To shout is the time-honoured tradition in Australia to buy a round of drinks for one's friends or workmates. Shouting is de rigeur in every Aussie bar and pub, regardless of the socio-economic status or geographic location of the individual. Shouting defines the way Australians enjoy their social drinking.

The old bush ballad "Click Go the Shears, Boys" had it:

Down by the bar the old shearer stands,
Grasping his glass in his thin bony hands...
There we leave him standing, shouting for all hands,
Whilst all around him every "shouter" stands...

The mechanics of the shout are simple. Each member of the group shouts in turn. Take orders from your friends, front the bar, and return with the drinks to appreciative comments and cheers to your health. Never ever buy a drink just for yourself in Australia. It's considered the acme of rudeness.

Devo's final album under the auspicises of Warner Brothers, "Shout" was a dismal commercial failure? It was not promoted by WB except for it's cover of Jimi Hendrix' "Are You Experienced?". The album did not even spawn a tour, though this may have been complicated by the departure of Drummer Alan Myers.

Shout's music can best be described as Synth-Pop, as the guitar is pushed primarily into the background for many of the tracks. This sonic shift was also responsible for poor sales, as many less devoted Devotees were upset at the change.

Originally, however, Shout was to be a concept album and film involving the Smart Patrol fighting a corporate disease. Details are sketchy but the rought plot is visible in the music video for "Are You Experienced?" and in Devo's CD-ROM game, "The Adventures Of The Smart Patrol".

This was it. After the commercial failure of Oh, No! It's Devo!, Devo was on the rocks at Warner Brothers. They were given one last album to prove themselves and get a hit single. Devo had a very brief, and very minor success in 1983 with their Theme From Doctor Detroit made for the Dan Aykroyd flop Doctor Detroit, but it failed to seriously chart. Shout was to be Devo's last chance.

Devo had also been having internal problems, as well. Some of Devo's members, notably Gerald V. Casale were growing addicted to cocaine, and drummer Alan Myers was growing frustrated with Devo's new musical direction. The awkward time signatures and beats of early Devo albums had shifted to a more dance-oriented beat, and Alan was not happy. The shift to electronic percussion also didn't seem to help.

In 1984, Devo released Shout to an absolutely miserable response. The album was a complete departure from Oh, No! It's Devo!. The guitar was almost non-existant, the songwriting loose, and the hooks poor. Songs like The 4th Dimension, and Here To Go sounded like vain attempts to pull in another Whip It style hit at the cost of Devo's poignant satire. They did, however, manage to pull it together enough for an excellent, album closing cover of Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced?.

Devo also had issues determining their new visual identity. They eventually settled on simple white Chinese-American Friendship Suits, and white jumpsuits with the New Traditionalist Pomp. Other, unused, promotional photos from the era also show Devo clad in black jumpsuits, with black hippie wigs. They also wore Nazi style armbands with a peace symbol in the place of the swastika.

There was no tour for Shout. After its release, Alan Myers left the band, and Devo floundered for the meantime. Mark Mothersbaugh released a cassette tape of experimental electronic music in Japan titled Muzik For Insomniaks. The band took a recording break, occasionally getting together for some soundtrack work. Devo eventually reunited officially in 1988 to release Total Devo on the Enigma Records label.

The Infinite Zero rerelease of Shout included a b-side from the era, and an E-Z Listening version of the title track. It was not released in wide numbers, and often goes for over fifty dollars on eBay.

Tracklisting:

  1. Shout
  2. The Satisfied Mind
  3. Don't Rescue Me
  4. The 4th Dimension
  5. C'mon
  6. Here To Go
  7. Jurisdiction Of Luv
  8. Puppet Boy
  9. Please Please
  10. Are You Experienced?
    Infinite Zero Rerelease Bonus Tracks
  11. Growing Pains
  12. Shout (E-Z Listening Version)


The title track on Shout is nothing special. It opens with synthesized brass and goes into a sort of miltary style chant. The song is musically strong, but lyrically weak. It was never performed live on its own, but was part of the Somewhere With Devo suite used to close concerts on Devo's 1988 and 1990 tours.

Shout (shout), v. i. [imp. & p. p. Shouted; p. pr. & vb. n. Shouting.] [OE. shouten, of unknown origin; perhaps akin to shoot; cf. Icel. skUta, skUti, a taunt.]

To utter a sudden and loud outcry, as in joy, triumph, or exultation, or to attract attention, to animate soldiers, etc.

Shouting of the men and women eke.
Chaucer.

They shouted thrice: what was the last cry for?
Shak.

To shout at, to utter shouts at; to deride or revile with shouts.

 

© Webster 1913


Shout, v. t.

1.

To utter with a shout; to cry; -- sometimes with out; as, to shout, or to shout out, a man's name.

2.

To treat with shouts or clamor. Bp. Hall.

 

© Webster 1913


Shout, n.

A loud burst of voice or voices; a vehement and sudden outcry, especially of a multitudes expressing joy, triumph, exultation, or animated courage.

The Rhodians, seeing the enemy turn their backs, gave a great shout in derision.
Knolles.

 

© Webster 1913


Shout (?), v. i.

To entertain with refreshments or the like gratuitously; to treat. [Slang, Australia & U. S.]

 

© Webster 1913


Shout, v. t.

To treat (one) to something; also, to give (something) by way of treating. [Slang, Australia & U. S.]

 

© Webster 1913


Shout, n.

A gratuitous entertainment, with refreshments or the like; a treat. [Slang, Australia & U. S.]

 

© Webster 1913

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