Song Name: Disco Dancer

Artist: DEVO

Appears On:

Run Time: 4:14    BPM: 128

Year Released: 1988 (album version)

Years Performed: (medley*) 1988-1990, 1991 (March 23 only)

Writing Credits: Mark Mothersbaugh/Gerald V. Casale

Sung By: Mark Mothersbaugh (lead), The Femmes Devo ("ja"and"nya" chorus, uncredited)

Remixes By: Ivan Ivan

Single Versions: 7” (4:15), 12” (6:30) and Bonus Beats (4:20) were released on audiocasstte, 12” vinyl record, 7” vinyl record, 3” CD, and were planned to be released with the “Somewhere With Devo” EP. [1]

Remix Credits:
produced by DEVO・disco dancer remixes by ivan ivan・engineer roey shamir・at soundtrack studios new york city・editing roger paulette・additional programming paul c.

Trivia / Info:[]

  • Bass sample by Steve Lindsey
  • Remixed at three different studios in New York. [2]
Videos Trivia:[]
  • This is the only song from Total DEVO to receive music videos. Sadly, Enigma failed to effectively promote it, appearing only once on MTV (on a "good or bad" call-in voting show, no less, which doomed the video instantly).
  • The dance party and karaoke contests and video filming at Lhasaland club on June 4 and at the World club on June 9 were announced in print, including colored flyers. [3] [4] The Lhasaland party was also announced in a June 3 article. [5]
  • The New York City video shoot at the World nightclub was subsequently reported in July and September articles. [6][7]
  • The three inch CD maxi single release [8] of "Disco Dancer" was originally intended to be a "CD-V" with video.
  • Enigma released the first 3” CDs in Canada, “Disco Dancer” being the second released. [9]
  • A promotional three inch compact disc plus graphics (CD+G) was released in 1989. [10]
    The side scrolling graphics and credits are available on YouTube. [11]
    Jerry describes the graphics in an interview with Dan Bailey.[12]
  • The 7-inch version of “Disco Dancer” has been included in all single releases.
    A free streaming remaster was released in conjunction with the 50 Years Of De-Evolution compilation. [13][14]
Onstage Behavior:[]
*This was not played live as a standalone song, it was included in the Somewhere With DEVO suite. Here, it usually began with the normal drum-machine intro and a shout by Mark of "The Femmes Devo!" (Likely a reference to the "Ja"&"Nya" interlude, which in the video was sung by the two onstage dancers.)
  • Before the concert, the "Disco Dancer" video would be shown.
I'm a disco dancer
But I've got no place to go
(I'm a disco boy)
(I'm a disco boy)
Oh no
I'm a disco dancer, baby
And my feet won't touch the floor
(I'm a disco boy)
(I'm a disco boy)
Woah, no
I been sleeping twenty years or more
I remember long time ago
(I'm a disco boy)
(I'm a disco boy)
(I'm a disco boy)
(I'm a disco boy)
Nya / Ja
Nya / Ja
Nya / Ja
Nya / Ja
I been looking for a dance to do
I been looking for some answers too
Now I'm back to change your minds
Now I'm moving right in time
In a world that's turned unkind
I see what's going on behind my back
(I'm a disco boy)
(I'm a disco boy)
(I'm a disco boy)
(I'm a disco boy)
I'm a disco dancer
And I keep dancing on and on
(I'm a disco boy)
(I'm a disco boy)
Oh no
I'm a disco dancer, baby
But I think that something's wrong
(I'm a disco boy)
(I'm a disco boy)
Oh no
I been sleeping twenty years and more
I remember long time ago
Now I'm back to change your mind
Now I'm moving right in time
In a world that's turned unkind
I see what's going on behind my back


Promotional Videos:[]
Two videos were made for the song, one using the 7" Mix, and an extended video using the 12" Mix.

7" Mix Video:

Both videos use the same premise and most of the same footage, that of DEVO walking across the country with a disco ball from New York to LA, performing the song in two different venues for cheering crowds.
The 7" Mix video appears on The Complete Truth About De-Evolution

12" Mix Video:

The 12" Mix video includes additional scenes of DEVO walking through Manhattan and downtown Los Angeles. A topless woman can be seen near the end of the 12" Mix video, and so was not aired on TV, instead provided on a promo video cassette sent to nightclubs and other venues.
The 12" Mix video has not been released on any home format, but can be found online at

Live Video:[]
Live video of the “Disco Dancer" was not released commercially.
(No official concert video release, but the 2 official videos include live audiences with the band on stage performing to playback.)
Amateur/fan videos exist of DEVO performing "Somewhere With DEVO (live)", which includes "Disco Dancer".


Site search of for term “disco dancer” and “devo”.[15]


  1. Devo – Somewhere With Devo EP (acetate). Discogs.

  2. Bob 2 said, Ivan Ivan did the dance mix at three different studios in New York using the SSL G-Series, which is also the same board we mixed the album on.



  5. Weinstein, Steve. “Pop/Rock” column. LA Times. (1988, June 3).
    “Devo, the Ohio transplants who became one of the first big success stories from L.A.’s new-wave rock scene, is back in the spotlight after all but fading from sight. You can see for yourself Saturday night at the new Lhasaland club in Hollywood, where the de-evolution boys will throw a disco dance party featuring a karaoke singing contest and a brief performance to be taped for a video of 'I’m a Disco Dancer,' from the new 'Total Devo' album.”

  6. "Devo Gets Down On It.” Music Video (column). Billboard. Page 72. (1988, September 17). Photo by Chuck Pulin.

    "The five members of Devo were in New York recently to shoot the band's newest video, 'Disco Dancer,' at the World nightclub. The single is the debut shot off the band's 'Total Devo' album on Enigma..."

  7. Joe Levy. "Tasty Bits". New York. Coast To Coast. Cash Box. Volume LII, Number 1. p7. (1988, July 2).
    “Enigma threw a combined release party / video shoot for Devo at the World two weeks ago to celebrate the new Total Devo. Matt Dillon came. So did Henry Rollins. Ivan Ivan (who remixed the Spud Boys’ current single ‘Disco Dancer’ deejayed...”

  8. “Devo: Disco Dancer (4 versions).” Enigma (releases). CD3 – Special Catalog Pullout. Billboard. (1988, September 24).

  9. RPM Weekly. Page 2. (1988, June 18).

    "Enigma scores a first with 3” domestic CD – Enigman Canada, distributed by Capitol, will release the first commercially available 3” domestic compact disc in Canada on June 22… Immediately following… Enigma will ship Devo’s first single, Disco Dancer, on 3” CD from their [Enigma label] debut, Total Devo…"


  11. "Devo - Disco Dancer (3" promo)" [playlist: 01 Disco Dancer. 02 Credits]. Uploaded to YouTube by The CD+G Museum.

  12. Dan Bailey. [Interview with Gerald V. Casale at Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City at 5AM] (1988, November 21).
    ©1990 Dan Bailey.

    ...We did something that was of course based on ‘de-evolution,’ the world going round and famous figures appear and slowly transform into potatoes. Meanwhile the lyrics appear underneath… as the world turns!” - Jerry (1988)




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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 (1978) | 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) | Art Devo 1973-1977  (2023)
In The Beginning Was The End: The Truth About De-Evolution (1976) | 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) | Butch Devo and the Sundance Gig  (2014) | Hardcore DEVO Live!  (2015)
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