Why is Devo’s Oh No! It’s Devo on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
From the catchy, fun, and a little strange to the truly avantgarde weirdo deep cut treasure chest.
What does Devo’s Oh No! It’s Devo mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
“Big Mess” is one of Devo’s very best songs. It’s expertly crafted and, like all great Devo songs, zooms along in hyperdrive. It’s catchy, fun, a little strange, and entirely Devo.
I did some research on what “Big Mess” is about, lyrically, and this explanation, from someone on SongMeanings.com, seems as reasonable as any:
This song is actually based on strange letters received by a friend of someone from Devo. The letters by someone who called them self “Cowboy Kim” and talked about their radio show that was on until 1 am. You should read the letters online they are really weird.
There are some truly avantgarde weirdo deep cut treasures on Oh No! It’s Devo for Devo superfans, which I’ve evolved (devolved?) into over the years. “Speed Racer” is a perfect example. It’s got a great if odd hook and pulsing synth beat, but gets truly strange – in a great way, I’ll wager – when the vocals kick on with a talky sing song-y vibe along the lines of, “I’m speed racer and I drive real fast!” followed by a chorus of sorts announcing, “He’s speed racer and he drives real fast!” It’s funny and weird and makes me laugh at the same time. I’m also sure there’s some kind of subversive statement being made on this one (I guess?) that completely evades me.
“What I Must Do” does a great job of triangulating Devo’s art rock tendencies with super engaging post-punk nerd rock to turn out a fantastic little gem.
“That’s Good” is Devo in their most mainstream leaning-new wave pop mode. The sun shiny sound vibe holds within lyrical content that suggests maybe we should tone down on the materialism thing a little bit. Kind of prescient song writing from the standpoint of 1978, with Reagan’s 1980s coming in the U.S.
Some stats & info about Devo – Oh No! It’s Devo
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Post-Punk, New Wave, Dance Rock, Rock Music, Nerd Rock, Art Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 2.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Oh No! It’s Devo released? 1982
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #695 out of 1,000
Devo’s Oh No! It’s Devo on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top I1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.