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OINGO BOINGO

Oingo Boingo

Crossover Prog


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Oingo Boingo Oingo Boingo album cover
3.15 | 8 ratings | 2 reviews | 50% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing


1. Only A Lad (4:18)
2. Violent Love (2:38)
3. Ain't This The Life (3:30)
4. I'm So Bad (3:56)

Total Time 14:22

Line-up / Musicians

- Danny Elfman / vocals
- Steve Bartek / guitars
- Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez / drums
- Richard Gibbs / keyboards
- Kerry Hatch / bass
- Leon Schniederman / horns
- Sam "Sluggo" Phipps / horns
- Dale Turner / horns

Releases information

A&M EP SP 70400

Thanks to Evolver for the addition
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OINGO BOINGO Oingo Boingo ratings distribution


3.15
(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(50%)
50%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(12%)
12%
Good, but non-essential (25%)
25%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (12%)
12%

OINGO BOINGO Oingo Boingo reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Oingo Boingo entered the major label record scene with this brief (under fifteen minutes) EP. Right out of the box, this short set shows Danny Elfman's infatuation with the darker side of life. Only A Lad depict a juvenile delinquint allowed to get away with increasing crimes because "society made him go astray" (This wasn't the only time Elfman wrote about hypocracy on the left side of politics - see Capitalism on the "Only A Lad" album - but don't worry, he also skewered the right).

A cover of Willie Dixon's Violent Love follows. This is done reggae style, and reminds me a bit of the earlier 10CC forays into the genre.

The second side is the more interesting of the two. Ain't This The Life is an upbeat tale of the life of a wealthy hedonist. There is a clever twist in it that I won't give away. I'm So Bad, the best track on the EP, introduces the layered tuned percussion that would become one of Oingo Boingo signature sounds. It's a slightly eerie piece about a rage filled potential murderer.

It's a nice album, but for it's brevity, I can only give it 3 stars.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars While the Mystic Knights of the OINGO BOINGO was formed all the way back in 1972 when Richard Elfman created a musical theater troupe that combined the zany antics of Spike Jones and Frank Zappa in an eclectic array of bizarre genre mashes, Richard would eventually grow tired of the whole thing and passed the baton off to his brother Danny Elfman who would restructure the whole thing into a musical project and drop the complexities of the the traveling show. Danny Elfman had spent some time in the latter part of the 70s in Africa and learned how to play a variety of instruments including African percussion instruments as well as violin. While the theater troupe was no more, Danny carried on a lot of the carnival themes with him and in no time scored a recording contract with I.R.S. Records as his zany zolo fueled musical mix perfectly fit in the burgeoning new wave movement of the era.

Before 'Only A Lad,' 'Nothing To Fear' and the rest of the famous albums that followed, the newly penned OINGO BOINGO released this mere little EP of four tracks that prognosticated an entire film and TV soundtrack career that Elfman would eventually find his biggest success in. While many EPs are mere artifacts that are rendered irrelevant due to the tracks having been recycled on future releases, such is not the case with OINGO BOINGO's eponymously titled first offering, a near 14 minute collection of tracks that never appeared anywhere else with the exception of the track 'Only A Lad' which would be the title track on the debut full-length, however that track was re-recorded so in effect this is also a track, in this version at least, that would never be released. The EP was only ever released on cassette and vinyl 10' and 12' with the two vinyl formats having a slight difference in track orders.

The OINGO BOINGO EP displays a fledgling new wave outfit with a circus musical feel meets ska in their early stages. Even at this point the band was already an octet with a full horn section that consisted of baritone, alto and soprano saxophones as well as trumpet and trombone. The jittery guitar riffs accented with Elfman's eccentric vocal style took a page right out of the Devo playbook but deemphasized the punk aspects and created more of a psycho-jazz rock sound that would greatly influence future acts like Mr. Bungle, Fishbone and even Nirvana. 'Only A Lad' is a more primitive version that would be more refined for the debut album. 'Violent Love' is Elfman's demented version of a blues song by Willie Dixon while the other two tracks 'Ain't This The Life' and 'I'm So Bad' are two Elfman originals that display his unique compositional style that allows the horn arrangements and guitar sections to have an interesting 'conversation' along with an extra healthy African inspired percussion section however at this point mostly played out on a single drum with some xylophones entering the scene from time to time.

This EP is pretty much a relic and an obscurity in the popular band's canon. It has never been rereleased on CD however i would bet that should the albums be remastered that they would surely find a home as bonus tracks on 'Only A Lad.' (i can hope!) While not available as a physical product since the first release, these tracks have been released digitally and easily found on YouTube for your listening pleasure. While compositionally these may not be quite as accomplished as those on 'Only A Lad,' they're still pretty damn good for the first release and well worth checking out. While i wouldn't slap the essential label on any of them, for the true OINGO BOINGO fan, they would be deemed at least hearing. While this EP was really nothing more than a demo that turned into an EP release, it has pretty much been all but forgotten as Elfman's success accrued over throughout the 80s. A nice little obscurity that probably should remain so but still worth the time of day to investigate.

3.5 rounded down

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