Mongoloid (song)  

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Mongoloid is the first single released by Devo in 1977, on the "Booji Boy" label. It was backed with the song Jocko Homo. Mongoloid would later be re-recorded by Devo, and appear on the album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! in 1978. It is also a staple of Devo's live shows. Mongoloid also had a music videos made by experimental filmmaker Bruce Conner. Conner combined 1950s television advertisements, science fiction film clips (Including a scene from It Came From Outer Space!), and scientific documentaries with abstract animation and original film work.

Song description

Mongoloid, like many of Devo's early songs, was built on a motorik beat. The song opens with a 4/4 electric bass line, which is then joined by drums, and electric guitar. Over this, a swooping synthesizer line is played on Minimoog, using the pitch bend to create a spooky effect. The synth is not used as a lead instrument during the song, but only the opening and closing. The doubled vocals are sung simultaneously by both Gerald V. Casale and "Bob 1" (Bob Mothersbaugh). On the original single, the vocals are deliberately sung in a nasal fashion.

The lyrics discuss an individual afflicted with Down Syndrome, formerly known as Mongolism. Despite his affliction, he is able to live a normal life so that nobody knows of his extra chromosome. Although it is a positive song (a rarity for DEVO at the time of the song's recording), it has received much criticism due to its controversial title. Alternatively it is an ironic song referring to the level of intellect and education of the average American being equivalent to a mongoloid, so that he was undetectable in modern American society.

Music video

Mongoloid was Devo's second music video, after The Truth About De-Evolution. It was not actually made by the band, but by experimental filmmaker Bruce Conner. Conner combined 1950s television advertisements, science fiction film clips (Including a scene from It Came From Outer Space!), and scientific documentaries with abstract animation and original film work. Devo marketed the film as "A documentary film exploring the manner in which a determined young man overcame a basic mental defect and became a useful member of society. Insightful editing techniques reveal the dreams, ideals and problems that face a large segment of the American male population. Educational. Background music written and performed by the DEVO orchestra."

Mongoloid appears as a bonus feature on The Complete Truth About Devolution DVD.

Clip

Devo - Mongoloid (A film by Bruce Conner)



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Mongoloid (song)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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