Best O' Boingo

Oingo Boingo

Best O' Boingo

While the greatest-hits compilation Skeletons in the Closet covered the first half of Oingo Boingo’s career—when it was signed to A&M—Best O’ Boingo takes on the second part, from 1984 to 1990, when the band switched to MCA. Though Oingo Boingo stayed remarkably consistent throughout the decade, these later works are notable for their undertones of darkness and the density of the arrangements. While the early tunes were based on skittering ska-inflected rhythms, songs like “When the Lights Go Out,” “Gratitude,” and “No Spill Blood” show the band transforming into a robust engine for modernized funk. While “Not My Slave” and “Stay” mark Oingo Boingo's first moments of outright tenderness, the period is still best defined by its biggest hits. While the slick, stomping “Weird Science” became an anthem for nerds across the globe, “Dead Man’s Party” is a cinch for the group’s all-time best song. With its insidiously catchy surf guitar motif, it packs a boxer’s power into a tune as seductive as a snake charmer’s melody.

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