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EZListeningDisc

Cover Art

First Released: 1987 (Show All)
Tracks: 19
Label: US: Ryko

Track Listing[]

  1. Gates Of Steel (2:55)
  2. Girl U Want (4:58)
  3. Come Back Jonee (3:10)
  4. Whip It (2:58)
  5. That's Good (3:36)
  6. Jerking Back and Forth (3:09)
  7. The 4th Dimension (3:49)
  8. Shout (Hello Kitty) (4:09)
  9. Mongoloid (5:05)
  10. Pity You (3:23)
  11. Goin' Under (3:06)
  12. Swelling, Itching Brain (4:12)
  13. Jurisdiction Of Luv (3:41)
  14. Peek-A-Boo (4:26)
  15. Satisfaction (4:09)
  16. Space Junk (2:38)
  17. Time Out For Fun (3:21)
  18. It's A Beautiful World (3:12)
  19. Jocko Homo (3:36)

Personnel[]

DEVO[]

"All songs written, arranged, recorded, produced by DEVO".[1]

Additional Personnel[]

Extra Info[]

Composition and Recording[]

  • Jerry said they wanted to make some good Muzak, before it was done to them.[1]
  • Mark said in the 70's he used a "frequency analyzer" to change the sound of a couple of Muzak songs he ripped off. [2]
  • Later DEVO made EZ versions of Devo tracks that were played back before Devo shows to replace the popular rock recordings that venues would choose to play. Some of these EZ Devo tracks may employ the frequency analyzer.
  • EZ listening versions were recorded years before the 1981 audio cassette was released.[3][4]
  • After hearing this music play before performances, fans demanded the EZ versions be available for purchase.[5]
  • Jerry said DEVO performed in the recording studio for the music released on the first cassette. By 1982 Mark did most of the E-Z music at home.[6]
  • This is the only album on which you can hear Devo's Casio M10 with the "Real World Interfaces" modifications.
  • "Beautiful World" (EZ) includes a jaw harp sound over the repeating riffs from the Optigan® Banjo Sing-Along optical disc.[7][8][9][10]


1980s Re-releases and Artwork[]

Club DEVO Releases

  • DEVO’s pre-concert E-Z listening tracks were first made available for purchase in the 1981 Club DEVO Merchandise Catalog as DEVO E-Z Listening Cassette.[11] “Devo Muzak” is printed on each side of the audiocassette over the track listing.
Side 1: Come Back Jonee • Satisfaction • Space Junk • Jocko Homo • Swelling, Itching, Brain
Side 2: Whip It • Mongoloid • Girl U Want • Pity You • Beautiful World[12] 


  • Vol. 2 was first available in the Club DEVO Catalog for 1984-1985.[13]
Side 1: Gates Of Steel • That's Good • Jerkin' Back And Forth • Shout • 4th Dimension
Side 2: Goin' Under • Peek-A-Boo! • Time Out For Fun • Jurisdiction Of Luv • Shout (Hello Kitty)[14]



RykoDisc CD Release and Artwork[]

  • This Rykodisc single-CD compilation includes the two Club DEVO releases, E-Z Listening Muzak (1981) and E-Z Listening Muzak Vol. 2 (1984), except for "Shout", which appeared on "Here To Go" 4-track, 12" maxi-single.[17]
  • The word "Muzak" does not appear on Rykodisk's release but does on the Club DEVO and Futurismo releases. The rights holders of Muzak stopped using that brand name in 2013. The releases by Club DEVO, Rykodisc and Futurismo feature different packaging artwork.


Futurismo Re-release and Packaging[]

  • On February 1, 2016 Club DEVO announced the “Devo EZ Listening body of work” would again be commercially available.
    [2] [3] [4] Futurismo announced the compilation would be “available to Pre-order SOON” and would be released worldwide on “4th March 2016.”
    [5] [6] [7]
  • The Futurismo label released the compilation in 2xLP and 2xCD formats with deluxe packaging and liner notes by Jerry.
  • The 2016 release included both cassette versions of "Shout" and the bonus track "Human Rocket (Laughing Gas Version)" (6:24).
  • The “Antique Walnut” and “Lava Lamp” LP box set editions had an mp3 download voucher and some had a black smoking jacket with an embossed golden “science boy” captioned “TAKE IT E Z!
  • Futurismo also released the 2-disc compilation as LPs or CDs in gatefold packaging.
  • Art direction and graphic design by ARTONIX[8]. Original concept ideas by Mark Mothersbaugh, Gerald Casale, Michael Pilmer and Atonix.[9]
  • This 2016 limited edition sold out. Record shops may have some.
    https://recordstoreday.com/UPC/634158583353/Devo_EZ-Listening-Muzak
  • In 2022 Jerry released a solo EP that includes two E-Z Listening versions of “I’m Gonna Pay U Back” - a song by Jerry and Josh Freese. One version is instrumental. The second version, for the first time, is an E-Z listening track with full lyrics.
  • These tracks have been actually used as Muzak by a variety of corporate clients. For decades, the Weather Channel has regularly broadcast them, often with their “On The 8's”[20] local weather reports.[21]


