De-Evolution is Real!

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

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Chris Let’s move on to satisfaction. This will end up being one of Devo’s defining songs, in my opinion.

Jon Oh absolutely. Kind of a mission statement for how they cover other people’s tunes.

Jon Wanna count it down?

Chris Yeah I’ll count it down.

Chris 3. Wait. That was the live version. One sec. Okay okay. 3. 2. 1. Go.

Jon Man, I’m glad they kept this rhythm in every version.

Chris Yes! Sounds very similar to the album cut actually.

Jon I remember the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ drummer played it for a moment as tribute when they opened for Devo.

Chris That’s badass.

Jon Yeah, just slowed down. Chopped and screwed.

Chris To take a song that’s so associated with another band. And to make something out of that’s very different.

Jon Yeah they GUT it, in the best way. Just fuck the whole thing around.

Chris Exactly, but also iconic in it’s own way.

Jon I like the slowed tone. It feels funkier by default? As opposed to nervous vibe on the Q&A version.

Chris Yeah. Really subverting the core hook. Almost dancable. The core Satisfaction hook is there, but it’s not center stage. The drum beat becomes the backbone.

Jon Yeah, and it’s a little different meter-wise.

Chris Yeah.

Jon You don’t get the same emphasis.

Chris Obviously, totally different energy.

Jon Just the notes. It still feel so short! Even though it’s so much slower.

Chris Yeah it is super short lol. Or feels that way. This version is over 3 minutes.

Chris I feel like while the stone’s version was all outward energy, this one’s energy is all inward.

Jon Yeah, this one is like “oh no, my shirts could be whiter” whereas Mick Jagger is like “fuck that guy for telling me to make my shirts whiter”.

Chris Yeah, more neurotic.

Jon This song is the nerdy kid swearing at a bully and having it fall kinda flat.

Chris Lol yeah.

Jon Not speaking from personal experience here, haha.

Chris :p I feel like this song is speaking up for a population that maybe didn’t get much thrift at the time. Like, “hey, we’re here too, and we also listen to the radio, and here’s what we’re hearing.”

Jon Yeah, the whole band feels like that tbh. Music for the weird quiet kid who would dance if he felt more comfortable. Not to get all Columbine sounding.

Chris Lol, you know I didn’t think of Columbine but now I am.

Jon Devo came just shy of the school shooter level of pent-up rage and hormones, I think. A safe balance. A healthier horny.

Chris Absolutely. I mean, they were molded by school shootings.

Jon Oh true enough, technically.

Chris They’re going to have that level of rage, but, I don’t think school shootings make more school shooters? Of the people directly effected, at least.

Jon If anything the Kent State shooting made more peaceful protesters / agitated songwriters.

Chris I do want to stress that I have no idea what I’m talking about.

Jon Haha no worries, and, same.

Chris :D Anything more to say about this sucker?

Jon Lemme think. The “baby baby baby baby” part is less impressive here than on Q&A where it’s like whoa, how is he not fucking this up. Or B Stiff etc etc.

Chris Yeah. That one has more energy. More barely controlled chaos.

Jon It’s funny how the Hardcore demos are like smoother, more relaxed, but not full on EZ Listening Muzak style like they eventually did.

Discussions of other versions of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"