MCA-5811 Boi-ngo
Produced by Danny Elfman and Steve Bartek
Released on March 2, 1987
Find it at GEMM
MCA-5811 cover
[high resolution scan]

D anny Elfman finally outgrows the limited confines of pop music and, sproing!, comes jumping out of the speakers like an oversized jack-in-the-box. At its best, Boi-ngo is a technicolor trip: persistent countermelodies, disembodied harmonies and hyperkinetic horns fill every imaginable crevice with occasionally delirious results. At its worst, the overstacked arrangements come toppling down and make a mess of things. Like Devo before them, Oingo Boingo delighted in covering their sour world outlook with plenty of sugar. Some were attracted to the sweet, some to the sour, others to the novelty of hearing a big band play such zany antics out in full-scale arrangements. The Tubes and Was (Not Was) were successful for the same reasons, more or less. But at some point, each of those bands began to make music that maybe, just maybe wasn’t worth the fuss (The Completion Backward Principle, Are You Okay?). I’m not the first person to point out that Boi-ngo’s best moments (“We Close Our Eyes,” “Not My Slave,” “My Life”) are its simplest. The rest of the record is too manic to enjoy on every level. There’s also a sizeable amount of 80s cheese at work in “Outrageous” and the rap section of “New Generation” which work against them. For years, this was the only Oingo Boingo album I owned, so I was forced to come here when I wanted to cram my ear canal with their hyperkinetic craziness. If I’d had Only A Lad to keep me company, I probably would have dusted Boi-ngo off about as often as Oh, No! It’s Devo. So let’s just bag this as Oh, No! It’s Oingo Boingo and tag it for a rainy day. Apparently, Boi-ngo was also issued as a box set that broke the album into five 7-inch singles, featuring a nonalbum “Mama” as the B side of the fifth single. I’m guessing that’s probably one pricey Mama.


  1. HOME AGAIN    5:12
  3. ELEVATOR MAN    4:30
  4. NEW GENERATION    5:14
  5. WE CLOSE OUR EYES    3:37
  6. NOT MY SLAVE    4:41
  7. MY LIFE    4:34
  8. OUTRAGEOUS    3:44
  9. PAIN    4:26
  10. (*Box set only:) MAMA

    All selections written by Danny Elfman


JOHN AVILA -- bass, vocals, deputy vocal producer
STEVE BARTEK -- guitars
MIKE BACICH -- keyboards
DANNY ELFMAN -- vocals, rhythm guitar
JOHNNY (VATOS) HERNANDEZ -- drums, percussion
SAM PHIPPS -- tenor saxophone
LEON SCHNEIDERMAN -- baritone saxophone
DALE TURNER -- trumpet
Bruce Fowler -- trombone
Carmen Twillie -- background vocals (9)
Michael Vlatkovitch -- trombone
Maxine Waters -- background vocals (9)
Bill Jackson -- engineer, mixing (2,3,6,8)
Michael Frondelli -- mixing (1,4,9)
Humberto Gatica -- mixing (5,7)
Vartan -- art direction
Mike Fink -- design
Aaron Rapoport -- photography

return to OINGO BOINGO discography

US/CAN March 2, 1987 MCA LP/CD/CS MCA/MCAD/MCAC-5811 lyric insert
US 1987 MCA 5-7" MCAB-42013 box set of 5 singles w. extra track
JPN 1987 MCA LP P-13516 lyric insert
BRA 1988 MCA LP 6700 092  


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