A few years ago I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about Danny Elfman. I commented how even though I liked the music he had created for the Tim Burton movies he had worked on that I still liked his work in Oingo Boingo more. When he said “huh?” I realized just how much I had dated myself at that point. More important, it was obvious to me just how long it had been since the band had been active.
I was a huge fan of the I.R.S. record label back in the day. A two-album compilation by the name of I.R.S. Greatest Hits Vols 2 and 3 featured a lot of great bands that had released music on the label, including The Damned, Squeeze, The Police, The Buzzcocks and The Cramps. Oingo Boingo had a song on the record by the name of “Only a Lad” from their 1981 debut album of the same name. The band was not punk but possessed those elements, was not ska but possessed horns, was not true new wave but the characteristics of that genre were all over the music. That was my first time hearing the band and I loved it.
Oingo Boingo may not be a band I immediately bring up in terms of a favorite but if I am talking about bands that rank high on my list in terms of live performance these guys rank right up toward the top. The energy this band delivered onstage was incredible, one of those rare bands that could inspire everyone in the crowd to dance. If you were lucky enough to see them play at the Arizona State Fair back in 1989 you will know exactly what I am talking about.
It is rare that the “trendy” song from a band is my favorite but “Dead Man’s Party” is a fantastic tune and has stood the test of time well. Check out the video, you may recognize one of the actor’s from the movie “Back to School” …
Album Inspiration: Best O’Boingo