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Oingo Boingo

Although Oingo Boingo was often compared to Devo throughout their career (due to both bands' affinity for quirky new wave, goofy stage acts, and most obviously, peculiar yet intriguing band names), Oingo Boingo never obtained the mainstream success that Devo did. But the band did manage to obtain a large and devoted fan base, especially in their hometown of Los Angeles, CA. Oingo Boingo started not as a traditional group per se, as they were originally put together in the '70s by movie director Richard Elfman, who needed music for a whacked-out, John Waters-esque flick he was working on, called Forbidden Zone. Enlisting his younger brother Danny Elfman (vocals, guitar), Steve Bartek (guitar), and Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez (drums), the group originally went by the name Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo before shortening it to Oingo Boingo. Tired of sitting around and waiting for the movie's completion, the group began playing out in the L.A. area, where they built a substantial following with the punk/new wave set (as their lineup would often multiply for performances). But Oingo Boingo had a step or two ahead of the local bands, both musically and visually, as Danny Elfman had spent several years in France working with a theater group and studying orchestra, which reflected in Oingo Boingo's hodgepodge of styles.

The soundtrack to Forbidden Zone was finally issued in 1980, which proved to be a wild, musical roller coaster ride and gave Oingo Boingo their first appearance on record. But by the time a four-track release, 10 Inch EP, was issued the same year (on IRS Records), the group had focused their sound and approach drastically. A recording contract with A&M Records followed shortly thereafter, resulting in some of the early '80s finest new wave releases, 1981's Only a Lad (whose title track received plenty of airplay on the influential L.A. rock radio station KROQ), 1982's Nothing to Fear, and 1983's Good for Your Soul, the latter of which spawned a popular early MTV video hit for "Nothing Bad Ever Happens." Like their live shows, Oingo Boingo's recordings featured a hefty amount of additional members lending a hand, but despite it all, Danny Elfman remained the group's leader and focal point (Elfman even found the time to issue a solo album, So Lo, in 1984). A switch to MCA immediately paid off for the group, as they scored the biggest hit of their career with 1985's Dead Man's Party (eventually earning gold certification in the U.S.), made a cameo appearance in the hit Rodney Dangerfield comedy Back to School, and scored a moderate hit with the theme song to John Hughes' teen comedy Weird Science. But despite their commercial success, Oingo Boingo was unable to sustain it, as such further releases as 1987's Boi-ngo, 1988's Boingo Alive, 1990's Dark at the End of the Tunnel, and 1994's Boingo failed to storm the charts, yet managed to retain the group's cult following.

But during the mid- to late '80s, Elfman struck up a friendship with director Tim Burton and began contributing music to Burton-directed movies on a regular basis, first with the major comedy hit Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, and then later Beetlejuice, Big Top Pee Wee, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Mars Attacks!, Sleepy Hollow, and the remake of Planet of the Apes, among others. In return, Elfman became one of Hollywood's most in-demand film composers, providing music for countless films and TV programs (receiving Grammy, Golden Globe, Emmy, and Oscar nominations for his work). With Elfman primarily focusing on film composing by this point, Oingo Boingo was laid to rest in 1995 after a farewell performance at L.A.'s Universal Amphitheatre, which was issued a year later as a CD and video, appropriately titled Farewell. A pair of Oingo Boingo collections surfaced during the '90s, 1992's Best O' Boingo and 1999's double-disc Anthology, as were a pair of anthologies of Elfman's film scores: 1990's Music for a Darkened Theater, Vol. 1: Film & Television Music and 1996's Music for a Darkened Theater, Vol. 2: Film & Television Music. ~ Greg Prato
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection

1. Weird Science

2. Dead Man's Party

3. Just Another Day

4. Private Life

5. We Close Our Eyes

6. Violent Love

7. Only A Lad

8. Wild Sex (In The Working Class)

9. Dead Or Alive

10. When The Lights Go Out

11. Grey Matter

x

Track List: Farewell - Live From The Universal Ampitheatre

Disc 1

1. Insanity (Live)

2. Little Girls (Live)

3. Cinderella Undercover (Live)

4. Controller (Live)

5. Burn Me Up (Live)

6. Insects (Live)

7. No One Lives Forever (Live)

8. Hey (Live)

9. Reptiles And Samurai (Live)

10. Water (Live)

11. I Am The Walrus (Live)

12. Piggies (Live)

13. We Close Our Eyes (Live)

14. Mary (Live)

15. Can't See (Useless) (Live)

Disc 2

1. Helpless (Live)

2. I'm So Bad (Live)

3. Change (Live)

4. Stay (Live)

5. Who Do You Want To Be (Live)

6. On The Outside (Live)

7. Wild Sex (In The Working Class) (Live)

8. Dead Man's Party (Live)

9. Nasty Habits (Live)

10. Clowns Of Death (Live)

11. Ain't This The Life (Live)

12. Whole Day Off (Live)

13. Grey Matter (Live)

14. No Spill Blood (Live)

15. Only A Lad (Live)

x

Track List: Best O' Boingo

1. Dead Man's Party

2. When The Lights Go Out

3. Gratitude

4. Skin

5. Flesh 'N Blood

6. Not My Slave

7. Stay

8. Sweat

9. No Spill Blood

10. Out Of Control

11. Weird Science

12. No One Lives Forever

13. Wild Sex (In The Working Class)

14. Just Another Day

15. Who Do You Want To Be

16. Only A Lad

17. Goodbye Goodbye

x

Track List: Boi-Ngo

1. Home Again

2. Where Do All My Friends Go

3. Elevator Man

4. New Generation

5. We Close Our Eyes

6. Not My Slave

7. My Life

8. Outrageous

9. Pain

x

Track List: The Best Of Oingo Boingo

1. Little Girls

2. Private Life

3. On The Outside

4. Nasty Habits

5. Grey Matter

6. Only A Lad

7. Wake Up (It's 1984)

8. Insects

9. Whole Day Off

10. Nothing To Fear (But Fear Itself)

11. Nothing Bad Ever Happens To Me

12. Who Do You Want To Be

Comments

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Been listening to them since they were "The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo". I have everything they've ever done.
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justinjenny4 9 5
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sexyladies19 6 9 6 9
❤❤❤❤❤
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mkia333x
I saw Oingo Boingo in Sacramento on their Farewell Tour. Best show of my life!
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sandymcadams 5 4
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One of my favs as a child �� so underrated
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Berrie me with this music, and friends dancing on my grave
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mysteriousst r a n g e r s 8 6
❤❤❤❤❤
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Love will win, we are united against hate!!!!!!!! ! ! !
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7' under with this song. Yeah!!!
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Danny Elfman is amazing
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Amber Christensen I love you and miss u much��
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moleculematt
Never heard of this group until now. Love their music. Sounds a lot like Devo. I have heard of Danny Elfman. He was a great composer. I never knew he was part of this group. Thank you pandora for sharing this group with me. :)
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sandymcleod1 7 5
❤❤❤❤❤
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❤❤❤❤❤
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KROQ ROCK OF THE 8O'S
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����
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Love this band and Danny Elfman is an Amazing composer. First saw them, in 84 I think, in Santa Barbara, with Wall of Voodoo.
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❤❤❤❤❤
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K ROCK
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I've been listening to Boingo since 1986 and San Bernardino at the Orange Show Fairgrounds, like everybody else says they're unique and you need to see them live they are still playing to this day. Johnny vatos still throws concerts in the Temecula area SoCal. One of the most unbelievable drummers I've ever seen
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milosdad
Incredible band live. When I saw them they had two bass players going on at the same time. Each of them played two different parts. That's when I knew Elfman was a genius.
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headpump
manic Danny!
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Is Johnny a psycho
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I seen them at tipatina's in New Orleans great concert
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Caught them in S.F. back in 1980, and a few times after thru the early '90s. One of my top fave bands of the era, EXTREME in person! Always an amped performance from the band. The image of Danny under spotlights, intensely electric and giving 200% in his wired sardonic vocals, these memories are permanently burned into my brain. Oingo Boingo Forever!
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Danny Elfman is a musical savant, pure genius and way ahead of his time!
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mrjchrome
Danny elfman will always be my hero gimmi boingo or gimmi death
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I was able to see Oingo 7 times when I was in high school. Every show was different and every show rocked. Elfman was the ultimate front man. His vocals and stage presence were unique.
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I was at the Halloween concert at the Palladium! awesome show! Boingo forever!
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Oingo Boingo was the sh!t when I was in high school, and they still are!
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I remember seeing them on the gong show as the mystic knights of the oingo boingo.
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It's my party, it's only me, this is my musick for my last party,u know your last party
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Saw them at the Whisky as The Clowns of Death!
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You guys are killing me, here. Would've loved to see them play. Danny is a wizard.
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decline_tost a t e
I was at this Farewell Concert. It was amazing!
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Ever get to see them live,conside r yourself lucky
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Omg!...aweso m e ! . . y o d e l i n g ! ...Elfman yodeling at Halloween concert!
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dbgrateful3
Saw them at least 20x. 1st time UCI Bren Center & the next 7 or so Irvine Meadows. Best ever show maybe Hollywood Palladium which i went to instead of some stupid winter formal dance. One of the most memorable moments ever was when Bartek broke a guiter string and Vatos did a 10 minute drum solo, then the band went to yodelling - amazing crazy harmony. Awesome memories with this band & Pandora letting me relive it.

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miercoleschi q i
I saw oingo boingo when they played at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. . . . it was totally awesome.!
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That band is awesome
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This band is so damn good I wish I was around then they still were I'm only 14 and I just love their music!
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Popular in Australia
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One of the best shows I saw was 7/3/90 @ Universal. Front row, Party in The Pit.
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Boingo will
4ever kill it
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Oingo Motherf**kin ' Boingo. Oh yeah.
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doughtyap
Saw em 83 in Orlando, FL at a bar that doesn't exist anymore-Tom' s Point After near UCF in east Orlando. They didn't promote the show so there was only about 20 of us there-they played a great show anyway and got to talk and have a few beers with Danny Elfman and the band after the show; great memories!
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brianed.whea t f i l l
They are simple the best. I have seen them many times during the years they played and was never disappointed . I was at the last Halloween concert they did in 95 and was even in their concert movie. I will always cherish my past memories with oingo boingo.
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Wowww....tot a l l y forgot about Oingo Boingo..high school so many memories
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