Oingo Boingo – my introduction

By Michael Gakuran | | Journal | 1 Comment |

(Copied from a forum post)

For all those who care, I decided to write about how I first came upon the band.

‘T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…’

Okay, so technically it wasn’t Christmas Eve, but it was Christmas 2001, and I was happily enjoying a break at Center Parcs, one of a few small woodland vacation spots around Britain. It so happened that the rather poor movie compared to the previous incarnations, Home Alone 3, was showing. As I’m sure some of you know, Oingo Boingo’s song ‘Home Again’ was used in this film. I was moderately enthralled by the song’s beat and decided I would attempt to find and download it as soon as I returned home to my computer.

So after Christmas I looked up the album listing and began downloading every song on the album in an attempt to find it. On a 56k modem, this usually takes a while… I eventually found it under the rather odd artist of ‘Oingo Boingo’ and it proceeded to sit in my collection of mp3s until the summer of 2002. My family and two of my cousins were taking a holiday to Florida, USA that summer and on one of several mall visits, I had the thought of utilising the Virgin Megastore to search for the two artists I had been unable to locate in the U.K. This store was huge, I mean racks of CDs, and I looked out both Oingo Boingo and Blue Oyster Cult (the other band I had heard briefly). I decided I would take a risk (real daredevil, this one… :P) and pay the $20.00 for the double CD set that is ‘Boingo Alive’. Having only heard Home Again, I thought it would be best to buy the album I knew at least one song I liked would be on. My initial reaction was not as some of the other passionate fan’s views might have been. The first track, Dead Man’s Party, was like nothing I’d ever heard before, combining a fundamentally toe-tapping beat with some of the oddest lyrics I’d ever heard, later to be amplified by a much higher degree as I listened to the album more.

Some of the more immediate songs I liked were ‘Just Another Day’, ‘We Close Our Eyes’ and ‘Private Life’. I was a little unnerved when I heard Wild Sex, and I didn’t (and still don’t) like Sweat or any of its incarnations. But, suffice to say, it was…*good*. The album. The structure of the lyrics, the breaks and pauses, and lots of vocal ‘ahhh’-ing challenged my musical taste up to that day, and it grew on me very quickly.

Later that year, I would buy ‘Dark At The End Of The Tunnel’ over Amazon, because it contained no tracks I’d heard before and my collection expanded from there, eventually buying ‘Farewell’ and the DVD, and several of their early studio albums from ebay users. I have even purchased a 3 CD set from a guy called Chris Arguien containing the main rarities last summer. I think it’s safe to say Oingo Boingo changed the way I listen to music, most specifically because of their lyrical play. Prior to buying the album, I suppose I was very much against lyrics that didn’t rhyme at the end of every coupling and that didn’t have a completely organised structure. I guess that could be attributed to my relative naivety and lack of experience of different kinds of music, but it opened me up to new things. The lyrics themselves were not shallow and predictable either, and considering I was developing an interest in Philosophy about that time, it caused me to think about the songs. I’m still finding out that the meanings behind some of their songs are very different to what I had gathered from listening to them; even now ^_^;

So that’s pretty much my story. I received ‘Boingo’ and ‘Boi-ngo’ this Christmas, and therefore only really have ‘Nothing To Fear’ before my favourite band has very little other content that I haven’t heard. I found it was such a disappointment when I learnt they’d broken up years before I had heard of them. You can bet I’d make every effort to go and see them if they ever did a reunion concert for old time’s sake. But that’s not really gonna happen now is it..?

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