Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

OINGO BOINGO

Crossover Prog • United States


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Oingo Boingo picture
Oingo Boingo biography
Way back in 1970, a young Danny ELFMAN joined his brother Richard's musical theater company, The Grand Magic Circus as a violinist. Danny performed with the show for a European summer tour, and then left for a year long trip across Africa. In 1972, Danny returned to the troupe, now known as The Mystic Knights Of The Oingo Boingo in the role of musical director. This group specialized in big band and jazz classics, as well as Danny's own percussion laden compositions. In 1976, Richard left the group, leaving Danny as lead singer and director.

By 1980, the younger ELFMAN brother had shortened the name to OINGO BOINGO, and had turned the band into a rock group. The group settled in with the eight man lineup Danny on lead vocals, Steve BARTEK on guitars, Richard GIBBS on keyboards, Kerry HATCH on bass, Johnny ?Vatos? HERNANDEZ on drums, and Leon SCHNIEDERMAN, Sam ?Sluggo? PHIPPS, and Dale TURNER on horns. The band was rewarded with a recording contract from A&M records, where they released their debut EP, as well as a number of well received albums. ELFMAN continued to write the majority of the songs for the group, with BARTEK providing a large portion of the arrange ments. The music was a unique blend of new wave, punk, big band, and various styles of rock. The theatrical and jazz background, as well as ELFMAN's love of composers like STRAVINSKY meant that the compositions were full of unusual rhythms, chord structures and time shifts.

ELFMAN and BARTEK shared an interest in movie soundtracks as well, leading to their work on countless movies and TV shows, as well as the band's appearances in movies, like Bachelor Party (with Tom HANKS, and Back To School with Rodney DANGERFIELD). One of their most famous hits, Weird Science came from the movie of the same name.

The band changed labels, to MCA in 1985, but for contractual reasons, their first album on the new label was released as So-Lo under Danny ELFMAN's name. During this phase, Mike BACICH and John AVILA took over on keyboards and bass, respectively. The band continued and ELFMAN and BARTEK's movie resumes increased, and albums like Dark At The End Of The Tunnel began to include the dark orchestral themes that permeated their soundtracks.

In 1991 the group re-emerged with Warren FITZGERALD as a second guitarist, and Marc MANN on keyboards, and the band's name now shortened to BOINGO. Their final self-titled studio album was their darkest and most progressive, but also...
read more

