In 1977, Devo played an intimate show at The Eagle Street Saloon, a “biker bar turned total dive” in Cleveland, Ohio. Though the show was recorded for release, the corresponding tapes have been left to collect dust in the band’s archives for the last 37 years. Until now — that is. On December 1st, Futurismo will at last release that fabled show under a distinctly Devo title, Miracle Witness Hour.
Each album track has been completely remastered by the band. The album will be available on 180 gram colored vinyl and as a Digipak CD. The LP’s outer sleeve has been die-cut, which reverses to reveal a second inner sleeve that contains rare and unreleased band photos and all-new liner notes penned by singer Gerald Casale. That’s the cover artwork above.
According to a press release, Miracle Witness Hour offers a “rare glimpse into the embryonic stages of the groundbreaking band,” adding, “This album boasts primal versions of the bands most recalled avant-pop songs such as ‘Jocko Homo’ and ‘Mongoloid’ moments before Brian Eno got his hands on them, juxtaposed against some of their rarer experimental gems. Like surrealist preachers transmitting a challenge to the preconceptions of pop music, it’s the playful live imperfections in this recording that genuinely make the Miracle Witness Hour an original and intimate experience – so intimate that you can make out individual hand claps of the sparse crowd.”
As a preview, Devo has unveiled the album’s version of “Uncontrollable Urge”, which was released the next year on their classic studio album, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! This early version isn’t much different than the final product, but it does exude a slightly more ramshackle, almost manic quality within the live setting. Listen to it here.
Pre-orders for the album are ongoing.