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Whip It

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Song Name: Whip It

Artist: DEVO

Appears On: Freedom of Choice, Now It Can Be Told, Greatest Hits, Best Of DEVO Vol. 1, DEV-O LIVE, E-Z Listening Disc, Recombo DNA, Live In Central Park, DEVO Live 1980, Hot Potatoes, Pioneers Who Got Scalped, The Adventures Of The Smart Patrol Soundtrack, The Essentials, Whip It And Other Hits, this is the DEVO box, New Traditionalists: Live 1981 Seattle, Butch Devo And The Sundance Gig, Social Fools: The Virgin Singles 1978-1982

Run Time: 2:37 (album version)

Year Written: 1979

Year Released: 1980 (album version)

Years Performed: [1] 1979-2014, 2016(April 29)

Writing Credits: Mark Mothersbaugh/Gerald V. Casale

Sung By: Jerry with Mark

  • Gerald V. Casale's vocals begin and end this song. Jerry sings the third, fifth, and eigth verses.
  • Jerry alternates vocals with Mark in the first, second, fourth, and seventh,  verses. Mark sings the lines "give the past the slip," "break your momma's back," "when a problem comes along," "before the cream sets out too long," "when something's goin' wrong","when a good time turns around," "you will never live it down," and "no one gets away."
  • In the music video Mark lip syncs to both his lines and some lines from Jerry's solo verses.

Alternate Versions:


Demo Versions: Freedom of Choice "Home Version" Demo (appears on Recombo DNA)

Song Connections: None

Trivia / Info:Edit

  • This is by far DEVO's most famous song, as well as their most successful US single.
  • The single was able to successfully reach #4 on the dance charts, and #4 on the mainstream pop charts.
  • In the US it charted regionally at #1 and on the Billboard chart at #14.
  • This song is, despite popular belief, not about masturbation or sado-masochism (rather, it seems to exhort the listeners to be proactive in solving their problems).
  • The earliest live recording of this song was made on New Year's Eve, 1979. That day, a synthesizer solo (much like the one in Chango or other Hardcore-era songs) was played. It would later be removed and replaced with a quadraphonic, six note solo.
  • Excluding 1981, performances of Whip It were part of a medley with the Freedom of Choice Theme, from its first performance to 1982.
  • When advertisers want to use this song, Devo re-record it so WB doesn't get all the money. Devo has also personalized the lyrics for different corporate clients. (see "alternate versions")
  • It was remade much later as Swiff It for commercials for Swiffer cleaning products.
  • A version of Whip it was re-recorded for Devo 2.0.
  • Devo approved a grant to PeTA from the royalties of "Whip It" on a campaign for circuses to stop using big cats as performance animals. [2] [3] [4]

Onstage Behavior:

  • Mark Mothersbaugh usually brandished a whip, his belt, or a microphone cable, cracked in time to the sound effects.

Lyrics:

Crack that whip!
Give the past "the slip"
Step on a crack
Break your momma's back
When a problem comes along
You must whip it
Before the cream sets out too long
You must whip it
When something's goin' wrong
You must whip it
Now whip it
Into shape
Shape it up
Get straight
Go forward
Move ahead
Try to detect it
It's not too late
To whip it
Whip it good
When a good time turns around
You must whip it
You will never live it down
Unless you whip it
No one gets away
Until they whip it
I say whip it
Whip it good
I say whip it
Whip it good
(six note synth solo)
Crack that whip!
Give the past "the slip"
Step on a crack
Break your momma's back
When a problem comes along
You must whip it
Before the cream sets out too long
You must whip it
When something's goin' wrong
You must whip it
Now whip it
Into shape
Shape it up
Get straight
Go forward
Move ahead
Try to detect it
It's not too late
To whip it
Into shape
Shape it up
Get straight
Go forward
Move ahead
Try to detect it
It's not too late
To whip it
Well, whip it good!

Music Video:Edit

Appears on We're All DEVO, The Complete Truth About De-Evolution

References

  1. DEVO Live Guide. Website keyword search for "whip it".
  2. Ohio.com. Akron Beacon Journal. Updated March 4, 2016. Devo to donate ‘Whip It’ royalties to PETA to help big cats by Malcolm X Abram, Beacon Journal pop music writer. The new wave band will donate a portion of the royalties from their most popular hit to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to help fund a campaign to encourage circuses to free their big cats, and by extension end the practice of whipping them for training and control... Casale said his wife, Krista Napp, has long been aware of the various big cat issues from extinction to their treatment in zoos and circuses.” (PETA senior vice president of media campaigns), Dan Mathews “recently contacted us about this very issue and I presented to the band we all agreed that it was a good thing and we did it,” Casale said.
  3. Breitbart. March 4th, 2016. Devo rebrands ‘Whip It’ for circus protest. by Americans for Prosperity (AFP). “We were writing a song about being able to prevail over adversity — and that’s how it’s really being used here,” Devo bassist and songwriter Gerald Casale told AFP on Friday... He said the band was offering the song for use by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and also donating unspecified proceeds from “Whip It” to the rights group.
  4. facebook. ClubDEVO post (2016-3-5). 'DEVO to donate "Whip It" royalties to PETA to help big cats'. post+comments section

External Links:

"Whip It" -- Rock Band Wiki
"Whip It" -- 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 (1977) | 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)
Filmography
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) | Hardcore DEVO Live!  (2015)
Related Articles
History | Bootlegs | Booji Boy | Devolution | Influence | The Wipeouters | Jihad Jerry & The Evildoers | Devo 2.0 | Akron, Ohio | Music Videos | Versions | Outfits

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