OINGO BOINGO Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to OINGO BOINGO

Buy OINGO BOINGO Music


Dead Man's Party [Deluxe LP Reissue][Colored Vinyl]Dead Man's Party [Deluxe LP Reissue][Colored Vinyl]
Geffen 2015
$21.67
$24.76 (used)
Best O' BoingoBest O' Boingo
Geffen 1991
$12.66
$2.34 (used)
Good for Your SoulGood for Your Soul
A&M 1987
$28.00 (used)
Nothing To FearNothing To Fear
Universal Special Products 2005
$5.45
$4.09 (used)
Boi-NgoBoi-Ngo
MCA Records 2003
$6.38 (used)
Only A LadOnly A Lad
A&M 1987
$10.08
$6.94 (used)
Skeletons In The ClosetSkeletons In The Closet
A&M Records 1989
$9.88
$1.63 (used)
Boingo Alive: Celebration of a Decade 1979-1988Boingo Alive: Celebration of a Decade 1979-1988
MCA 1990
$89.99
$9.77 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Oingo Boingo - S/T on I.R.S. SP 70400 Stereo 10" USD $19.99 Buy It Now 39m 59s
SEALED RARE OOP Combat Radio Halloween 2x CD Album Whitesnake OINGO BOINGO Avila USD $14.99 Buy It Now 44m 33s
Various Artists - Drink To Bones That Turn To Dust: A Toast To Oingo Boingo USD $79.99 Buy It Now 1h 11m
OINGO BOINGO - BEST O'BOINGO- MCAD5665-CD USD $5.98 Buy It Now 4h
Lot of 14 Gold Stamp Promo Rock Albums. LP's. Oingo Boingo, - FREE SHIP USD $19.99 [0 bids]
4h 40m
Lot of 10 Rock New Wave Albums LP's Vinyl. Oingo boingo, The Alarm,The Kinks USD $19.99 [0 bids]
4h 41m
OINGO BOINGO Not My Slave promo 45 DANNY ELFMAN USD $9.99 Buy It Now 4h 45m
Monsters, Ghouls, Goblins & Demons, Halloween Party Collection, Oingo Boingo NEW USD $8.50 Buy It Now 4h 50m
Oingo Boingo PAIN 12" WLP White Label Promo Single N Mint1986 USD $5.75 Buy It Now 5h 4m
Oingo Boingo- Good For Your Soul Vinyl USD $15.00 [0 bids]
5h 49m
Monsters, Ghouls, Goblins & Demons, Halloween Party Collection, Oingo Boingo NEW USD $8.98 Buy It Now 14h 55m
OINGO BOINGO - 20TH CENTURY MASTERS - THE MILLENNIUM COLLECTION: THE BEST OF OIN USD $9.26 Buy It Now 15h 9m
OINGO BOINGO - ONLY A LAD NEW CD USD $14.37 Buy It Now 15h 45m
OINGO BOINGO Just Another Day 2 versions promo 45 DANNY ELFMAN USD $9.99 Buy It Now 16h 14m
Oingo Boingo Weird Science 12" Promo Vinyl LP Record Album with Photo + USD $30.00 Buy It Now 17h 4m
TM Century 1835R Radio Promo GoldDisc CD Compilation | Oingo Boingo | Arcadia USD $9.95 [1 bids]
19h 38m
MFD IN CANADA PROMO 1985 ALTERNATIVE ROCK 45 RPM OINGO BOINGO : STAY + HEARD SOM USD $7.63 [0 bids]
USD $15.26 Buy It Now
20h 3m
OINGO BOINGO - DEAD MAN'S PARTY rare New Wave Rock cd (MCA 1985) 9 songs USD $3.99 Buy It Now 22h 25m
Missing Persons Spring Session M LP VG++/EX Oingo Boingo Pretenders Berlin USD $10.00 Buy It Now 22h 28m
Oingo Boingo - Good For Your Soul (1983, Cassette) USD $7.99 Buy It Now 23h 14m
OINGO BOINGO - BEST O' BOINGO USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $13.71 Buy It Now 1 day
WEIRD SCIENCE Soundtrack LP Vinyl Oingo Boingo Killing Joke Wall Of Voodoo Taxxi USD $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Oingo Boingo Only A Lad SP-4863 Vinyl LP A&M Records USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
U2 + OINGO BOINGO - 12" PROMO BRAZIL ONLY new wave =======It's NOT lp cd 7 45 USD $25.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Oingo Boingo ~ Boi-Ngo/ Japan LP/ Sheet Promo USD $24.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Oingo Boingo - Good For Your Soul Skull Logo - 1" Button/Pin USD $7.49 Buy It Now 1 day
OINGO BOINGO - DEAD MAN'S PARTY NEW CD USD $7.77 Buy It Now 1 day
