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Oingo Boingo - Boingo Alive CD (album) cover


Oingo Boingo


Crossover Prog

4.09 | 4 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars While I guess technically this is a live album, it seems to live at the very edge of that definition. One thing you might notice when listening to this, there is no crowd noise whatsoever. And no stage patter. If you read the liner notes you will discover that the album was recorded in a rehearsal studio, not at a true live performance. Oh well. Despite the lack of an audience, the performances are amazingly good. The band is tight, the horns are crisp (I especially like the fact that Bruce Fowler, frequent trombonist for Frank Zappa, is a special guest on this recording). The songs represent Oingo Boingo's career up that point, from the debut EP up to "Boi-Ngo". While the latter three albums are not up to snuff compared to the earlier releases, the live performances are an upgrade. Guitarist Steve Bartek gets to shine, as he easily slides between rhythm licks and manic solos. And if you were one of the lucky ones to see this band live (as I was), you know that much of the percussive rhythms are played on the actual instruments, and not synths. It makes Grey Matter much more exciting when you can picture Danny Elfman and bassist John Avila wailing away on marimbas. It's no surprise that the best material is the songs from the early albums. But a few bones are thrown in, too. Cinderella Undercover had only previously been released as a B-side to a single. Goodbye Goodbye was only on the "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" soundtrack album, and, as far as I know, Winning Side and Mama had not been released before this. There is also a cool country western rendition of Sweat, and a couple of odd versions of Dead Man's Party thrown in as well. This is a great display of what this band could do on stage (even without an audience), and also an excellent album for OB's fans.
Evolver | 4/5 |


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