It’s a Dead Man’s Party! The Oingo Boingo Album by Album Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by GunsOfBrixton, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. GunsOfBrixton

    GunsOfBrixton Forum Resident Thread Starter

    North Carolina
    It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since Oingo Boingo’s farewell performance on Halloween night, 1995. I was fortunate to be at the concert, but I honestly thought that – like every other band, they would get together for a reunion. 25 years later…nada. (and no the impromptu with Bartek at the Hollywood Bowl doesn’t count).

    I was hoping for a reissue series or box set for the 10th, 15th, 20th, and now 25th anniversaries. Alas, nothing yet. And, yes, you are sensing the glimmer of hope that never dies.

    Boingo fans, let’s have some fun, and maybe even make a few new fans along the way.

    For those who don’t know Boingo, the frontman was Danny Elfman, better known these days for his prolific movie and TV soundtracks. The Simpsons theme? He wrote it. The Nightmare before Christmas? Wrote that too (and was Jack Skellington’s singing voice). He’s written pretty much every Tim Burton movie score, along with dozens of others you’ve likely heard.

    If you’re wondering what Oingo Boingo music sounds like, I’d say it’s as if Devo, the B-52’s, and the Talking Heads had a child – and the kid is weirdly, but lightheartedly morbid. You’ve probably heard at least a couple of their songs. Weird Science is one most people remember. Here’s another one that’s a staple of Halloween parties everywhere…(at least if you go to cool parties!)

    I’ve toyed with doing this thread for a while, so what better month than October to kick this off. This is something of a labor of love for a great, forgotten band I still love - but it'd be great to know that you’re here and interested.

    Boingo fans, Secret Society members, and anyone else interested in having some fun and learning about a cool, new, old band, come along for the ride!

    Next up – a roadmap for the thread
  2. Greek Nacho

    Greek Nacho Crustaceous Cheapskate

    United States
    I would participate. Great band. My favorites are Nothing to Fear and Dark at the End of the Tunnel. I wouldn't count on massive forum participation. I would recommend tagging some people that you've seen compliment the band on here to get some people following the thread. The pages here move so fast it's easy for people to miss things like this.
  3. progrocker

    progrocker Forum Resident

    Love the scene in Back To School with OB doing Dead Man's Party in Thornton's room.
  4. yesstiles

    yesstiles Senior Member

    I became a member of the Oingo Boingo Secret Society in 1982. :) I still have those newsletters in a box in storage.
  5. john lennonist

    john lennonist There ONCE was a NOTE, PURE and EASY...

    The original name of the band, which I once saw on a marquee (a year or two before their breakthrough) was one of the coolest ever --

    The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo :righton:
  6. GunsOfBrixton

    GunsOfBrixton Forum Resident Thread Starter

    North Carolina
    Awesome, I appreciate the advice and will definitely take it. Not to be a dope, but this is my first go at sustaining a thread. If you don't mind can you give me a bit more detail on what you mean by "tagging some people"?
  7. rodentdog

    rodentdog Forum Resident

    I'm in. Love me some Oingo Boingo. Was in the Secret Society as well. Still see them every year (except this year) as Oingo Boingo Former Members. Original members Vatos, Avila, Sluggo and Bartek play with them. Put on a great show.
  8. Greek Nacho

    Greek Nacho Crustaceous Cheapskate

    United States
    Sure. It's when you do @GunsOfBrixton like that. But I figure you could search up existing Oingo Boingo threads, take note of the users praising the band, and then create a post on this thread here tagging them like I did with your user name a sentence ago telling them you thought they might enjoy this album by album thread. It gets there attention and makes sure that they'll see the thread even if it's not on the first page whenever they log in.
    GunsOfBrixton likes this.
  9. Scott Davies

    Scott Davies Forum Resident

    One reason there may have never been a reissue program is because Elfman is not much of a nostalgic guy. And in fact when he was asked in an interview he was kinda jerky about it. It's another one of those 'never meet your heroes' scenarios because not only does he dismiss the fan's question but he's kinda rude to the interviewer. He doesn't do himself any favors here, and I get a huge "control freak" vibe from him when he bashes the Weird Science video, being it was the one he states he had no part in directing. That said, I love the first four albums!