Oingo boingo Dark At The End Of The Tunnel Cassette USD $4.50 Buy It Now 1 day
OINGO BOINGO ORIGINAL 1987 {MADE IN JAPAN U..S. ISSUE} CD ONLY A LAD / 2B1 73 M- USD $13.95 Buy It Now 1 day
WEIRD SCIENCE SOUNDTRACK Lp RECORD VARIOUS MCA-6146 US OINGO BOINGO '85 UNPLAYED USD $18.99 Buy It Now 1 day
OINGO BOINGO - DEAD MAN'S PARTY - ORIGINAL OZ LP RECORD -V,GOOD PLUS CONDITION USD $23.38 Buy It Now 2 days
Bachelor Party (Soundtrack) Oingo Boingo, Angel & the Reruns, R.E.M., Fleshtones USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2 days
OINGO BOINGO Weird Science Vinyl Record - Movie Danny Elfman New Wave Punk Rock USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Oingo Boingo 12" Single Weird Science Extended Dance Version 1985 USD $11.39 Buy It Now 2 days
OINGO BOINGO - NOTHING TO FEAR USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $5.42 Buy It Now 2 days
The Best Of [Digipak] by Oingo Boingo (CD, Apr-2007, Geffen) USD $13.95 Buy It Now 2 days
Oingo Boingo - Good for Your Soul - Vinyl LP Record USD $30.00 [0 bids]
2 days
Drink to Bones That Turn to Dust: a Toast to Oingo Boingo USD $30.08 Buy It Now 3 days
Oingo Boingo - "Best Of" 2 CD Lot USD $7.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Oingo Boingo - Good For Your Soul CD USD $12.39 Buy It Now 3 days
BOI-NGO OINGO BOINGO RECORD USD $25.00 Buy It Now 3 days
OINGO BOINGO - Best O' Boingo LP PROMO BRAZIL Original 1991 press USD $110.00 Buy It Now 3 days
OINGO BOINGO- OUT OF CONTROL SINGLE PROMO-CD USD $0.01 [0 bids]
3 days
Oingo Boingo - Only a Lad [New CD] USD $14.38 Buy It Now 3 days
Oingo Boingo - Only a Lad [New CD] USD $11.89 Buy It Now 3 days
Boingo Alive Oingo Boingo CD USD $10.00 Buy It Now 3 days
OINGO BOINGO NOTHING TO FEAR ORIGINAL CD 1982 IRS RECORDS USA PRESSING 1ST RARE USD $6.89 Buy It Now 4 days
OINGO BOINGO - 20TH CENTURY MASTERS - THE MILLENNIUM COLLECTION: THE BEST OF OIN USD $11.29 Buy It Now 4 days
Best O' Boingo Oingo Boingo Audio CD USD $4.30 Buy It Now 4 days
OINGO BOINGO - BEST O' BOINGO NEW CD USD $16.72 Buy It Now 4 days
DANNY ELFMAN-OINGO BOINGO-OST-TIM BURTON-BIG FISH-OSCAR PROMO-FYC- CD-US-MINT! USD $5.59 Buy It Now 4 days
Oingo Boingo ORIGINAL 01 First Pres Good For Your Soul Danny Elfma USD $35.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Best of Oingo Boingo: Skeletons in the Closet by Oingo Boingo (CD, Jan-1989, A USD $8.39 Buy It Now 4 days
Boingo Alive - Oingo Boingo (CD, Oct-1988, 2 Discs, MCA) 2 CD'S - NM USD $29.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Boi-Ngo by Oingo Boingo CD USD $11.60 Buy It Now 4 days
OINGO BOINGO 'Good For Your Soul' SEALED original 1983 1st press LP USD $49.99 [0 bids]
4 days
OINGO BOINGO-BEST OF/20TH CENTURY CD NEW USD $11.30 Buy It Now 4 days
OINGO BOINGO 'Nothing To Fear' SEALED original 1982 1st press LP USD $49.99 [0 bids]
4 days
Only A Lad - Oingo Boingo (CD Used Very Good) USD $12.38 Buy It Now 4 days
OINGO BOINGO 'Only A Lad' SEALED original 1981 1st press LP USD $49.99 [1 bids]
4 days
OINGO BOINGO DEAD MAN'S PARTY LP ORIG 1st PRESS 1985 W/ INSERT Danny Elfman rare USD $24.95 Buy It Now 5 days
Best O' Boingo by Oingo Boingo (CD, Sep-1991, MCA (USA)) USD $16.74 Buy It Now 5 days
RADIO SHOW: RADIO FREE AMERICA #7 GRACE JONES, DEVO, TALK TALK, OINGO BOINGO USD $39.99 Buy It Now 5 days
OINGO BOINGO-DEAD MAN'S PARTY ORIGINAL 1985 CD MCA/JVC441 COLLECTABLE FINE USD $10.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Oingo Boingo: Dead Man's Party *Excellent, Clean Condition* USD $4.99 Buy It Now 5 days
