The Punk Vault

Devo – Live 1980 DVD

Devo - Live 1980 - click me to buy

Devo – Live 1980 DVD
Music Video Distributors

Devo, while enjoying a bit of mainstream success thanks to MTV and their song “Whip It”, were somewhat of an anomaly in the world of punk/new wave. They were certainly unique and were in no way a mainstream type of act at that time, yet they seemed to cross over at one point thanks to that video getting heavy rotation on that then-new network (back at a time when they actually played videos).

On August 17, 1980, these mad scientists from Akron, OH arrived at the Phoenix Theatre in Petaluma, CA to put on a show to a packed house. At this time they were just starting to garner some success with the release of that aforementioned “Whip It” single and Target Video had the good sense to film the event. As far as target videos go, this easily has the best sound and video quality of anything from them I have seen before. It really is a top-notch presentation, especially by 1980 standards.

The DVD is 1 hour and 15 minutes long and features a ton of songs. All their “hits” they are well known for such as “Whip It”, “Satisfaction”, and my personal favorite, “Uncontrollable Urge” are played to perfection along with quite a bit of more obscure tracks that only a die-hard fan would be familiar with. At the start of each song, the title is printed at the bottom of the screen which is something I appreciated because sadly The Punk Vault is lacking in Devo Records.

Devo was a band I knew of, and I bought that “Whip It” 7″ back in 1980 when I was a little kid but as I got into more hardcore punk, I turned my back on such things because they didn’t fit in with the soundtrack of my young angry teen angst. As I got older I came to appreciate them more and what they contributed to the world of music. After watching this DVD, it really made me want to go back and pick up those records that I don’t currently own. This DVD, because of the wide variety of their material that is covered, would also be a good place for a beginner to start, not just for the visuals, but for the fact that if you flip the disc over, it is an audio CD of the performance, so you automatically now have a Devo album in your possession that contains “all the hits” and then some.

As I stated before the video is top-notch and is the best Target Video I’ve seen in terms of quality. There is two audio options; straight stereo, and 5.1 surround that does a great job of filing the room and really sounds good (and was the option I preferred after sampling them both). There is two packaging options as well, you can get either a jewel case packaged like a CD, or a Amary keepcase like a standard DVD. There was a bonus clip of Devo playing as Dove – The Band of Love from some show in 1980 and a trailer for another Devo DVD that was recorded recently overseas.

If you are a Devo fan, this would find itself a happy home in your collection and if you are curious about the band but didn’t know where to start, this is as good a place as any, especially for the very affordable price.

Related links:

Buy the DVD from Amazon

Music Video Distributors website

Devo official website


  • What’s not to love about Devo?

    “Freedom of Choice” and “Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!” are my personal favorite albums by them.

    Their SNL appearance doing “Uncontrollable Urge” is awesome – complete with mid-song costume change!

  • I saw them new years eve 1979…..forever changed my life. X, Devo and Dove, the band of love (Devo spelled kinda backwards)…

  • The Be Stiff Ep has their must have first 3 45s (circa 77-78), plus Hardcore Devo vols 1 & 2 has all pre-77 material, some dating to ’74

  • I just picked this up last night and it’s so good. My favorite part was easily when they all of a sudden start dancing around with the letters on their chest during “Jocko Homo.” I’ve had the Greatest Hits/Greatest Misses package for a few years now but it didn’t really hit me how great these guys were until I found “Q:” in a bargian a few months ago.


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