    And if you didn't see mentioned in another thread, I am inquiring to Universal about the possibility of reissues but don't get your hopes up.

  10. Eric Weinraub

    Eric Weinraub Forum Resident

    I got turned onto Oingo Boingo in college in the 80s... always thought they were very talented and had a great vibe. I have tracked down some of their records and everyone is engaging musically.
  11. Greek Nacho

    Greek Nacho Crustaceous Cheapskate

    United States
    I didn't really get a jerky vibe from that video. I think he was just a little taken aback by the question since as he said, no one had ever asked him to re-master those albums before. It's sort of admirable in my eyes, he thinks they were mastered right the first time, and is taking an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mindset to that instead of just lathering on the compression and selling them to fans to buy again. Now if the fan had asked for deluxe editions with unreleased tracks, he may have gotten a better response (or at least one more close to what he was looking for). Ditto if he had told Elfman the Boingo CDs were out of print and wanted them at least reissued. But all he asked for was that they be re-mastered, but Elfman didn't see a point in doing that. I'd be willing to bet he doesn't even know that the Oingo Boingo stuff is out of print, given the fact that he doesn't look back. Not that big a deal to me.

    To me it just seems like he's embarrassed by it because it's kind of goofy. He's a creative guy, and he just walked onto that video without explaining the concept or communicating with anyone about what he wanted out of it because he was busy doing a film score. It's not really a control freak ego thing, I just think when you're involved in a video's creation there's a much greater chance that you'll be satisfied with it since your vision is being represented and you're probably not doing anything you don't want to do. I think some of the control freak/jerk thing you're picking up on may just be his social awkwardness because he's kind of a weird dude, to the benefit of his music and maybe to the detriment of his public persona. Remember, he's on the outside.

  12. GunsOfBrixton

    GunsOfBrixton Forum Resident Thread Starter

    North Carolina
  13. Greek Nacho

    Greek Nacho Crustaceous Cheapskate

    United States
    Will you be counting the Forbidden Zone soundtrack and So-Lo as part of their discography?
  14. GunsOfBrixton

    GunsOfBrixton Forum Resident Thread Starter

    North Carolina
    Alright folks, here's what I'm thinking about as a roadmap for the thread...

    Studio Albums
    - Oingo Boingo EP (1980)

    - Only a Lad (1981)

    - Nothing to Fear (1982)

    - Good for Your Soul (1983)

    - So-Lo (1984)

    - Dead Man’s Party (1985)

    - Boi-Ngo (1987)

    - Dark at the End of the Tunnel (1990)

    - Boingo (1994)

    Live Albums
    - Boingo Alive

    - Farewell: Live from the Universal Amphitheater

    We’ll discuss these generally. I don't think there's a whole lot of variance among them content-wise, but we’ll see if we can figure out which one is the best.

    Apocrypha and oddities
    From the Mystic Knights, to the numerous bootlegs, to some of the Boingo-ish post-band era work, and a couple of tribute albums, there’s a goodly amount of interesting stuff to dig into here.

    Post-Boingo Careers
    This somewhat obscure band has had more impact on popular culture than you might think. We’ll take a look at some of the band’s post-Boingo careers (Elfman isn’t the only notable alumni) and how the spirit of the band helped to shape popular culture – even if you never knew they existed. You might actually be surprised!

    To get things going, I’ll give my thoughts on each album and song, and look forward to hearing your thoughts on the same. There's plenty to talk about - the quality of their music, the caliber of their sound, their under-appreciated cultural impact, an a whole lot of other cool stuff!

