Hans’ Pick of the Day

“Whip It” is the title of a 1980 single by the Synthpop band Devo. It appears on the album Freedom of Choice. There were two 7″ single releases of “Whip It”, one backed with a remix of the track “Snowball” (which appears on “Freedom of Choice”) and one backed with “Turn Around” (a song later covered by Nirvana). “Whip It” was Devo’s biggest hit, and peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and at #3 in Canada in 1980.

The song

On an episode of the VH1 show TrueSpin, Gerald V. Casale revealed that the lead guitar riff from “Whip It” is based on the riff from “Oh, Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison with the beat moved to the back.

“Whip It” debuted at a live concert on December 29th, 1979 in Santa Cruz, California. The first performance included a synthesizer solo taken from the early Devo song “Chango.” This performance was recorded and is available as a bootleg. A demo version was recorded in 1980 and later released in 2000 on the compilation Recombo DNA released by Rhino Handmade.

Devo – Whip It (Dir. Gerald V. Casale)

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