OINGO BOINGO Boingo; 1994 CD Giant Records USD $6.00 Buy It Now 5 days
OINGO BOINGO_Dead Man's Party_used cassette_ships from AUS!_zz61_KLO USD $17.01 Buy It Now 5 days
OINGO BOINGO-BEST O`BOINGO CD NEW USD $19.78 Buy It Now 5 days
OINGO BOINGO - ONLY A LAD USED - VERY GOOD CD USD $11.36 Buy It Now 5 days
NM American Rock LP KTEL Alternative Punk: REM Oingo Boingo X Stevie Ray Vaughan USD $19.95 Buy It Now 5 days
Oingo Boingo - Boi-Ngo - Oingo Boingo CD 35VG The Fast Free Shipping USD $10.89 Buy It Now 5 days
Dead Man's Party Oingo Boingo CD 1985 MCA IMPORT JAPAN RARE/OOP (NO CASE/BOOK) USD $9.99 Buy It Now 5 days
CASSETTE TAPE LOT Oingo Boingo Nothing to Fear + Dead Man's Party Danny Elfman USD $8.99 [0 bids]
5 days
Oingo Boingo ?- Good For Your Soul RARE CD! FREE SHIPPING! USD $18.00 Buy It Now 5 days
GHOSTBUSTERS II Soundtrack NEW CD Run D.M.C Glenn Frey Elton John Oingo Boingo USD $15.26 Buy It Now 5 days
DANNY ELFMAN & OINGO BOINGO Forbidden Zone LP OST RSD Limie Green New VARESE USD $9.99 [0 bids]
5 days
OINGO BOINGO Boingo Alive Promo 2 Track Maxi 1979-1988 Mint W/L promo USD $39.39 Buy It Now 5 days
Oingo Boingo - Best O'Boingo [New CD] Manufactured On Demand USD $16.73 Buy It Now 5 days
Best O' Boingo - Oingo Boingo 008811042424 (CD Used Very Good) USD $14.73 Buy It Now 5 days
OINGO BOINGO Wake Up (It's 1984) promo 45 DANNY ELFMAN USD $9.99 Buy It Now 5 days
She's Out of Control (Soundtrack)Kinks,Oingo Boingo,Phil Thornalley,Brian Wilson USD $19.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Boingo - Oingo Boingo CD 1994 Giant Records Pre Owned Cut Out Case See Pictures USD $8.95 Buy It Now 5 days
Rare Vintage Vinyl-Oingo Boingo-Alive-MCA2-8030-NM USD $8.00 [0 bids]
5 days
Oingo Boingo "Boi-ngo" LP (1987) USD $9.99 [0 bids]
5 days
Best O' Boingo - Oingo Boingo (CD 1991) XCLNT Condition 17 Songs FREE Ship USD $8.49 Buy It Now 5 days
OINGO BOINGO Stay / Heard Somebody Cry 45 USD $7.05 Buy It Now 6 days
OINGO BOINGO - Dark At End Of Tunnel - CD - Original Recording Reissued - *NEW* USD $50.95 Buy It Now 6 days
20th Century Masters Millennium Collection Best of Oingo Boingo CD GREATEST HITS USD $4.05 Buy It Now 6 days
rare OOP 1990 USA Oingo Boingo Dark at the End of the Tunnel CD MCA Danny Elfman USD $4.79 Buy It Now 6 days
Sold As Is - OINGO BOINGO - Alive, Disc Two Only CD ( 1988, Incomplete Set ) USD $6.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Oingo Boingo : Nothing To Fear CD (1996) USD $6.59 Buy It Now 6 days
OINGO BOINGO - Boingo - CD - Limited Edition - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** - RARE USD $68.95 Buy It Now 6 days
OINGO BOINGO Skin EDIT PROMO CD Single DANNY ELFMAN 90 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 6 days
Oingo boingo vinyl USD $22.00 Buy It Now 6 days
Oingo Boingo - Dead Man's Party [Deluxe Edition] [Reissue] Vinyl LP USD $24.98 Buy It Now 6 days
OINGO BOINGO!!! NOTHING TO FEAR!!! ORIG. 1982 US FIRST PRESSING!!! USD $36.75 Buy It Now 6 days
RARE PROMO Doctor Dream CASSETTE TAPE Food For Feet oingo boingo Cadillac Tramps USD $9.99 Buy It Now 6 days
ROCK OF THE 80'S 3 VOLUME SET - 3 CDS - OINGO BOINGO, SOFT CELL, THE TUBES, ETC. USD $30.00 Buy It Now 6 days
Bachelor Party Soundtrack Promo, 1984, IRS, Vinyl LP, Oingo Boingo, R.E.M., USD $21.25 Buy It Now 7 days
OINGO BOINGO - Boingo - CD - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $32.49 Buy It Now 7 days