Notes and References[]

  1. Carlo McCormick. “Devo in toto: Devo continues to devolve”. Paper. (1988, June).

    We’ve always found a way to use any existing slot or medium or formula that is accepted by the culture and show them through that, through what already exists, a different kind of mentality.
    So Muzak was what we heard growing up in Ohio, in every elevator, every fast food place, every dentist’s office. We said ‘Let’s make our own Muzak instead of let somebody do it to us. Let’s make some good Muzak.
    ” - Jerry (1988).



  2. Google books preview of pages 203-204, Elevator Music: A Surreal History of Muzak©, Easy-Listening, and Other Moodsong© By Joseph Lanza. 2004 revised edition.

    "Mothersbaugh...a devout elevator music fan, explains how what he calls his 'inframusic' came about.
    Muzak helped me shape my musical politics. When I heard Muzak versions of the Beatles, the Byrds, and Bob Dylan, my goal was to do the same to my own music before anyone else did. Our E-Z Listening Disc has an interesting history... I ripped a couple of things right off an easy-listening channel and put them through a frequency analyzer. It became this bizarre robotic version of Muzak-type songs. WE WERE MUTATING MUZAK! ...The first E-Z (cassette) sold out so fast that we did a second volume a couple of years later. Rock and Roll is so bankrupt that, out of desperation, they'll be mining those territories."



  3. Robert Edelstein. “Peace With Mutants – DEVO Goes To War”. RockBill. (1985, January).
    “...in 1979 (July 21) at the Palladium in New York… The weirdest muzak flowed through the theater’s sound system… its organ tone sinister…
    Twenty minutes later a screen dropped down slowly from the ceiling in front of the stage.”

  4. Open reel box cover art by Mark is dated 12/1979 for "Jocko Muzak".

  5. Devon Ivie. “The Most Progressive and Perverse of Devo, According to Mark Mothersbaugh”. Superlatives. Vulture.com. (2022, April 12).
    https://www.vulture.com/2022/04/interview-mark-mothersbaugh-devo-rock-hall-of-fame.html (From archive.org).
    Marks says its Devo’s most positively perverse album.

  6. Sam Eckhardt. “Devo Produced the Punkest Elevator Music Ever”. Vice.com. (2016, February 29).
    https://www.vice.com/en/article/rpy8qn/devo-produced-the-punkest-elevator-music-ever (From archive.org).

    Noisey: What were the recording sessions for the original EZ Listening tapes like?" "Gerald V. Casale: In the early period of 'EZ' Listening we would play together at rehearsal for recording sessions for the album we were about to record in the studio. Most of those songs were recorded on a TEAC 4-track recorder. Later Mark (Mothersbaugh) would often bring a recording he had made at home in his bedroom, again on a 4-track recorder and we would listen and make some changes and overdubs or suggest trying some alternative lounge music style.



  7. https://optigan.com/info/optigan/discography/a-e/
    https://optigan.com/info/optigan/merchandise-catalog/discs/entertainment-folio-1six-pack/
    https://optigan.com/about-pea-hicks/optigans-anonymous/

  8. Photo: Optigan® Banjo Sing-Along optical disc, outer dust jacket and inner dust sleeve. ©1970.
    https://web.archive.org/web/20240517194123/https://www.ebay.com/itm/116111226784
  9. Photo: Dust jacket back cover.
    “©1970 Optigan Corporation, Compton, California 90220.”
    https://web.archive.org/web/20240517200131/https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/tVMAAOSwI79leLzs/s-l1600.webp

  10. Photo: Inner dust sleeve and optical disc: Optigan® “Spotlight On Banjo Sing-Along (4/4) (70018)”.
    https://web.archive.org/web/20240517194141/https://rvb-img.reverb.com/image/upload/s--zDfGxO7W--/a_exif,c_limit,e_unsharp_mask:80,f_auto,fl_progressive,g_south,h_1600,q_80,w_1600/v1531066349/qjhsq199yx2cfavfxeoy.jpg

  11. devo-obsesso.com/html/paper-itempages/documents/merch-catalog-newtrad-lp-sleeve.html (From archive.org).
  12. https://www.discogs.com/master/552297-Devo-EZ-Listening-Muzak-Cassette

  13. devo-obsesso.com/html/paper-itempages/documents/catalog_84-85.html(From archive.org).

