Primary Wave Music Publishing has acquired a stake in the music publishing catalog and master recordings of Devo, one of the most influential and longest-running acts to emerge from the new wave era. The acquisition includes some of the group’s biggest hits, including “Whip It,” “That’s Good,” “Girl U Want,” “Freedom of Choice,” and more.
Devo will now have access to Primary Wave’s publishing infrastructure, which includes digital strategy, marketing, licensing, synch opportunities, and film and TV production.
“As a founder of Devo, the band and the concept, I feel the evidence of real De-evolution is growing daily,” says the group’s Gerald Casale. “Devo is relevant to current culture and I am excited that Primary Wave finds our body of work ripe for growing the Devo brand into the future. In partnership with them we hope to fortify our legacy.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to welcome such an innovative band – a band that was so ahead of their time – to the Primary Wave family,” says Adam Lowenberg, Chief Marketing Officer at Primary Wave. He goes on, “I have personally been a long-time fan of Devo, and their music has stood the test of time. Our team looks forward to bringing new life to their classic songs.”
Formed in Akron, Ohio, in 1972 by Kent State art students Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh, Devo’s innovative merging of rock, mechanical rhythms, quirkiness and, not least, videos, imaging and branding has had a far-reaching influence on countless acts that have emerged in the years since. They were among the first truly multi-media artists: In the early ‘80s, their videos were among the most imaginative and attention-grabbing of the then-new MTV network, and during an era when glamorous artists like Duran Duran, Michael Jackson and Prince set the tone, they were utterly unafraid to make fun of themselves.
Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale created every band graphic concept and marketing plan, and Gerald directed 21 of their videos including “Whip It” and “Satisfaction,” as well as designing the innovative stage shows and costumes which includes the infamous Devo “Energy Dome” red hat. Early fans included David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Brian Eno, the latter of whom produced the group’s major-label debut in 1978.
While Mothersbaugh has cultivated an active career as a film and television composer over the past couple of decades and key members Bob Casale and Alan Myers have passed away, the group remains active and reforms for occasional gigs.
Devo’s agent is Ian Fintak of 33 & West. Peter Csathy of Creatv Media helped facilitate the transaction with Primary Wave.