More places to buy OINGO BOINGO music online Buy OINGO BOINGO & Prog Rock Digital Music online:

OINGO BOINGO discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

OINGO BOINGO top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.31 | 14 ratings
Only A Lad
1981
4.34 | 14 ratings
Nothing To Fear
1982
4.77 | 11 ratings
Good For Your Soul
1983
3.07 | 9 ratings
So-Lo (released as Danny Elfman)
1984
3.18 | 12 ratings
Dead Man's party
1985
3.12 | 7 ratings
Boi-Ngo
1987
2.27 | 7 ratings
Dark At The End Of The Tunnel
1990
4.70 | 11 ratings
Boingo
1994

OINGO BOINGO Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.09 | 4 ratings
Boingo Alive
1988
5.00 | 4 ratings
Farewell
1996

OINGO BOINGO Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

OINGO BOINGO Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 2 ratings
Skeletons In The Closet
1989
5.00 | 2 ratings
Best O' Boingo
1991

OINGO BOINGO Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 5 ratings
Oingo Boingo
1980

OINGO BOINGO Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Nothing To Fear by OINGO BOINGO album cover Studio Album, 1982
4.34 | 14 ratings

BUY
Nothing To Fear
Oingo Boingo Crossover Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars It didn't take long at all for Danny Elfman to reconfigure his brother Richard Elfman's musical theater troupe in the late 70s into one of the most unique sounding musical outfits to have been lumped into the new wave movement that was finding massive popularity in the early part of the 80s. Danny proved to be the perfect eccentric character to nurture the artistry into completely unthinkable extremes that took the zolo quirky charm of 70s bands like Devo and Split Enz and added an entire big band sounding horn section to give it that extra oomf. On the debut self-tiled EP and the full-length "Only A Lad," Elfman not only teased out the best possible combination of punk rock, pop hooks, ska, jazz and African rhythms but also proved to be quite the accomplished composer as an entire album of compositions complemented each other perfectly and offered a diverse wealth of moods and feels within the band's new musical paradigm. The band stood out like a sore thumb which got them noticed very quickly.

While the band was not experiencing the popularity of the new wave artists that were in heavy rotation on MTV, they were quite the hit in their native Los Angeles stomping grounds where they found heavy radio play and regular live gigs. Wasting no time, the band followed up their debut full-length "Only A Lad" the following year with NOTHING TO FEAR which found the overall sound being ratcheted up a few notches in the heaviness department. On this sophomore release there are more pronounced uses of the electric guitar that are both louder and more distorted along with more liberal styles such as the occasional soloing. While Elfman spent some time in Africa learning how to play percussive instruments before the start of OINGO BOINGO, the implementation of the musical rhythms only scratched the surface and on NOTHING TO FEAR he pulled out the big guns and offered a much more dynamic percussive backdrop that was in the spirit of David Byrne's Talking Heads albums only much more dynamic.

Once again the band remained an octet with Danny Elfman belting out his eccentric vocal style as well as contributing rhythm guitar. Steve Bartek returned only this time being allowed to explore different guitar playing avenues instead of the incessant ska syncopations. Continuing their jazz-rock style, the dynamic horn section was arranged to provide the perfect counterpoint for the fast tempos and high energy spastic pace of the quirky tracks that sported Elfman's equally quirky lyrical content with tracks exploring the concepts of everything from human neurology in "Grey Matter," the hidden in plain sight world of "Insects" as well as the more mundane human experiences such as "Whole Day Off" and the titillating concept of "Wild Sex (in the Working Class). Everything on NOTHING TO FEAR is a step up, musically speaking, from "Only A Lad." Elfman's vocals are more wild and varied than ever. The tracks are more polished with a better team of mixers and sound engineers as well as the tracks being tighter and more creatively constructed. Despite the musical theater troupe having long been retired, Elfman continued the showtime themed aspects with a full zeal and commitment that utilized every possible exploration offered by the band's unique idiosyncratic sound.

NOTHING TO FEAR simply sounds more exotic than anything else that fell into the umbrella term new wave. While it clearly did have new wave attributes such as the syncopated ska rhythms derived from a punk rock beginning as well as the synthesizer rich layerings that were used as liberally as by the Human League, Duran Duran or A Flock Of Seagulls, OINGO BOINGO went the extra mile to find new sounds to encapsulate their quirky circus moodswings. NOTHING TO FEAR was the first BOINGO album to show off the band's homemade instruments which included crazy things like rumba-phones and other unique noise making devices created by Leon Schneiderman. Possibly the most amazing thing of all is that every track sounds unique and stands out from the others making NOTHING TO FEAR one of the best albums that band released in their 17 year long career. Even the album cover art screams brilliance with that cleverly crafted creature encapsulated in the brown and green surrealistic art.

NOTHING TO FEAR is the point where OINGO BOINGO began to see a more national audience latching onto their sound as they would be the opening act for diverse bands such as the punk band Fear as well as highly popular ska rock band The Police. The track "WIld Sex (In The Working Class)" would also eventually find a place in John Hughes' film "Sixteen Candles." So, yeah their sound was rowdy and raw enough to capture the hearts of the punk crowds, synthesizer laden enough for the burgeoning new wavers and sophisticated enough to even capture the hearts of the more progressive oriented music world as they indulged in a unique amalgamation of exotic percussion, a three-piece horn section all wrapped up in unconventional scales, harmonies and musical presentation. And to top it off, they also implemented strange surreal artistic presentation both live and on their album covers. OINGO BOINGO was one of a kind and NOTHING TO FEAR has to be the absolute pinnacle of their early glory years where all the elements were perfectly balanced to create one of the ultimate classics of 80s new wave. Personally it's a toss up between this one and the debut. They both have strengths and weaknesses so i'll just call it a tie and declare this a brilliant masterpiece as well.

