Devo's third, and most famous album is 1980's Freedom Of Choice. The album marked a huge change in Devo's sound, with synthesizers moving to the forefront, and guitar being subdued. The lyrical concerns changed too, with more songs on relationships and love, such as the leadoff track, Girl U Want. Of course, the album also has Devo's biggest hit, in the song Whip It, which went to number 7 on the top 10, cementing Devo's undeserved place in the public consciousness as a one-hit wonder.

With the new, slick, synthesized Devo sound, came a new look for the band. Devo traded in their infamous yellow jumpsuits for actual suits made of naugahyde, as well as Energy Domes, made of red plastic in a stairstepped pyramid design. The band also, on tour, wore paper jumpsuits, held together with red duct tape, as well as bizarre tunic-like red naugahyde shirts emblazoned with a letter (or hyphen) in DE-VO. These can be seen in the video for the title track.

Lead by Whip It, Freedom Of Choice became Devo's biggest hit, earning them their first, and only Gold Record. Freedom of Choice is not only essential listening to Devo fans, but also to anyone interested in new wave, and 80s music in general. Devo may be considered a one-hit wonder, but Freedom Of Choice shows Devo at what could be considered their finest hour. From here on out, it was devolution.


  1. Girl U Want
  2. It's Not Right
  3. Whip It
  4. Snowball
  5. Ton O' Luv
  6. Freedom Of Choice
  7. Gates Of Steel
  8. Cold War
  9. Don't You Know
  10. That's Pep
  11. Mr. B's Ballroom
  12. Planet Earth

The album's title track is the most poignant song on the album. It is a scathing look at how Americans value freedom, and at the same time prefer to have nothing to do with it. Indeed, the chorus at the end of the song cries out, "Freedom Of Choice / Is what you got / Freedom from choice / Is what you want". The video for the song shows Devo as a greek chorus, wearing full head alien-like masks, presiding over a series of interconnected scenes illustrating this point: A dog trying to decide between two bones, a man deciding between a hand grenade and a gun, a woman deciding between a slipper, and a thong. This culminates in a group of skateboarders going into a store and emerging as identically dressed automatons, walking down the street converting others, including a man wearing a Devo yellow suit.