May 16, 1980: Devo release the band’s third album, Freedom of Choice. With their label promising to drop them if the album didn’t deliver, the group took a whole new approach to making music. “Bob Mothersbaugh and I had always loved R&B. And we had always listened to stations out of Detroit and we loved Motown,” Gerald Casale told American Songwriter earlier this year. “We were pushing to go that direction with beats and bass lines and to think of the music like Devo robots doing R&B with futuristic overtones. Mark really got into it, and thought if that’s what we’re going to do, let’s go all the way. Nobody understood that was our theoretical construct or our inspiration when they were listening to that music, because it’s so mutated from the inspiration.”
The album arrived with breakthrough hit, “Whip It,” propelling it to number twenty-two on the Billboard album charts. It was also the introduction to the band’s legendary Energy Domes, which each member sported on the album cover.
Today, the band has revealed new versions of the Domes, updated with face shields for the pandemic-inflicted modern era. “It’s the 40th anniversary of DEVO’s Energy Dome – a DEVO icon that is often as misunderstood as the band itself,” Casale shared on the product listing. “The Dome collects energy that escapes from the crown of the human head and pushes it back into the medulla oblongata for increased mental energy. It’s very important that you acquire a plastic hard hat liner adjusted to your head size and fix it with duct tape or super glue to the inside of the dump. This allows the Dome to float just about the cranium and thus do its job. Unfortunately sans hard hat liner the recirculation of energy will not occur!”
Find the new Energy Dome Face Shields at Devo’s new store.