 Oingo Boingo by OINGO BOINGO album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1980
3.05 | 5 ratings

BUY
Oingo Boingo
Oingo Boingo Crossover Prog

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

 Nothing To Fear by OINGO BOINGO album cover Studio Album, 1982
4.34 | 14 ratings

BUY
Nothing To Fear
Oingo Boingo Crossover Prog

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Some bands are just too diverse to be pigeonholed in certain scenes and musical trends. The 90s rock band Morphine, for instance, is considered an alternative rock act; however, their saxophone-based jazz fusion sound and an almost surf rock-ish vibe would suggest other influences that extend beyond their alternative label. Then you've got Alice in Chains, who bring sludge metal, doom metal, classic rock, and blues to their grunge repertoire to form a unique sound that pleases numerous audiences. Well, if any band were to join this list of artists who thought outside their scenes, it would be Oingo Boingo. Fronted by composer and vocalist/guitarist Danny Elfman, Oingo Boingo were frequently labeled as a new wave band for their fast punk-influenced rhythms and heavy use of synthesizers, as well as their generally quirky attitude. However, simply limiting them to this genre would be downplaying just how unique they were. Progressive rock website Prog Archives lists the band as "crossover prog," and labeling the group as progressive or experimental indeed seems more apt than just "new wave." The band combined classic punk, new wave, progressive rock, ska, jazz, alternative rock, and a multitude of other genres to create something way different from the pack, and this fact only makes it more understandable that Danny Elfman would continue to experiment heavily in his film scores.

Only a Lad, while making only small waves commercially when it came out, served well to lay the groundwork for what to expect from the band. Fast tempos, high energy, lots of horns, lots of synthesizers, eccentric singing from Elfman, and elements of jazz and classical music were all part of the Oingo Boingo experience; luckily, the album ended up finding an audience in the Southern California pop/rock scene. Nothing to Fear, the band's sophomore effort, pretty much expands upon Only a Lad stylistically without making really drastic changes. Then again, with how odd the band already were, they didn't exactly need to change too much. There is, however, more of an emphasis on guitar distortion and overall heaviness, which would please fans of the band's more punk-inspired work. Songs like "Insects" and the title track have some damn low and heavy guitar riffs that contrast the loud, bombastic horns very nicely. "Insects" in particular finds a fantastic balance between the two; a few times within the track, you have a low metallic riff from Elfman and lead guitarist Steve Bartek while the trumpeter and two saxophonists play a really nifty Middle-Eastern melody over the top of it. Stuff like that provides neat nuances to keep you frequently coming back to the album, and the horn playing in general is usually what adds those nuances when combined with the rhythm section and vocals.

Speaking of vocals, Danny Elfman gives perhaps his best overall vocal performance here. He suits every mood his compositions throw at him, from creepy to quirky to sad to gleeful. His eccentric performances give a ton of personality to the songwriting, like mixing slightly whispered and raspy mid-range vocals with low chants in opener "Grey Matter" or showing a bit more lightheartedness and restraint with the bizarre mid-tempo number "Whole Day Off." He's definitely a versatile performer, just as he's a versatile songwriter and composer. His writing on here is some of Boingo's most complex work yet, showcasing their penchant for odd time signatures and frequent musical mood swings. While I mentioned that the band's work features generally fast tempos, there are times in which the band tone down to represent moods other than complete bat[&*!#] insanity. "Private Life," while still on the faster side, is definitely more restrained and straightforward than much of the band's work; "Insects," meanwhile, touches on many bases in terms of speed. The main motif is heavily characterized by the lack of the snare drum... well, until the fast dance-like sections that occasionally (intentionally, I'm assuming) interrupt the general flow. This diversity is what makes the band so interesting to listen to; if you ever wanted to listen to a sort of precursor to Mr. Bungle, Oingo Boingo's music fits the bill very nicely.

