For someone as prodigious as Danny Elfman, who will close out 2015 after composing the scores for Hollywood blockbusters like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Fifty Shades of Grey, you would think that his solo discography would be ripe for digging. His success with the band Oingo Boingo between 1979 and 1995 is marked with landmarks that any Ska-influenced, eight-piece, Los Angeles-based New Wave band would have longed for: a placement on the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack, a blessing from John Hughes after their contribution to his film Weird Science, and a minute-long national Budweiser ad where Danny and the band got to put their stamp on the infamous “This Bud’s For You!” theme.
After a slew of critical and commercial failures, Devo was on the rocks in the early 1990s. The group’s last two albums, 1988’s Total Devo and 1990’s Smooth Noodle Maps were both met with poor reviews. Smooth Noodle Maps would be the start of an unofficial twenty year hiatus until 2010’s Something For Everybody. In between, the band members had developed their own projects. Mark Mothersbaugh found a lucrative niche composing film scores, Gerald Casale shot music videos for bands like Silverchair, Rush, and Foo Fighters as early as 1985, and Bob Casale produced Police guitarist Andy Summers’ first solo record XYZ in 1987. Other than a few sporadic club shows and brief reappearances at Lollapalooza, the band was pushed to the backburner by both its members and the general public.
And then, sometime in the mid-2000s, The Walt Disney Company approached them about forming a relaunch of the group with child actors performing the band’s back catalog of erratic, often sexual, Post-Punk oddball songs and calling it Devo 2.0.
Shortly after 1978’s breakthrough Parallel Lines and 1980’s Autoamerican, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein took a short break from Blondie to release Debbie’s debut solo record, Koo Koo, with help from Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards from Chic, Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale from Devo, and H.R. Giger fresh off Alien.