  14. https://www.discogs.com/search/?q=EZ+Listening+Muzak+Cassette+Volume+2&type=master

  15. https://www.discogs.com/search/?q=Devo+%E2%80%93+EZ+Listening+Muzak%2C+Vol.+1&type=release

  16. https://www.discogs.com/release/29369515-Devo-EZ-Listening-Muzak-Cassette-Volume-2

  17. https://www.discogs.com/master/338925-Devo-Here-To-Go

  18. Contents page. EXIT magazine issue number three, ©1987. "Devo's newest musical product is called the E-Z Listening Disc, Has covers and a book by EXIT, and is available from RYKODISC..." exitmagazine.net website by Robert Lund.

  19. Exitmagazine.net, Exit Magazine - Issue 3. "Galaxy M-51 Around Hitler & Manson". front cover. by Adam Parfrey & George Petros

  20. “Local on the 8s”. The Weather Channel Archive. (Wiki). TWCarchive.com.
    https://www.twcarchive.com/wiki/Local_on_the_8s (From archive.org).

  21. ”TWC Local on the 8s from September 2005 #23”. “Another LOT8s from September 2005 primetime”. uploaded to YouTube by MrDaniel789.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoTHgmV4a70

External Links[]

EZ Listening Muzak Cassette (1981). (Master Release) – Discogs
EZ Listening Muzak Cassette Volume 2 (1984). (Master Release) – Discogs
E-Z Listening Disc (Master Release) -- Discogs
E-Z Listening Disc (Release group) -- MusicBrainz
E-Z Listening Disc (Track Listing) – AllMusic
EZ Listening Muzak (2016). (Master Release) – Discogs
EZ Listening Muzak (2016). (“[Lava Lamp Vinyl]” Review) – AllMusic
E-Z Listening Disc -- Wikipedia


DEVO
Mark Mothersbaugh | Gerry Casale | Bob Mothersbaugh
Bob Lewis | Bob Casale | Jim Mothersbaugh | Alan Myers
David Kendrick | Josh Freese
Jeff Friedl | Josh Hager
Record Labels / Publishers
Booji Boy Records | Warner Brothers | Enigma | Devo, Inc. 
Stiff | Virgin | Rykodisk | Infinite Zero | Restless | Discovery | Rhino 
MVD Audio | The Orchard | Superior Viaduct | Futurismo
Production
Brian Eno | Ken Scott | Robert Margouleff | Roy Thomas Baker | DEVO 
The Teddybears | Greg Kurstin | Santi White | John King | John Hill | Mark Nishita 
Official Studio Albums
Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (1978) | Duty Now For The Future (1979) | Freedom of Choice (1980) | New Traditionalists (1981) | oh, no! it's Devo (1982) | Shout (1984) | Total Devo (1988) | SmoothNoodleMaps (1990) | Something for Everybody   (2010)
Other Albums
Be Stiff EP (1978) | E-Z Listening Disc (1987) | Now It Can Be Told: DEVO at the Palace (1989) | Hardcore DEVO Vol. 1 74-77 (1990) | Hardcore DEVO Vol. 2 1974-1977 (1991) | DEVO Live: The Mongoloid Years (1992) | DEV-O Live (1999) | Recombo DNA (2000) | Live In Central Park (2004) | DEVO Live 1980 (2005) | New Traditionalists: Live 1981 Seattle (2012) | Something ELSE for Everybody  (2013) | Miracle Witness Hour  (2014) | Live at Max's Kansas City - November 15, 1977  (2014) | Butch Devo and the Sundance Gig  (2014) | Hardcore DEVO Live!  (2015) | Art Devo 1973-1977  (2023)
Filmography
In The Beginning Was The End: The Truth About De-Evolution (1976) | The Men Who Make The Music (1981) | Human Highway (1982) | We're All DEVO (1984) | The Complete Truth About De-Evolution (1993) | DEVO Live (2004) | DEVO Live In The Land Of The Rising Sun (2004) | DEVO Live 1980 (2005) | Butch Devo and the Sundance Gig  (2014) | Hardcore DEVO Live!  (2015)
Related Articles
History | Bootlegs | Booji Boy | Devolution | Influence | The Wipeouters | Jihad Jerry & The Evildoers | Devo 2.0 | Akron, Ohio | Kent, Ohio | Music Videos | Cover Versions | Outfits

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