Donald Fagenson (Don Was) and David Weiss (David Was), two nice Jewish boys from the Detroit suburb of Oak Park, were the Walter Becker and Donald Fagen of the early '80s, making acerbic commentaries on Reagan-era geopolitics over superbly produced and polished, futuristic punk-funk. Detroit being the Motor City and the home of Motown and the MC5, Was (Not Was) incorporated equal parts R&B and rock, with soul vocals from Sweet Pea Atkinson and angular guitar courtesy of Wayne Kramer of the '5.

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Was (Not Was)

Donald Fagenson (Don Was) and David Weiss (David Was), two nice Jewish boys from the Detroit suburb of Oak Park, were the Walter Becker and Donald Fagen of the early ’80s, making acerbic commentaries on Reagan-era geopolitics over superbly produced and polished, futuristic punk-funk.

Detroit being the Motor City and the home of Motown and the MC5, Was (Not Was) incorporated equal parts R&B and rock, with soul vocals from Sweet Pea Atkinson and angular guitar courtesy of Wayne Kramer of the ‘5. “Wheel Me Out”, all seven minutes and three seconds of it, is the neutron blast of samples and savagery that single-handedly made Ze, now reactivated, the world’s hippest label in the summer of 1981, when every white guitar band worth loving wanted to be Chic or George Clinton.

“Fuck Art Let’s Dance” was Ze’s manifesto, but from the nuclear orange sky of the sleeve to the zany experiments of the original alchemical brothers on “Oh, Mr Friction!”, “It’s An Attack!” and “The Sky’s Ablaze”, Out Come The Freaks is blazingly intelligent nightclub music?not a contradiction in terms.