! As well as being quirky, retro-futuristic, geeky, new-wave heroes, could also write a mean and truly intelligent pop song. “Girl U Want”  was the first released single from their 1980 album Freedom Of Choice, but these days it’s often overlooked because the follow up 7” was the band-defining classic, Whip It.

The synthesizer/guitar hooks on Girl U Want were widely believed to have been inspired by the jagged riffs on The Knack’s My Sharona, though co-writer Gerald Casale has denied this. Coincidental or not, it’s easy to hear the similarity.

What’s more important than where the tune came from is what it does, which is to convey that overpowering feeling of being young and in love with someone, but too chicken shit to tell them. The song saw Devo delivering an original twist on a well-worn theme and a classic piece of art-pop. And you have to say the lyrics on Girl U Want have held up a whole lot better than My Sharona’s “I always get it up, for the touch of the younger kind”.

In the music video, Devo performs for a group of young women in the style of a performance from The Ed Sullivan Show, with two robotic backup dancers, one male and one female. Further implying the televised nature of the performance, the color in the video is deliberately altered to make the red of the band’s energy dome headgear look almost purple. The band wears the silver naugahyde suits from the cover of Freedom of Choice, and mime the song with Moog Liberation synthesizers.

During the video, the camera focuses on the girls in the audience exaggeratedly enjoying the performance, including one girl who is visually implied to “wet” herself, which transitions to a scene of a General Boy controlling the backup dancers. At one point, Mark Mothersbaugh pulls aside the curtain behind the band to show an overweight man on a vibrating exercise machine, attempting to drink a milkshake to the ecstatic reaction of the audience. As the video ends, girls in the audience are shown holding signs with icons,

Soundgarden issued a cover of Girl U Want as an extra track on the Rusty Cage EP. Theirs is a sleazy, slowed down version. Unlikely as it seems, Robert Palmer also released an interpretation of Girl U Want as a single in 1994. It didn’t do too well. Plenty of other bands have covered it too, but Superchunk’s needle sharp cover for the 1992 compilation Freedom Of Choice is the best by a distance.

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