    Let me know if there's anything else you'd like to see. I'll be listening to the Oingo Boingo EP tonight to get into the groove!
    ChrisTeuma, JeffMo and Runicen like this.
  15. GunsOfBrixton

    GunsOfBrixton Forum Resident Thread Starter

    North Carolina
    So-Lo is absolutely a part of the discography in my opinion. I've always felt like Forbidden Zone was more of Danny's brother's thing, but I do think it's part of the story of Oingo Boingo, so I put it in the apocrypha section. Honestly, it's one of the few Boingo related things that never really landed with me, so hopefully we have some folks with deeper knowledge than I do to give it its due.
  16. wrappedinsky

    wrappedinsky Forum Resident

    Boingo is my favorite album of 2020! Ok, obviously not really "of 2020," but I discovered it just recently and have very much enjoyed it. I know this is an album-by-album thread, and what am I doing coming here to immediately talk about the very last one?! So sorry, my apologies, but in all honesty, this album was the big one for me this year. And worse, in terms of an album-by-album thread: I am going to tack it on that the very last track of the very last album is the one that I have become a huge fan of!

    I would love to hear what others think of this band. There are a few threads here, but most don't go too many pages before they are abandoned to the relative "noise" of the Beatles, Macca, This Underrated Artist, and That Overrated Album threads.
  17. GunsOfBrixton

    GunsOfBrixton Forum Resident Thread Starter

    North Carolina
    When I was younger, I always got the vibe that Danny was pretty down to earth, if a little...odd. I didn't get the feeling of him being a jerk here, but I do get the sense that his move to the soundtrack business changed both his social circles, as well as his sense of artistry. I don't think it's a coincidence that the Oingo Boingo sound started to change right around the time he got heavily into the movie work. Before that, he really just seemed like guy having a blast being a rock star. Once the movie work really kicked in, he seemed to really dig into more classical and world influences and seemed to consider himself more of an artist. And in his defense, the Weird Science video hasn't aged well.

    Totally get the caution on the reissues - our host has talked extensively about the challenges of the business you're in. That said, Scott, wouldn't this be the perfect place to announce it? :winkgrin:

    I would personally pre-order any Boingo albums you issued, on the day they were announced!
  18. Greek Nacho

    Greek Nacho Crustaceous Cheapskate

    United States
    Demo EP was never released to the public, but if you want to be really comprehensive it might be a good idea to cover it as well.
  19. Runicen

    Runicen Forum Resident

    Count me in on this madness!

    Admittedly, I'm well outside of my obsessive "hunting for every audio scrap I can find on dubious file sharing services" fandom years, but Oingo Boingo is still one of the top five favorite bands in my "core" listening and I'd probably give that answer if you woke me up from a dead sleep at 3 AM and demanded I answer with a list. :laugh:

    I started as a kid seeing Nothing to Fear and Good for Your Soul in my Dad's record collection and being drawn to these brazen, neon covers. I still think of Nothing to Fear as one of the best album covers of all time.

    The music sounded like nothing else and I'd say that still holds true today.
  20. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    I think the two that got the most attention in my rigs would be Only a Lad and Good For Your Soul. I had my VW camper back then!
  21. Gez

    Gez Forum Resident

    The show Two Minutes to Late Night has been doing these covers with a revolving cast of mostly metal people since the pandemic started - this week it was time for Oingo Boingo. You will either like this or hate it, but you have to admit that the goofy weird spirit is there. If you like this, they have a bunch of these up, with the Crazy Train one being especially good.

  22. Runicen

    Runicen Forum Resident

    Interesting version.

    Honestly, "Dead Man's Party" is tied with "Weird Science" for my least favorite Boingo song of all time, so it's rare for any version of either to win me over.

    The vocal is solid, but the twin guitar thing is a little busy for me. Something about the melodic lines they're tackling doesn't lend it self to all the trilling and so on. I say this as a metal fan...

    For the most interesting application I've ever seen of a Boingo song, and one of my least favorites (as mentioned), this guy on YouTube really blew my mind with his mashup:

    And yes, he does sample the Macho Man in every mashup. No, it doesn't get old. :biglaugh:
  23. nicotinecaffeine

    nicotinecaffeine Forum Resident

    Walton, KY
    It's the best thing that's ever happened to me in my whole life!

  24. JeffMo

    JeffMo Format Agnostic

    New England
    Fingers crossed Scott!
    longdist01, GunsOfBrixton and Runicen like this.
  25. Greek Nacho

    Greek Nacho Crustaceous Cheapskate

    United States
    When are we starting?

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