Q. Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! is the first album by New Wave musicians Devo, released in 1978.


The album was produced by Brian Eno, working in Conny Plank's studio in Cologne, Germany. Eno actually paid for the recordings himself, as the band had yet to conclude legal wranglings and sign contracts with Warner Brothers and Virgin Records. The band had come into contact with Eno when they managed to hand a demo tape to David Bowie when he played a show in Cleveland.

Bowie and Iggy Pop became fans of the band and Bowie went to see them perform at Max's Kansas City in New York City after Mark Mothersbaugh stated in an interview that he would like either him or Brian Eno to produce their first record. Bowie announced to the crowd during the interval that he would be producing them that winter in Tokyo. The next day Bowie told them that he would have to postpone producing the album until the following Spring due to filming commitments. That evening the band visited Brian Eno and Robert Fripp at the latter's home, where Eno expressed a wish to produce the band in Berlin, taking care of travel and accommodation for the band, who were without money to stay anywhere at the time.

Eno is on record as describing one of Devo's New York shows in 1979 as "the most exciting live performance I have ever seen". However, the studio sessions did not proceed on such a positive note, with the band seemingly intent on replicating specific effects and arrangements from their demo recordings stretching back to 1974. Eno found this an obstacle to his famously intuitive and spontaneous way of working in the studio, and described the band as "anal". In Eno's 1995 diary, A Year with Swollen Appendices, he states that he has never been paid by Virgin for producing the sessions.

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