Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Oingo Boingo - Weird Science

Oingo Boingo was one of the more interesting 1980's bands, with a theatrical flair that was often compared to Devo.  The band formed in LA in the 1970's and began as an avant-garde musical theater act called The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo.  Shortening their name to just Oingo Boingo, the group (led by Danny Elfman) transitioned to a ska/dance/new wave sound, and was signed by I.R.S. Records in 1980.

As a southern California band with dramatic tendencies, Oingo Boingo was tailor-made for the movies, and eventually made a series of appearances on movie soundtracks.  This continued into the 1990's as frontman Elfman became friends with director Tim Burton, and the band contributed a song to virtually every Burton film of the era.  (In addition, Elfman wrote the musical score for virtually all of Burton's movies).

"Weird Science" was on the soundtrack of the John Hughes movie of the same name, and the song was also included on the group's 1985 LP, Dead Man's Party.  The single became the most successful release of Oingo Boingo's career, reaching #45 on the charts, while the album hit #98, and eventually went gold.

Although Oingo Boingo never enjoyed mainstream success, they remained a well-known cult act until they disbanded -- after a Halloween show (!) in 1995.  Danny Elfman remains active in the industry, and has become a huge success as a movie and TV soundtrack composer.

Cool trivia fact:  Elfman wrote the theme to the popular TV show, The Simpsons.

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