De-Evolution is Real!

Be Stiff

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Chris Okay, let’s do Be Stiff in 3. 2. 1. Now!

Jon This version is so much slower.

Chris Just about to say that lol. Like, deliberately slow.

Jon I used to prefer it. Felt more “serious” to me somehow.

Chris Hmm interesting.

Jon Since this is a didactic song. Do THIS, to be wise in a devolved world.

Chris Right right. And now?

Jon I think I prefer the EP version but this one still owns.

Chris Yeah.

Jon This one is the sludge metal slow headbang version.

Chris Not many pop songs have this slow a tempo.

Jon Yeah true.

Chris It’s almost uncomfortable. The farther away you get from the heartbeat.

Jon Oh good point.

Chris And this is almost the slowest you can get and still be pop. But this is a very polished version for a demo.

Jon Yeah! I’m always impressed by the quality, what there is to speak of.

Chris I mean, all the major pieces are here. The tone, the lyrics.

Jon I’ve always loved that vocal melody too. I can see a guitar shredding it nicely.

Chris Yeah it’s great. This version also relegates the guitar to a low buzz in the upper register. Putting bass squarely up front.

Jon True, true. So, the lyrics.

Chris Yeah.

Jon Basically preaching autonomy?

Chris Yeah I think so?

Jon Go make that dollar, don’t get bogged down by a significant other. “Wet women waste your food” Bleak times, in this song.

Chris Oh yeah for sure.

Chris It is preaching autonomy, but I also see undertones of automation. Maybe it’s the rest of their cannon creeping in, but I get a mechanical vibe. “One two three start”. “Breath hard in metal suits”. The lyrics are water colors for sure. If water colors could be impressionistic and NOT soft.

Jon I feel that. And yeah, the metal suits could either be a shift to robotics or just extremely dangerous industrial jobs, in my mind.

Chris Yeah, it’s probably the industrial jobs. That’s a big theme in this period.

Jon Yeah that first short film had masked men in a factory.

Chris Yeah that tracks. I also just want to say: “Fruit ooze is wetly lewd” is one of the grossest lyrics i’ve ever heard. Idk why it hits me, but ugh.

Jon Stay dry in rubber boots! That’s the answer.

Chris Haha.

Jon Cucumbers wrapped and rude. Fixed to shoot. Yeah it’s all kinda nasty.

Chris Always horny.

Jon ALWAYS horny™.

Chris :D I mean, even the title.

Jon Haha exactly.

Chris And Toni Basil covered this, right?

Jon She DID.

Chris What a weird thing. Of all the Devo songs.

Jon I forget if there were any lyrics tweaks.

Chris According to this random lyric site, the lyrics are identical.

Jon Wonderful.

Chris Yeah, real nuts.

Discussions of other versions of "Be Stiff"