DEVO: Oh No, It’s DEVO DLX RM US CD 
- Time Out For Fun
- Out Of Sync
- That’s Good
- Big Mess
- Speed Racer
- What I Must Do
- I Desire
- Deep Sleep
- Part Of You
- Find Out
- Peek-A-Boo! (Dance Velocity)
- Peek-A-Boo! (Devo Dub)
- Here To Go (Go Mix Version)
- Here To Go (Here To Dub Version)
I’ll admit that I was not paying rapt attention to Rick Rubin and Henry Rollins’ Infinite Zero label when they surfaced with it in the mid 90s. I noted that several New Wave and Post-Punk albums came back in print due to their largesse, but I already had the Virgin UK twofers that were salted with bonus tracks and those were paid for and in my Record Cell. I was not obsessive enough about DEVO to have bothered with the Infinite Zero reissues at the time. It remained until last decade that I even bothered buying the “Shout” DLX RM and that was only because I had never bothered to hear the album at any point in time! But used, in a local bin, it gained some cachet.
There is a similar tale for the “Oh No, It’s DEVO” album. The Virgin twofer had the 12″ mix of “Peek-A-Boo!!” appended, and at the time, that had been enough for me. But last week, while at a used media emporium, I saw this edition, and I was aware that they had resale value above and beyond what the cover price was, so I snapped it up. But having heard it, I’m not flipping this disc. It is possibly the best of the DEVO Infinite Zero reissues for its generous, if slightly vexing, serving of bonus material.
First of all, this was the last classic period DEVO album that seemed to have mattered. Even so, the negative traits that caused me to abandon the spuds back in the 80s, were fully blown by the time that Roy Thomas Baker [?!] got it all down on tape. Not that it was of importance who was producing, since the band were dogged in their determination to control the whole shebang, as Brian Eno famously found out when attempting to produce their debut. Those negative traits were as follows: rigid, metronomic tempos, digital synths, a diminishing of guitars to the point of nil, and crucially, replacing Alan Myers with drum machines. The last in particular, hurt the band immeasurably to my ears.
This version of the album is singular in that it contained six bonus tracks; by far the most generous edition of this album ever. Not the least of which is the first of these, the song “Part Of You.” The track was a previously unreleased cut that from the sound of the recording, might have been an unissued track from the “New Traditionalist” sessions. The synth percussion recalls “Race Of Doom” from that record. It’s handily more vibrant than many of the tracks from “Oh No.”
The “Peek-A-Boo!!” 12″ single appeared on this edition with all three tracks given an airing. “Peek-A-Boo!! [Dance Velocity]” was a CD track on the Virgin twofer, but the 12″ B-sides also appear here, for the first [and only] time. “Peek-A-Boo!! [DEVO dub]” is a nice long dub mix clocking in at nearly 5:30, but the single’s B-side is the excellent “Find Out,” a track that I like better than most of what’s on the album! It sounds like possibly the last time that Alan Myers played acoustic drums for the band, giving the track some much-needed grounding that other mid-period tracks lack. I realize that MIDI makes it “easy” to synch every fershlugginer thing to a drum machine pulse, but that doesn’t mean that you should do it! Especially when the band in question has as deft a timekeeper as Myers was!
Weirdly enough, the last two bonus tracks here were from the “Here To Go” single that was released from the band’s next album, “Shout!” Even weirder, the Infinite Zero DLX RM of that title, only had the “Shout [E-Z Listening Version]” that was the B-side to the “Here To Go” 12″ single. While I appreciate having the remixes of “Here To Go” on CD, it would have made more sense on the “Shout” CD reissue. Crucially, there is a 12″ that I have that ties in with the album in question here, the “That’s Good” US Promo 12″ single. It featured promo only remixes of “That’s Good” and “Speed Racer” which by all rights should have been on this reissue, but for one reason or another, are still in digital limbo. As such, these two cuts represent an opportunity still not taken.
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