Devo: “Girl U Want” (1980)

Warner Bros. chose this song first from Freedom, and I’d say they got it right.

Kronomyth 3.01: Smells like teen aroma of undefined love.

Warner Bros. whipped this one out first to herald Freedom of Choice, and all was rightly wrong with the world again. A rhythm is superseded by a counter rhythm, our emotions are revealed to be a mixture of animal and automaton, and the result is stiffly satisfying in the old familiar ways. Devo’s was always an interesting concept of freedom; by revealing us to be slaves to chemical and biological urges we couldn’t control, we were liberated from resisting them.

A music video was produced featuring the band in front of an all-girl audience, with mind-controlled dancers in the background. Robert Palmer and Soundgarden have both recorded versions of “Girl U Want,” while Nirvana tackled “Turn Around,” a nonalbum track that was pressed into service as the UK backside for “Girl U Want” and as the B side for the US release of “Whip It.”

Read more Devo reviews

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Girl You Want (Mark Mothersbaugh/Gerald V. Casale)
B1. Turn Around (Mark Mothersbaugh/Gerald V. Casale)

Original 7-inch single version (US)
A1. Girl U Want (Mark Mothersbaugh/Gerald V. Casale) (2:56)
B1. Mr. B’s Ballroom (Mark Mothersbaugh) (2:45)

Back-to-back hits 7-inch single version
A1. Girl U Want (Mark Mothersbaugh/Gerald V. Casale) (2:56)
B1. Whip It (Mark Mothersbaugh/Gerald V. Casale) (2:37)

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single on May 16, 1980 in the UK (Virgin, VS 350), on July 9, 1980 in the US (Warner Bros., WBS49524), and in 1980 in France (Virgin, 2097 846), Germany (Virgin, 102 144), Japan (Warner Bros., P-589W), New Zealand (Warner Bros., WBS 49524) and Portugal (Virgin, VV-44.035 ES) with picture sleeve. Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 1980 (Warner Bros., WBS49524) feat. A mono on flip side.

  1. Re-released on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in the US (Warner Bros., GWB 0400) feat. “Whip It” on flip side.

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