In fact, in keeping with that Bungle comparison, you can consider Nothing to Fear the band's version of Mr. Bungle's masterpiece California. An increased sound palette, increased accessibility, and a heightened sense of cohesion makes the comparison pretty apt. Nothing to Fear takes the music of Only a Lad and makes it even better, retaining the eccentricity and overall oddness of Oingo Boingo's sound but slightly tightening and refining the musicianship and adding more subtle compositional nuances here and there. If there's one Oingo Boingo album you must own, this is probably it; I think Nothing to Fear could safely be dubbed the band's finest hour.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

 Only A Lad by OINGO BOINGO album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.31 | 14 ratings

BUY
Only A Lad
Oingo Boingo Crossover Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

5 stars After taking the reigns from his brother Richard Elfman who decided to move on from his musical vision, a young Danny Elfman steered the then named "The Mystic Knights Of The Oingo Boingo" (a fictional secret society on the TV series "Amos 'n' Andy") to a more new wave pop oriented rock band and thus shortening the name to the more famous OINGO BOINGO. After gaining significant attention with a demo that became their first EP, the band created a full-fledged album that emerged in 1981. ONLY A LAD is the final step in shifting the band's previous incarnation of a theatrical cabaret band into an 80s progressively minded new wave meets ska entity that even to this day sounds as good as the first time I heard this little sucka.

OINGO BOINGO simply put occupies a musical niche like no other. Danny Elfman's brilliance is on full display here signifying a major talent emerging into the world but unlike the more controlled efforts of future releases, this release shows an Elfman unrestrained and out to prove himself. That he does and quite well may I add. What we have here is an energy conducive with the circus cabaret scene married with a newly found ska fetish mixed with new wave. The songwriting on this debut album is spectacular combining all of the aforementioned with progressive soundtrack elements that really make this an exciting album. Dealing with dark and perversely themed topics that decorate the progressively composed time signatures and catchy melodies really adds up to an addictive sound. Danny tops it off with some extremely energetically wailed vocals that dominate the soundscape.

I really love every track on this debut album. OINGO BOINGO came from nowhere and although they may bring other new wavers like Devo to mind, the fact is OINGO BOINGO was much more sophisticated and elaborate in their sound and songwriting. They were an octet at this point and on top of the new wave beat, rhythms and instrumentation lies a formidable horn section. Some of my absolute favorite BOINGO tracks are on this debut release. I am googoo gaagaa over "Little Girls," "Perfect World," "On The Outside," the title track, "Controller," "Nasty Habits" and perhaps the best Kinks cover i've heard in "You Really Got Me" (Sorry Van Halen). A very strong debut with more Boingolisciousness to come on many future releases but this one remains one of my absolute faves. 4.5 rounded up

 Farewell by OINGO BOINGO album cover Live, 1996
5.00 | 4 ratings

BUY
Farewell
Oingo Boingo Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars Just after releasing what was easily their best studio album, "Boingo", Danny Elfman decided to disband the group. I don't know if it was the success he has had creating film soundtracks, if he was just getting tired of this aspect of his music, or even if with that last masterpiece he found he had nothing more to say in the genre, but that was his decision. Instead of touring, the group played one final farewell concert, and of course, called the album "Farewell".

The album does have a few tracks from "Boingo", as it was the latest release, but the concert serves as a career retrospective of the band, with tracks from all of their albums except "So-Lo" and "Dark At The End Of The Tunnel" (two of their weaker albums, in my opinion). Five previously unreleased tracks (Burn Me Up,Water, Piggies, Helpless and Clowns Of Death) were also played as part of the set, probably just to get them out there, and all of them are welcome additions to the album.

The arrangements are harsher than on previous tours, with Warren Fitzgerald, an additional guitarist added to free up Steve Bartek from playing rhythms, adding to the mayhem. And everything was played as if this was their last concert, with the band just letting go and playing their brains out. This emotional performance gives even the oldest tunes an edge that they hadn't had previously, and makes this concert album an amazing event.

If any of the members of the band happen by to read this. Thank you. You have created some of my favorite listening experiences.

 Boingo by OINGO BOINGO album cover Studio Album, 1994
4.70 | 11 ratings

BUY
Boingo
Oingo Boingo Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

5 stars I have been looking forward to writing this review for a long time, as this is one of my all time favorite albums.

After releasing their worst album, "Dark At The End Of The Tunnel", in 1990, Danny Elfman changed Oingo Boingo's direction (and keyboardist), added another guitarist (Warren Fitzgerald), matured the sound, and came up with a masterpiece.

From the opening chords of Insanity, which incorporates the moodiness and musical imagery that Elfman often uses in his film soundtracks, this disk offers an exciting, but often dark and frightening ride through the amusement park that was Oingo Boingo.

Elfman's lyric's have never been better than this, whether he is portraying a predator heading down the path of murderous madness in the above mentioned Insanity, a woman leaving her sheltered life in a small town, only to find that discovering the world makes her an alien back at home, in Mary, or just pointing out the inanity of military jargon in War Again. My favorite has to be the epic ending track, Change, a trippy psychedelic piece that a drummer I once played with would call "blow away material".

Despite using the famed Oingo Boingo horn section very sparingly, the music is quite powerful. Steve Bartek, who blends with newcomer Fitzgerald perfectly, unleashes some of his fiercest licks ever. And bassist John Avila, always a treat to see in live performances, is just plain astounding in this album.

The album does let up a bit occasionally, as if to let us catch our breath. Can't See (Useless) , which is actually a quite beautiful song, gives way to the ferocious Pedestrian Wolves, another high point on this album of high points. Spider, a relatively low key (for this album) song, leads into War Again and a hot version of I Am The Walrus, and end with Change.

I wonder if Elfman knew he achieved perfection with this album, as he dissolved the band shortly after this was released.

 Dark At The End Of The Tunnel by OINGO BOINGO album cover Studio Album, 1990
2.27 | 7 ratings

BUY
Dark At The End Of The Tunnel
Oingo Boingo Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

2 stars I've heard people describe this album as one of the darker albums in the Oingo Boingo catalog. That this album demonstrates what Danny Elfman had learned from his movie soundtrack career. These people must not have listened to this album. The first two tracks show a bit of promise. When The Lights Go Out is a pleasant, but unrewarding track, like a lesser version of Elevator Man or Gratitude. Skin is a bit dark, with lyrics about peeling away one's skin. But musically, like most of Elfman's songs in those years, it is just not up to the standards he had set early on. Out Of Control is where the album veers completely off track. From the title, one would expect a rollicking explosion of energy, and wild lyrics. At best, this sounds like one of those dismal 80's teen pop wastes of time that might fill up space in one of those horrid Molly Ringwald films. The remainder of the album has Elfman running on cruise control, wasting our time and his band's talents with various styles of vapid pop. The only redeeming facet is a weird saxophone solo in Run Away. This really seemed to be the end of the road for this once amazing band. Who would expect that their next album, their final studio work, would outdo anything they had previously recorded?
 Boingo Alive by OINGO BOINGO album cover Live, 1988
4.09 | 4 ratings

BUY
Boingo Alive
Oingo Boingo Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
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.
 Boi-Ngo by OINGO BOINGO album cover Studio Album, 1987
3.12 | 7 ratings

BUY
Boi-Ngo
Oingo Boingo Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars Despite the previous album having crowd pleasers like Dead Man's party and the theme song from the movie and TV show Weird Science, I find this album to be a (very) slight improvement over that one. Home Again is an interesting piece, mostly because of the layered vocals in the chorus section. Tell Me Where My Friends Go is a cool, call and response piece with some funny lyrics, and Elevator Man is the obligatory toe tapper. The album, while nowhere near as good as Oingo Boingo's first three, manages to remain interesting enough, with the slightly eerie New Generation, the not quite outrageous enough Outrageous, and the nice closer, Pain. The prog quotient is not much better than the last album, but at least it keeps my interest, and makes a fine party disk.
 Dead Man's party by OINGO BOINGO album cover Studio Album, 1985
3.18 | 12 ratings

BUY
Dead Man's party
Oingo Boingo Crossover Prog

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars This album, the first on MCA released under the band's name (se "So-Lo" for the explanation for that), continues Oingo Boingo's journey away from the dark circus freak show style that made their A&M albums so wickedly enjoyable. Sure, Danny Elfman humorously touches upon the topic of death in Dead Man's Party and No One Lives Forever, but the rest of the tracks, lyrically, are forgettable. And musically, the prog elements are all but completely eliminated. What's left is slightly elevated pop. And although the horn section makes a greater appearance than they did on "So-Lo", with the exception of Weird Science, their parts are bland and nondescript. The low point is Fool's Paradise, which sounds like a remnant from David Bowie's dismal disco ("Let's Dance") period. The high points are the three songs mentioned above. While not progressive, they each provide a nice groove. And the pop music? It's listenable, but nothing special. I give this just barely three stars.
Thanks to evolver for the artist addition.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives