Sunday, April 25, 2010

LAND OF GIANTS - Cannibal Dolls/Seven Men 1982-1985 (2008)

"Imagine Depeche Mode fronted by Siouxsie Sioux"

Electronic, Rock
New Wave, Synth-pop, Minimal, Experimental, Goth Rock


Anya Varda - Vocals
Henryck Jesiak - Synthesizer
John Tucker - Programs and Synthesizer (1983)
Marc Wonnacott - Synthesizer, Back. Vocals

Artwork By [Cover Design] - Land Of Giants / Artwork By [Layout] - David S. Faris (
Engineer, Remastered By - John Tucker
Performer [Additional Musician] - Chris Tate (aka H.U.N.C.H) (tracks: 7, 8) , Dorgen - Back. Vocals (tracks: 7, 8)
Photography - George Whiteside ( and
Synthesizer, Clavinet, Programmed By, Vocals, Guitar - John Tucker (tracks: 1 to 6, 9 to 11) Synthesizer, Vocals, Programmed By, - Henryck Jesiak , Marc Wonnacott
Vocals - Anya Varda/ Whistling, Backing Vocals - Kenny MacLean (Platinum Blonde, see: (track 06)
Bass Guitar - Dave Nemeth (track 10)
Percussion - Jeff Packer (Boys Brigade, see: (track 02)
Written By - H.Jesiak, J.Tucker, A.Varda, M.Wonnacott (tracks: 1 to 9, 11), Sonny Bono (track 10)
Recorded By - Henryck Jesiak , Marc Wonnacott (tracks 07, 08)
Manager - Toronto Sun rock critic Jonathan Gross

“Cannibal Dolls”

"Room With A View"


01 Cannibal Dolls
02 Seven Men
03 Thing Called Love
04 Fountains In The Rain
05 Security Squad
06 Fire With Fire
07 Room With A View
08 Key To Your Heart
09 Just Yet
10 I Got You Babe
11 I Will

Link to download (192 kbs):

If you need a better quality, you can order the CD here:

Hey synth fans, you won't stop to listen to this amazing stuff which was laid hidden in the vault of Land Of Giants until 2008!

There are many brilliant songs on the CD, some of them should be all time classic indeed! The music of LOF doesn't date at all , it's just pity that most of the songs were not released until now. It is still sounding as fresh as it was over two decades ago, and preserves that kind of "cool", intelligent sound and original magic of synthpop that marked that era of early 80s.

I don't know why are they still not mentioned among the best synthpop bands. Perhaps one reason can be that they never played live. Another reason could be that they are from Canada, and i think if they had been in England at that they would have been on a pair with other famous stars of 80's synthpop.

The Siouxsiesque vocal of Anya Varda supports the effects of these dark and cool tones in a very fine way. They invite us to enter into the unrepeatable wonderworld of Human League, Yazoo, or Soft Cell on the highest quality...there are certainly some uplifting catchy ballads too - check "I Will" for example- on the album you shouldn't miss.

It is a sensational material. At once delightfully complex and gruesomely good. Thanks to LOF, it is now available for everyone. (saltyka)

"One of our first projects under the ebk-ink creative service banner, is the release of the long awaited land of giants re-issue cannibal dolls / seven men. Originally released as a 12" single in 1982, it has appeared on bootlegs at least twice, and has gathered a loyal following of fans - particularily in Europe. The re- issue is a completly remastered for CD version that includes the original single along with nine previously unreleased demo tracks recorded between 1982 and 1985; including exclusive to the CD, the Sonny and Cher classic... I Got You Babe!"

"When NOW Magazine’s food critic Steven Davey (who really knows his music) told me about this 1982 CD album reissue of the very obscure ‘minimal wave’ act Land of Giants, it brought me back to my days dancing in ’80s clubs like Nuts and Bolts with my foot-high spiked orange hair, feeling all new wave and cool. I bought the 12” single of Cannibal Dolls in the mid ’80s but didn’t know a thing about the band. When the band sent me this full album reissue I was shocked to discover that they are Toronto based despite having fans all over the world. For those still discovering early ’80s cold wave or minimal wave sounds - Land of Giants is an all-time classic and further proves that Toronto had an electronic dance scene in the early ’80s that was world-renowned. Rating: 8/10" (

"Canada's Land of Giants offer the somewhat less severe but no less engrossing "Cannibal Dolls". The 1982 single features a playful, pinball rhythm that hints at the new wave movement that would follow even as Anya Varda's tense, strained vocal keeps it squarely within minimal synth's darkly paranoid tradition"(

“Cannibal Dolls”:
"This is the sound that a ton of contemporary bands are trying to emulate. And if they did it this successfully, I’d fully support them. As it is, “Cannibal Dolls” was the a-side on the one record that Land of Giants ever released… in 1982. It’s paranoid ‘n’ eerie synth lines match its lyrics: “Lock up your children/Devils in disguise/Lock up your children/Devils in their ey-eyes.”

The band recorded a number of other demos throughout the 80’s, which, in response to overwhelming requests, are now being released together"

"Even among the mostly European proponents of the early-'80s genre called "cold wave," this act stands out, and not because of a mere geographical anomaly (they're from Toronto). While anyone casually versed in the music of that decade will be able to pick out traces of everyone from Neu to Gary Numan to the Hot Butter novelty hit "Popcorn," this is one of the few English-language tracks here that couldn't be characterized as brooding. Hell, you can practically hear the glint in singer Anya Varda's eyes."

Minimalist electro pop band from Canada. The original press release from June 1, 1982, announcing the release of land of giants debut single Cannibal Dolls/ Seven Men. "Their debut single is a rarefied and effortless blend of technology, timing and great height".

LoG was founded in 1982. How would you call your style of music and which bands were an influence?

Marc Wonnacott:
"Actually, Land of Giants kind of came together in '82. It was actually started in '81 after I retuned to Toronto from the UK. Henryck had heard some of my solo recordings and attended a couple of my solo gigs (most notorious - opening for Jayne County and the electric chairs) prior to my sabbatical in London.
We went through three singers, four if you include me; and a number of other musicians in an attempt to put a band together. Nothing was working until John Tucker who I knew from his days in a band called Keen Modern Units came over to hear what Henryck and I were working on - and about a bottle of whiskey later we were playing a whacked out version of The Girl form Ipanima (I think).
John then suggested we pick a couple of songs and come over to his studio and record them. As we started recording them I realised that it made far more sense to get someone else to sing them - my dilutions of a sort of Bryan Ferry grandeur were proving unfounded. That's when Anya became part of the band. Those first two songs were Cannibal Dolls and Seven Men.

As for influences - besides the usual Eno, Roxy, Bowie - I listened to a lot of Ultravox, John Foxx, Kraftwerk, Harmonia (Connie Plank being one of my favourite producers), Sparks. We were also listening to Visage, Bauhaus, OMD, Simple Minds, DAF, Joy Division/New Order, etc as well as, forties film songs, Nona Hendrix and some of the crossover funk. I was spinning tunes at a couple of clubs at the time as well, so there was a lot of music going through my head that spring.As for style, electrobeat was how we described it back then."

Jeff Packer of Boys Brigade made a guest appearance providing extra percussion. That summer, the single was a top hit in Toronto's alternative clubs and receiving regular airplay on alternative radio. That July in Germany, there was a review of the single in Guerilla Beat and that opened the door that made the single available in small numbers through Polydor Germany as an import that Christmas. In New York City the single made it on to the turntables of some of that cities hippest clubs. In September, they recorded Thing Called Love, Fountains, and I Will and a video was shot for Cannibal Dolls (unfortunately now lost).

Supplies of the original pressing of the single had run out by Christmas and since the band was talking to record companies the decision was made not to press further copies. Instead the band concentrated on recording further demos.

Shortly after that, rumour has it that John Peel played the single on his BBC radio show early in 1983.

How proved is it, that John Peel played a song from you on his famous radio show? Did you ever get personal response from any other place in the world?

Marc Wonnacott:
"I know Henryck dropped off a copy and met with John Peel's staff in London in November of '82 while he was on holiday. As I said, I got a call from a friend who lived in the UK the night it was played. I don't know if that information is in the BBC archives. It was probably Dec of '82 or early in '83 it was played. It would be interesting to find out.
Most of the response that came from outside Canada, at the time came from places behind the old iron curtain. We apparently were featured in a book on 'western' rock and roll that was published in Budapest. If I remember we got more fan mail from eastern block countries than anywhere else. Five years ago, and the person who started me on this journey to release the material, Jens from Sweden tracked me down through my art site on the net. At the time I was flattered but when I started getting emails from other Swedes, and then France and Germany it all started to gather momentum. But it was Jens who got it all started, and I guess he is the one who should be thanked."

The next recording session early in 1983 brought a rocky Security Squad, featuring John Tucker on guitar, and an early rap fusion Fire with Fire that had John Tucker rapping alongside Anya's vocals. Music historians might find it interesting that Kenny McLean of Platinum Blond fame joins in on the backing vocals. Later in the spring of 1983, John Tucker became one of the first in Canada to own a Fairlight CMI (computer musical instrument) and land of giants started experimenting with the new technology, which resulted in Just Yet.

Rusty Egan of Visage, and Midge Ure of Ultravox fame both expressed an interest in producing the album, but talks with the record companies fell through later in 1983.

John Tucker's commercial music business Keen had started to blossom and he left to concentrate on that. The remaining members took some time to regroup and re think things. A new member (Jon Andrews) was brought in to attempt to put together a live show. This didn't pan out although Jon, Henryck and Anya recorded a three-song demo, under the land of giants banner in the spring of 1984.

Marc Wonnacott returned to the project at the end of 1984 and later that winter he and Henrych built a studio in Henryck's dining room where they recorded Room with A View, and Key To Your Heart in early 1985. Again the tape was well received by the industry, but again, they wanted to hear more. Unfortunately, time had run out for land of giants and everyone decided it was time to move on to other ventures.

And then, like just about every other band in the history of the Canadian music industry, nothing happened. It’s taken almost 30 years for the world to catch up to Land of Giants.Unfortunately, time had run out for land of giants and everyone decided it was time to move on to other ventures.

Today Anya lives in Los Angeles, Henryck lives in Toronto and is involved with the film and television industry and renewing his interest in music, John now resides in Canada's west and remains active in music scoring and production (still utilizing his faithful vintage Fairlight CMI Series III). Marc is an painter/artist who still writes music from time to time, as well as owning a decorating business in Toronto. John Tucker has re mastered all the material and it sounds amazing.

Marc Wonnacott:
"When we started the Land of Giants project, we never thought we’d be a foot note in a greater musical history, or have a part in creating a genre," says LOG’s Wonnacott who’s also put together a compilation of the band’s never-issued tracks.

"It's nice to know that my misspent youth continues to inspire a new generation to misspend theirs."

( and

Photo: The original installation of the “Boutique from the 1984 Miss General Idea Pavillion”, 1980. Anya Varda manning the desk. (

Anya Varda now lives in Los Angeles

What else i found is:
"she is a longtime doorperson at the Standard Hotel on Sunset" ( and

She made a roll in Colin Campbell's 1980 film "Bad Girls" (
and also worked with David Buchan (

More info: (an old photo: "The New Music" photo spread '79 with Miss Anya Varda) (..The fashion world reached Crash 'N' Burn ( Canada's, first punk club ) when Anya Varda, managing the club..)

Henryck Jesiak

He lives in Toronto and is involved with the film and television industry and renewing his interest in music

More info:

Marc Wonnacott
He was a member of the Biss between 1977-1980 (

Marc is a painter (our services include: colour consultation, interior painting and renovations, custom design, and art consultation and instilation.)

"They say the sum of the whole is greater than the parts, or something to that effect... and it's true - however I created THE LOG COLLECTIVE... a collection of songs in part because of the re-release of land of giants Cannibal Dolls/Seven Men, and in part because I had started making music again. I was a founding member of the group (land of giants) who wrote and recorded those songs between 1982 and 1985 and over the years I have written and recorded songs on my own and with other amazing musicians."

More info:

More info for Land Of Giants:


NUKLEON - Earth Rising


SWEET CONNECTION - Maxi singles collection

Colony 5 – Within Me (2002)

FILMS - Misprint (1980)


Singles Remixed

Promises & Devotion

FRICCIÓN - Collection


Warm Leatherette


Living my Life

Slave to the rhythm (2CD)

Inside Story

I will post some more...


FIVE GUYS NAME MOE DEMOS (1986) first time on the web!!!! Don't miss!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!Check my new posts!!!!:



ESTACIÓN VICTORIA - Estación Victoria (1983)

And Oingo Boingo (3 parts)...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

OINGO BOINGO Part 1.: The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo (1972-1980) and Oingo Boingo's A&M Years (1980 -1984)

"Combining elements of punk, ska and jazz, Oingo Boingo proves itself as one of the best bands of alternative music."

"This is it all in one go: The eternal truth about the 80s. Nothing required apart from that. Oingo Boingo could not have expressed it in a more formal or accurate fashion. Dance. Now. Forever. In beauty."

" Oingo Boingo lyrics often were obscure or seemed like mindless backdrops to dance arrangements, something particularly heinous for some reviewers of the time. Elfman commented: "The press hated us. We were L.A.'s most despised band. Both our image and our attitude conflicted with their image of what "revelant rock'n'roll" was supposed to look and sound like. However, we got so we liked the bad reviews.""

""When we started out, the intention was just to have fun and rankle people, throw some little jabs and barbs out at things tha annoy me. It's kind of become more a therapy for me over the years. A lot of the stuff is just letting off steam about something, and keeps me from becoming a serial killer."" (Danny Elfman)

"Oingo Boingo mixed the energy of the era's punk-rock music with ironic, angst-filled lyrics and an eclectic mix of horns, xylophones, synthesizers, ska, reggae and West African beats."

"Oingo Boingo's sound and keen lyrical sense of humor often draw comparisons to Devo, XTC, Frank Zappa, and Madness."

"A clever balance of chaos and precision, their songs are filled with memorable hooks, spot-on horn parts, pointed guitars, prominent rhythms and all manner of synth sounds."

"With infrequent exceptions, Boingo's music wasn't about close connections and deep feelings, but about escaping into mock-horrific fantasy and putting up a tough shell of irony and ghoulish humor to keep life's truly horrific realities at bay."

"Was there any band in the 80s with a more original sound than Oingo Boingo?"

"Oingo Boingo is the best band to have ever existed, and the best band that ever will exist."

Rock, Electronic
New Wave, Synth-pop, Alternative Rock, Ska

Members of Oingo Boingo:

Danny Elfman - Lead vocals, Guitar, Percussion, Composition (1974-1995)
Steve Bartek - Lead guitar, Backing Vocals, Horn Arrangements, Percussion, Accordion (1976-1995)
Leon Schneiderman - Baritone & Alto Saxophones, Percussion, Backing Vocals (1972-1995)
Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez - Drums, Percussion (1978–1995)
Sam "Sluggo" Phipps - Tenor & Soprano Saxophones, Clarinet, Percussion, Backing Vocals (1974-1995)
Dale Turner - Trumpet, Trombone, Percussion, Guitar, Backing Vocals (1974-1995)
Kerry Hatch - Bass, Bass Synthesizer, Percussion, Backing Vocals
John Avila - Bass, Bass Synthesizer, Percussion, Accordion, Backing Vocals (1984-1995)
Richard Gibbs - Keyboards, Synthesizer, Trombone, Percussion, Backing Vocals (1980–1983)
Mike Bacich - Keyboards (1984-1987)
Carl Graves - Keyboards, Synthesizers, Backing Vocals (1988-1991)
Warren Fitzgerald - Guitar (1994-1995)
Marc Mann - Keyboards, Samples (1994-1995)
Doug Lacy - Accordion, Percussion (1994-1995)

I have to add the following guys as some sources says they were also members. But some others only mentioned them as "additional musicians":

David Eagle - Drums (1980-1981)
Bruce Fowler - Trombone (1983-1995)
Paul Fox – Synthesizers (1984)
William Winant - Percussions (on tour only in 1991–1992, anyway he is an original Mystic Knights member between 1972–1975, see below)

"Just Another Day"

"Who Do You Want To Be (Live)"

First let's talk some about The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo period (1972-1980)


"Oingo Boingo is based in Los Angeles, where Elfman grew up. By the time he reached sixteen in 1971, a senior at University high in West Los Angeles, Elfman was frustrated. He was turned off by what he perceived as the hypocracy and pretension of middle class kids. "We saw ourselves as radicals, but of course, our lifestyles did not reflect anything like it. I wanted to get as far away as I could."

After bumming around Europe with a friend, he looked up his older brother in France, who was playing the conga drum in an avant-garde theater group, the Grand Magic Circus ( and When its director heard self-taught Danny practicing his violin, he was hired on the spot.

Richard Elfman:
"In 1970, I dropped out of college and joined the circus – “The Grand Magic Circus” – an eclectic Paris-based musical-theater company that was on the verge of popular success.

The son of schoolteachers, I grew up with Danny in the vibrant, multi-ethnic (mostly black), Crenshaw district of inner city Los Angeles. After a brief stint as a percussionist with an Afro-jazz group I began staging musicals in San Francisco. While at a Festival of New Theater in Toronto, I met the French avant-garde musical comedy troupe, Le Grand Magic Circus. Their leader, Jerome Savary, would soon become my mentor and ultimately he went on to be the director of the French National Theater. Jerome persuaded me to move to Paris and join the troupe, as things were just heating up."

"My younger brother, Danny Elfman – fresh out of high school – joined up for our European summer tour, playing violin."

That was Danny's first performing experience, working in what he describes as "a bizarre mishmash of theater, burlesque, music." After three months, he continued travelling solo until he got to Africa."
(Richard Elfman)

"It was the opposite of everything I'd ever known," he says warmly, "and I loved it. I'd get around riding on the back of trucks—every big trip between towns had a little price, maybe the equivalent of a dollar twenty. To try to hitch a ride for free was thought of as very, very low." He turned up in such countries as Gnana, Nigeria, Senegal, Upper Volta, and Uganda. "I was in places where any reasonable person would have felt more fear than I felt," he says, "but people tended to be very honest. I feared more for my health. I didn't meet any travellers who'd been there more than six months and who didn't get malaria. Pills make it less severe, but it is AWFUL. You feel like you're going to die, but you don't."

Speaking English and pidgin French wherever he went, Elfman made contact with his violin. "Local people wouldn't have much to do with a traveller," he points out, "but by playing, I would find the musicians in each village or town, and they would play for me. We'd be fascinated by each other's instruments. I just soaked up as much as I could. At the time pop music in some of these countries was called High Life—a combination of reggae and salsa--played by a seven or eight- piece band and a horn section, very similar to what Oingo Boingo was to become."
(More on his experiences in Africa:


Elfman's money lasted a year. "There's not much to spend it on," he says. A final bout of malaria and hepatitis sent him home to Los Angeles, where he was immediately drafted into a ragtag theater ensemble his brother had formed, the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo."

Richard Elfman:
"In 1972, I took Marie to Los Angeles and we created (along with childhood chums Gene Cunningham and Matthew Bright) a musical-theatrical troupe called the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. Danny returned from Africa and I installed him as our musical director. My guiding musical vision for the group was “nothing contemporary.” We faithfully re-created GREAT music that audiences could no longer hear live anymore – Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Django Rheinhardt, Josephine Baker, and did totally original, off-the-wall compositions by Danny, including numbers using an array of percussion instruments that he and saxophonist Leon Schneiderman created for the group."

LIVE VIDEO - The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo on The Gong Show (1976):

Richard Elfman:
"I directed and performed with the Mystic Knights until around 1976, when I left to do film and other theater projects, and Danny took over as director and lead singer.

The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo was an eclectic musical theater troupe. We performed in garish makeup. A typical show would contain music ranging from the 1890s to the 1950s, in addition to Danny’s ethnic/avant-guard material. This version of the band employed as many as 15 musicians and dancers playing over 30 instruments. Shows sometimes included graphic female clown nudity and absurdist male boxing violence, which periodically led to minor bloodshed. (We didn’t fuck around!) (We’ll, maybe we did.)

Few recordings from this period exist, although the group did produce a novelty record about kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst, “You’ve Got Your Baby Back.”"

THE MYSTIC KNIGHTS OF THE OINGO BOINGO - You Got Your Baby Back (7") (1976/1978)

History of this Release:
(from Harvey J. Satan:) Just a shorty note....about the Mystic Knights E.P.......
it was out on the independant label: Pelican Records! Rumour is, as it was sold only at Mystic Knight shows, that the people running their merchandise table ran off with the box of singles.
(Thus the rarity of it.) In the late 70's early 80's it was readily available at several shops in Berkeley, California.
(That's how I know it was out on Pelican... it was always part of the mail order catalog listings).


01 You Got Your Baby Back
02 Ballad Of The Caveman
03 Don't Go In The Basement

Link to download:

More info:

I really love the Oingo Boingo stuff. There's a lot going on and it's not a trivial 1-4-5 rock n' roll band. There was scoring for brass, and some very sophisticated arrangements, so in a way it seems like you've been naturally preparing yourself for more elaborate orchestrations all along...

Danny Elfman:
"More so in The Mystic Knights, not the Oingo Boingo band. In the Mystic Knights I taught myself to write, I taught myself to transcribe and notate, and if anything that's where my training came from because I was writing not for 75 pieces, but for 12 pieces, and that can be harder. I ended up with the last composition I wrote for them which was a very ambitious 5 minute composition for the entire ensemble. It was called the 'Oingo Boingo Piano Concerto #1 1/2' and we performed it for a couple of years. That was the first time I really committed myself to a full composition with counterpoint, and all the parts. It was kinda inspired by Le Historie De Solidat by Stravinsky, and Prokofiev, like mixing all my inspirations; Nino Rota and Stravinsky were all mushed together in this crazy composition."

THE MYSTIC KNIGHTS OF THE OINGO BOINGO - Live At The Aquarius Theater (1977)


01 Introduction
02 2001 (Strauss Homage)
03 Acapella Ditty
04 Hipsters On Parade
05 Sugar Plum Fairy
06 Baliphones
07 Always There
08 Hello Satan
09 St. James Infirmary
10 Violent Love
11 Travelin'
12 Good To Be Back
13 Money Comes From Heaven
14 I Got A Job
15 Gershwin Piano / Yes Sir
16 Big City Bible
17 Drum Solo
18 Instrumental Break
19 Carl Faustenburg
20 Guitar Solo
21 Here Comes The Rocket Man
22 Comet's Tail
23 Faster / On Chedriana
24 Sax Solo I
25 Sax Solo II
26 Good Night O Fearless Leader
27 Marimbas
28 Minnie The Moocher
29 Can't Get No Place With You
30 Broken Hearted Blues
31 Finale

Link to download:

Info about Aquarius Theater:

THE MYSTIC KNIGHTS OF THE OINGO BOINGO - Live At The Alcazar Theater (1977)


01 Introduction
02 Opening
03 Good Evening
04 2001
05 Hipsters On Parade
06 Springtime Ritual
07 Cave Princess
08 Always There
09 Is There Life After Death
10 Tender Lumplings
11 Hello Satan
12 Hold Tight
13 Violent Love
14 Goodbye, Goodbye Part I
15 Goodbye, Goodbye Part II
16 Travelin'
17 Action
18 Money Comes From Heaven
19 Yes Sir
20 Intermission
21 On With The Show
22 Intro To Dr. Auster
23 Eine Man
24 Piano Solo
25 Guitar Solo
26 Dream Sequence
27 Here Comes The Rocket Man
28 Woke Up Clipped
29 Sax Solo
31 Sandman
32 Marimbas
33 Warped Marimbas
34 Suite I
35 Betty Boop
36 Suite II
37 The End

Link to download:

"Elfman sang and played trombone, violin, and percussion. "There were twelve of us," he says. "Everybody did everything." The Mystic Knights evolved into a multimedia theatrical revue that featured lots of black humor. It lasted eight years, first playing the streets, then moving on to elaborate indoor performances. When the group played itself out, Elfman formed the band Oingo Boingo (the name, he says, means nothing) and his brother turned to independant moviemaking.

Elfman and some friends organized a stage act that combined satire, humor, and wild visual techniques (masks, odd props, and so on) under the name of the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo. Virtually unnoticed by the media, the troupe won a following among college-age and young-adult groups and soon could draw capacity audiences to nightclubs throughout the Los Angeles area. Gradually the show incorporated musical elements until it evolved at the end of the 1970's into a band with the shortened name of Oingo Boingo."

""Over those eight years," Elfman tells us, "I started writing and transcribing music, and the musicianship went from being a total street band to having good musicians who read music. We did a lot of 1930s material mixed with kind of crazy compositions. Transcribing Duke Ellington piano solos was the first thing I did. It was great training, because they're amazingly complex in their simplicity. I developed an enormous amount of confidence in my ability to hear any kind of riff go by and hold on to it, and eventually write it down. Then I started composing ambitious pieces, such as 'The Piano Concerto Number One and a Half.' That was a crazy Prokofiev-like piece that, if anything, was a precursor to film scoring.""



01 Acapella Ditty
02 Hipsters On Parade
03 Always There
04 Hello Satan
05 St James Infirmary
06 Violent Love.
07 Money Comes From Heaven
08 I Got A Job
09 Yes Sir
10 Comet's Tail
11 Faster
12 Minnie The Moocher
13 Left This Town
14 Finale
15 Johnny
16 You Got Your Baby Back

Link to download:

THE MYSTIC KNIGHTS OF THE OINGO BOINGO - Live At Roxy Theatre , West Hollywood, California (31.03.1979)

"Saint James Infirmary"


01 Intro
02 Hipsters On Parade
03 St. James Infirmary
04 Yes Sir
05 I'm Afraid
06 Violent Love
07 Make It Right
08 The Entertainer
09 Woke Up Clipped
10 Cruisin'
11 Here Comes The Rocket Man
12 Chedriana Girls
13 Marching In Time
14 Rumba Song
15 Always There
16 Betty Boop Intermission
17 Dreamin'
18 Louise
19 Gotta Get Out
20 Ain't This Life

Link to download:

THE MYSTIC KNIGHTS OF THE OINGO BOINGO - Live At Madams Wong,Los Angeles, California (1980)

Notes (i don't know if it is true or not?):
"The Madam Wongs West tape has a complicated story to it. Remember when I was
commenting on some songs, I said that they MAY have been played at Madam Wong
West? Well, that's because the Madam Wongs West tape is actually a comp of
several shows they did, but traders called it "The Tape Formerly Known As
Madam Wongs West" The shows were in fact, at Palace, West Take High and Madam Wongs..."


01 Rawhide
02 Something Isn't Right
03 Open Eyes
04 Teenage Monster
05 Gimme A Break
06 Lap Of Luxury
07 Commando Girls
08 Louise
09 California Girls
10 Forbidden Zone
(11 Animals)
12 I'm Afraid
13 Woke Up Clipped

Link to download (track 11 is missing):

If you are interested in to know who was the famous punk grandma' Madame Wong, check these sites:

CALAMAR: Do you look back on those days fondly of playing the starward, with all of the voodoo and axe and the plimpsoles and doing the sort of L.A. (you know) local music scene. I know you obviously were bigger than that, but.. an especially big year...

"No-no, that was a large chunk of our coming out in L.A. was playing not particularly the starward, but we played the Whisky, and the Roxy and Madame Wong's, and the Country Club, and Perkin's Palace and Pasadena, and we played every other weekend. And we'd rotate the same clubs - it was really funny because we go into the club that the Voddo had been in before and the Go-Goes would now play where we'd just been playing, and Fear Oingo Boingo, X, The Go-Gos, Wall of Voodoo, Los Lobos, a couple [of] others, it seems like were just constantly (like) rotating around.
But in particular it seemed like constantly switching stages with Wall of Voodoo, Fear, X, The Go-Goes. And it was interesting for the L.A. music scene taht all of us would be doing that because we have so little in common musically.

It's not like we all represented any kind of movement at all, but we were the bands that were dominating the stages, and it was really fun. I miss those days (you know) - I have days that I miss and days that I dont miss, but the days that I miss the most were The Whiskey. Going between The Whiskey and Rocksey and all these clubs and (um) really hot and real sweaty and close up to the audience... and, yeah, that part of it kinda s...'

MYSTIC KNIGHTS OF THE OINGO BOINGO - Forbidden Zone (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1980, or according to some sources 1982)

Arranged By, Guitar - Steve Bartek
Bass - Kerry Hatch
Composed By, Vocals - Danny Elfman
Drums - John Hernandez
Flute - Leon Schneiderman
Harp - Carol Emmanuel (
Piano - Brad Kay, Stuart Elster (
Producer - Loren Paul Caplin ( and and, Michael Boshears ( and , Richard Elfman
Saxophone - Sam Phipps
Synthesizer - Dan Schmidt
Trumpet - Dale Turner
Vocals - Cab Calloway (, Kipper Kids (track 03)/ Marie-Pascal Elfman , Susan Tyrrell ( 06)/Toshiro Baloney (alias Matthew Bright)(track 10)/Susan Tyrrell (track 13)/R. Yossele Elfman , Susan Tyrrell (track 14)/Kipper Kids (, Miguelito Valdez* (track 15)/Marie-Pascal Elfman (track 17)

Soundtrack for the 1980 movie 'Forbidden Zone' directed by Richard Elfman (Danny Elfman's brother)

"Johnny Vatos tribute to Oingo Boingo - Forbidden Zone"


01 Forbidden Zone
02 "Hercules" Family Theme
03 Journey Through The Intestines
04 Squeezit's Vision Of His "Sister"
05 Queen's Revenge
06 Factory
07 Love Theme - Squeezit And The Chickens
08 Flash And Gramps
09 Squeezit The Moocher (Minnie The Moocher)
10 Alphabet Song
11 Cell 63
12 Witch's Egg
13 Yiddishe Charleston
14 Chamber Music
15 Pleure
16 Battle Of The Queens
17 Love Theme - King And Queen
18 Finale



19 Hello Satan
20 Josephine Baker Ma Tonkinoise
21 Pico & Sepulveda

Links to download:

More info:

Richard Elfman:
"When the group began to move away from its theatrical, cabaret style towards a smaller “band” format, I decided to capture the essence of our original live shows on film. The result was the 1980 movie Forbidden Zone. Filmed in black and white (although recently colorized by Legend Films) with a cast mostly made up of band members and friends, the movie’s music and visuals embodied the spirit of our original stage productions. Danny, as Satan, sings a Mystic Knights version of Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher.” I sing the 1920s novelty song “The Yiddishe Charleston.” Marie-Pascale does several French numbers from our stage show."

"Although Elfman first came to prominance in film music circles with his wonderful score for Pee-wee's Big Adventure in 1985, his first film score was actually composed several years earlier, for Forbidden Zone, a film Elfman describes as "very much a family project." In addition to his brother Richard having written, directed, and produced the film, both Elfman's father and grandfather appeared in the film, and Richard's wife was the art director. The score was performed by an earlier incarnation of Oingo Boingo, called the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, and although the score contained a good deal of "pop" material that was an extension of what the Mystic Knights had done on stage, Elfman estimates that there were a good thirty or fourty minutes of instrumental music. "It was probably the first time I ever found myself looking to other types of music for inspiration, like Erik Satie, and it's probably the first time I brushed up against Nino Rota."

Danny Elfman:
"When Rick first approached me about doing a musical score for his "no budget" film, Forbidden Zone, I thought sure, fine, it'll be fun. Sixty minutes of original music in a dozen differing styles needed to be created in and around various older, and often uneven, pre-recorded pieces. But when he said that it must all be completed within a two week 'round-the-clock composing, arranging, and recording marathon, I thought he was crazy, but cracy is my middle name. I took on the challenge and enjoyed it immensely.

It was an interesting period for me. "Oingo Boingo" was just leaving its theatrical stage and starting to play as a band. We had a chance to combine the older styles we used to play withsome of the crazier sounds which were to be (as well as a lot of musical pieces which were unlike anything we had ever played, old or new). It was a great chance to stretch out and go nuts.

The Boingo current fans may find this "film music" somewhat foreign to the styles they now associate with us. But nonetheless, it's a piece of historic musical schizophrenia for me. I'm proud of it, and hope you enjoy listening to it."

Read also this:


"Movies don't get more out there than the 1980 cult classic Forbidden Zone (which starred the late Herve Villechaize of Fantasy Island fame), so it shouldn't come as much of a shock that the motion picture soundtrack by Danny Elfman is in the same peculiar vein. While the music was performed by Elfman's band at the time, Oingo Boingo, it was all composed by Elfman himself. While some of the music can be compared to '90s experimental rockers Mr. Bungle (Elfman must have been an obvious influence for them), most of it is so off the wall that it's incomparable to anyone else. The anthemic lead-off title track is the soundtrack's undeniable highlight, while the rest of the songs alternate widely between genres. Styles include originals that sound straight out of the '40s ("Some of These Days," "Yiddishe Charleston," "Bim Bam Boom"), warped children's songs ("Alphabet Song"), chants ("Flash and Gramps") and short synthesized instrumentals ("Chamber Music," "Journey Through the Intestines," "Factory"). Weird but brilliant stuff." (

"My favorite tracks are 'Forbidden Zone', 'Hercules Family', 'Some of these Days', 'Squeezit's Vision of His "Sister"', 'Queen's Revenge', 'Love Theme-Squeezit and the Chickens', 'Flash and Gramps', 'Alphabet Song'(that one I can't live without), 'Squeezit and the Moocher'(Danny is sensational in that one), 'Yiddishe Charleston'. Well, I love them all.

I had just gotten this CD in the mail today and can't stop playing it.

Though I don't recommend the movie to everyone, I recommend the soundtrack to everyone. It's great."

"This is my favorite soundtrack by Danny Elfman. A goofy upbeat oompapa through and through. Each trak is as daring and provocative as the previous and will have the listener humming and toe tapping to it's upswing beat. Each trak will have you dancing in the aisles and swinging from the cieling fan as Oingo Boingo and the rest belts out each tune like Benny Goodman on [something]. Yes, and the swarthy tootlings of Squeezit the Moocher will have you screaming for more. I highly recomend this CD to any highbrow misic lover."

"The fact that this soundtrack is just as good as his today shows what a bargain Richard got him for. Amazingly, Richard himself still has a few copies of the film available from his website (I got one myself). The Mystic Knights of Oingo Boingo make their stunning appearance with Danny Elfman as Satan, along with a musical number.
The music itself varies from insane to moving, as he puts songs appropriately with the scenes. He took a song off this album for his "Music for a Darkened Theater Vol. 1" the Love Theme. This is still my favorite from this album, but the other songs deserve their due.

The title theme fits the movie well, but stands well on its own. If you saw the Dilbert TV show, you'll recognize it: they are the same song.

And the aforementioned "Alphabet Song" is a classic. Once you see the movie, you'll know why its so catchy!"

More review:

It is coming: Forbidden Zone 2: The Forbidden Galaxy (2010) with Danny Elfman!

Details here: and


They continued later as Oingo Boingo:

DANNY ELFMAN (1973-) – Composer, music director, lead vocals, brass, violin, guitar, percussion
STEVE BARTEK (1976-) – Guitar, vocals, percussion
KERRY HATCH (1979-) – Bass guitar, vocals
JOHNNY “VATOS” HERNANDEZ (1978-) – Drums, percussion
SAM “SLUGGO” PHIPPS (1974-) – Sax, flute, clarinet
LEON SCHNEIDERMAN (1973-) – Sax, flute; instrument design and construction
DALE TURNER (1974-) – Trumpet, trombone

DAN SCHMIDT (1980) - Synthesizer on "Forbidden Zone" soundtrack and Oingo Boingo - St EP. So he was in The Mystic Knight of Oingo Boingo and also in Oingo Boingo though just for a shorter period.

"I was the original keyboardist for Oingo Boingo. It was incredibly exciting to see the band evolve from playing bowling alleys and skating rinks, to become one of the most popular bands in Los Angeles. When KROQ began playing "Only A Lad", the lines suddenly got longer at every show. Even though I've played with many bands that sold a lot more records, people are most impressed by my Oingo Boingo credits.

I played keyboards and guitars on more than 100 albums, including about 20 albums that were recorded during the 6 months that I was the staff musician at a studio in Sweden. This page contains credits from five albums that I think are interesting, because some of the musicians went on to bigger and better things."

And they left the band:

RICHARD ELFMAN (1972–1976). Founder, director, percussion. Note that pretty much everyone played percussion

He is an American film director and the broher of Danny Elfman, writer, actor and magazine publisher.

More info:

MARIE-PASCALE ELFMAN (1972–1977) Lead vocals, dancer, comedienne
Richard Elfman's then wife. She appeared with the band less and less after her husband left. I have no info where is she now. Perhaps she went back to France?
There is a quite new photo of Marie on Richard's site, "Lunch at Marie-Pascale Elfman's French country house":

MATTHEW BRIGHT (1972-1973) - Bass
is an American film director, writer and actor. "I live in Chiapas in the jungle, right on the border with Guatemala."

Further info:

BILLY SUPERBALL (aka William Folwell) (1972–1975, 1976–1978) - Trumpet, Upright & Fender Bass Aka William Folwell. Appears in the Bill Murray movie Loose Shoes

"Bill Folwell was Albert Ayler’s bass player on the 1966 European Tour, at the 1967 Newport Jazz Festival, the various Greenwich Village sessions and that controversial ‘rock’ period of the late Impulse LPs. And that’s just his contribution to the Ayler legacy. He also played with Carla Bley and Perry Robinson and the cult rock bands: Ars Nova (, The Insect Trust ( and The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo."
If i understand weel he lives in Florida and works as a teacher (

Also see this for more: (with mp3 interviews in 4 parts)

JOSH GORDON (1973–1975) - Trumpet, Sousaphone, Banjar, Guitar

"Hi everyone! My name's Josh Gordon. I've got a ton of different interests and possibly interesting experiences that might or might not result in useful and informative additions to Wikipedia. For example, I've worked at IMSAI (my first job out of college), Autodesk (my longest job) and eBay (where I was Chief Engineer) as a programmer; I was lead trumpet for the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo for a couple of years in the '70s; I'm a jazz pianist and folk/blues guitarist; I've lived in New York City, Alexandria, VA, Munich, Germany, Eugene, Oregon, Tarzana, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Carmel-by-the-Sea. I moved to Las Vegas in early 2005; I split my time between Vegas and Kernville, California, my wife's hometown.

Playing the ukulele with my newgrass band at Rebecca Giddens' brewpub in Kernville, CA"

More info:

JAN MUNROE (1972–1976) - Mime, dancer, acrobat (sword swallower, slack-rope walker, fire breather)
He is an L.A. performance artist "is a veteran of stage and screen and was a founding member of the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo" and the husband of the American actress Frances Conroy

More info:

WILLIAM WINANT (1972–1975) - Percussion
..."one of the best avant-garde percussionists working today". Toured with Oingo Boingo; has performed and recorded with Mr. Bungle, John Zorn, Secret Chiefs 3, and Sonic Youth ( and

"Dude: I played with Boingo off and on from 1972-1975, then again in '92 or '91 on the "Insanity" tour. I also played percussion for Danny on the "Batman Returns" soundtrack. I've been playing with Mr. Bungle since 1995, this includes 2 records "Disco Volante" and "California" on warner bros. records, numerous tours throughout the world,as well as numerous side projects with various band members. Keep the the faith..peace..william winant"

Read also this :

STAN AYEROFF (1972–1975) - Jazz guitar
"He performed with Texas R&B singer Delbert McClinton and became co-musical director (with Danny Elfman) of the original “Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo”, the notorious L.A. surrealistic musical theater group. Becoming arranger and guitarist for singer Vicki Carr became Stan’s antedote to the Avant- Garde.

An active songwriter and freelancer, Stan has continued to compose and perform for films, commercials, television and record dates. From 1994-1996 he served as Orchestral Supervisor for Rod Stewart, Page/Plant, The Who and Heart, also conducting a chamber orchestra for Heart’s video “The Road Home” on Capitol Records. Since 2002 Stan has been the musical director for a series of projects featuring Roger Daltry of The Who, and completed new, longer books on Django Reinhardt and Charlie Christian for Mel Bay Publications"

Currently plays with Dream Street Band and wrote some books about jazz musicians (

Further info: and

MIRIAM CUTLER (1976–1979) - Clarinet, vocals
"Los Angeles-based film composer Miriam Cutler has been writing, producing, and performing music for over 20 years. Her evocative scores have graced numerous narrative features and award-winning documentaries, as well as television, corporate videos, cartoons, and even two circuses. She's known for her versatility, her soulful integration of world music styles, and her enthusiasm for working collaboratively.

Cutler began her musical career as a singer/horn player in several bands, including the popular MYSTIC KNIGHTS OF THE OINGO BOINGO. She also led THE NEW MISS ALICE STONE LADIES SOCIETY ORCHESTRA and the jazzy SWINGSTREET, writing most of their music and arrangements, producing several recordings, and touring with them. Her love of jazz also led to a stint co-producing albums for Polygram-Verve including Joe Williams (nominated for a Grammy), Nina Simone, Marlena Shaw, and Shirley Horn."

Further info:

BRAD KAY (1974–1975 or 1977?) - Keyboards - Piano at periodic intermission shows and “Yiddishe Charleston” in Forbidden Zone

pianist, cornetist, composer and musicologist, music has been his consuming passion since childhood, starting with ragtime, developing into a love for all great American music, especially the hot jazz of the 1920s.

"He was a sideman in the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo (1974-77); led his own band, The Majestic Dance Orchestra (1975-79, 1991-94), which recreated hot orchestral music of the 20s and 30s. In his septet, The Uptown Curmudgeons of Swing (1995-97), he evoked some of the great pianists of the era such as Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin (among many), but was essentially himself in his heatedly optimistic solos."

More info: and

TODD MANLEY (1973-1974) - Percussion

He worked with another Mystic Knights member William Winant (
He lives in San Francisco and plays with San Francisco Symphony and other classical acts like San Francisco Girl's Chorus...

I think this page is also belong to him:

LORI MANN (LORI ERENBERG) (1972-1977) - Accordion, lead vocals, dancer
"Design and Decoration for Residential and Commercial Interior and Exterior...A native Californian, that is a lover of all of the "Arts".... a student of architectual history , designer , & X-showgirl with the Oingo Boingo"

More bio:

More info:

ERNIE FOSSELIUS (1972–1973) Wrote "Hipsters On Parade".
is an American filmmaker, best known for his classic Star Wars parody Hardware Wars.

Ernie's been carving most of his life. When he retired from the from the Movie Biz, he came back to whittling. After writing 11 unproduced screenplays, he felt he could say more with a pocket knife and a stick. In 1999, he build The Mechalodeon, a travelling gallery of mechanically animated carved caricatures. This was featured on such TV shows as Bay Area Backroads, Rare Visions, and Weird Wheels.

The Crankabout Mechanical Theater ( is the latest incarnation of that idea.

More info:

GISELE LINDLEY (1976) - Planted as “waitress” in summer night club run, hit on by band members, top ripped off and chased into kitchen. Played Princess in Forbidden Zone.
She had a role in Blake Edward's 'S.O.B.' a year after this movie, then seems to have disappeared.

CRAIG PALLETT (?-?) - Trumpet

None of the sources mention him as he was in Mystic Knight, but there is some info available on his website:

"As a trumpet player...quit Mystic Knights of “Oingo Boingo” after only several months, (they weren’t making any money at the time)."

An interesting thing is that he currently plays with Steve Bartek in Ynot Project ( More interesting is that Bartek and Pallett played in another prog-rock band together in the 70's: Turbulence.

More info:

GENE CUNNINGHAM (1972–1975) played on? Aka Ugh-Fudge Bwana or Ugh Fudge Bwana. Whereabouts unknown

JON GOLD (1973–1976) - Guitar, multi-instrumentalist. Whereabouts unknown

MUSTI FAUN (?–?) played on? There is no more info available. He or she is not mention on Richard Elfaman' site as he/she was a member. It is just a pseudonym i think. It would be good to know his original name...

More info for The Mystic Knights of The Oingo Boingo:


"For 17 years, Danny Elfman was the lead nerd in a nerdy band followed mostly by nerds. In 1978, when the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo broke up, he launched Oingo Boingo (later just Boingo). In contrast to the antisuburban slickness of groups such as X, his band reveled in their everyday dorkiness. Their insanely quick-tempoed horns and world-beat rhythms infused the L.A. music scene with energy and fun. By the mid-'80s, fans were so bonkers for the group that when a local radio station hosted a contest offering a Boingo-related prize, 3.2 million postcard entries flooded in. If the eight-man band failed to become a national sensation it was because, critics said, their 10 albums failed to capture the vitality and emotion of the live shows. The band wasn't shy about taking swipes at society. Elfman wrote lyrics about things that bugged him, often about "middle-class socialist brats," left-wing liberals and even music critics. Oingo Boingo's biggest hits were the ominous "Dead Man's Party" and wacky "Weird Science."



01 Open Eyes
02 Teenage Monsters
03 What You See
04 Controller
05 You Really Got me
06 Imposter
07 On The Outside
08 Cinderella Undercover
09 California Girls
10 Little Girls
11 I'm So Bad
12 Violent Love
13 Only A Lad

Link to download:

More info on Westlake High School:

Richard Elfman:
"Around 1980, Danny changed the group from a musical-theatrical ensemble to an eight-member “rock” band, and shortened the name to “Oingo Boingo.” I use the term “rock” loosely, as the music could not really be classified within typical rock styles, with normal three-minute length, simple chord structure, repetitive melodic and lyrical “hooks,” etc. If I might digress a moment: I really never saw Danny have any rock influences at all growing up – no garage bands, no rock albums, no guitar, no rock concerts…no music lessons. We did have classical music in the house. Danny and I liked Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky a lot. Our father had been a jazz trumpet player before we were born – so maybe something was in the blood. But it wasn’t rock and roll. My thing had been Afro-Latin percussion (I wanted to be a black Cuban). When Danny was around 16 or 17, he found he could play jazz guitar. Danny could just listen to an intricate Django Rheinhardt guitar solo and then figure it out and play it – and then figure out the intricate Stephan Grappelli violin accompaniment! (Danny doesn’t believe in past lives, although he seems to be a good walking example of it.)

I think Danny’s reasons for transforming the musical theater troupe to a rock band were cutting costs and thus increasing mobility and exploring new musical directions that didn’t need theatrics to support it."

"For a long time, Oingo Boingo was one of the best-kept entertainment secrets except on the U.S. West Coast, where the band had tremendous "underground" popularity. One of the bands's problems was its leader and primary writer Danny Elfman's penchant for constant experimentation in musical styles—-ranging over such diverse influences in the early 1980's LPs as Balinese polyrhythms, West African melodies, and R&B-tinged horn-paced songs—that made it hard to catogorize."

""We're not antiestablishment, we're just doing our own thing....We've just tried to create as much freedom as we could for ourselves. You can't be antiestablishment and be on a label. Sure I poke fun at society, but I don't want to be pigeonholed. Lyrically, I never been one for metaphors. I just say what I feel. When you think about everything, nothing is wonderful.

"We didn't design the band with the concept of making things easy - we knew right from day one we were facing an uphill battle, but it's what we wanted to do,"
leader Danny Elfman said recently from Los Angeles. "We did two things that are no-nos with the press here. One, we changed from something else - and once you're accepted as something, you're never supposed to change. We had built up a reputation here as the Mystic Knights (a multimedia theatrical aggregation), and when we became a band, they thought it was outrageous. They thought we were selling out, even though that wasn't our motivation by a long shot.

And secondly, we had no roots. There was a Los Angeles sound in '79, '80, the time we were coming out. And we just didn't fit into that sound. All of the popular band out here that the critics liked were very much rotted in the '60s music and/or traditions - the Go-Gos, X, and even Lone Justice now. I'm not saying that I don't like music rooted like that - but ours wasn't. We had a very irreverent attitude and our presence was very unstreetlike. We have a motto: 'The '60s (stank) the first time around, and the second time is even worse.' Obviously that's an exaggeration, but the point is that we think most people out here look at that era through rose-tinted glasses, as it were."

""If you want to do something 'instant' in rock and roll, you have to present a very simple image," he says, "and we're not. We enjoy the fact that we're not doing traditional pop and rock. Our style combines very diverse influences—West African music, jazz, country." Elfman rarely listens to other groups. "I have a certain beat in my head all the time," he says. "When I listen to a rock song, it's like having two radio stations tuned in simultaneously!""


"Ain't This Life"


01 Teenage Monster
02 What You See
03 Controller
04 You Really Got me
05 On The Outside
06 Imposter
07 Calofornia Girls
08 Woke Up Clipped
09 Im So Bad
10 Violent Love
11 Forbidden Zone
12 Ain't This Life
13 Only A Lad
14 Louise
15 Nasty Habits

Link to download:

"Small clubs were in full bloom in Los Angeles in '79," Elfman recalls. "We were a pop band with a lot of punks in the audience because of the speed and energy of our music. Our songs were political and social, about avoiding being pushed into ways of thinking of organized groups."

Danny Elfman:
"My goal with the band is to make you feel that you've taken a little musical journey—disturbing at some moments, hypnotizing at others—to stimulate mental or physical activity. All that matters to me is a commitment to my art—I love work—and balance—living without drugs or alcohol—with my family."

Kirkus Review Whisky a Go Go, L.A.(Variety Magazine, October 15, 1980)

"Recently pacted with A&M-distributed IRS, Oingo Boingo octet still lacks a consistent body of material to launch tiself as something more than a local cult attraction, which this group has been for quite some time now.

Show caught at the Whisky had its highpoints on such oldie classics as "You Really Got Me" and "California Girls", the latter a rousingly original variation on the familar melody, as well as on entries from its four-song LP on IRS.

Although the group's three-man horn section sets the ensamble apart from others in the progressive field, those players were underutilized and undermixed. When they were in the forefront, however, the added texture did offer some interesting possibilities musically which might be worth tapping in more depth.

Lead vocalist and founder Danny Elfman has a strong New Waver voice and arresting look on stage which helps to hold attention, as do the band's occasional forays into ska-like tunes, whose infectiousness is a decided plus."

Read also these:

Some very interesting background info to make complete the Oingo's story (record companies-money...) added by RICHAD GIBBS:

"As in Mythbusting Number 1 ( there is a modicum of veracity in this argument. Yes, filesharing does spread the musical gospel of the artist whose music is being digitally scattered across the globe. And that can increase live concert revenue somewhat. There are examples of new artists who are scratching out a living from live shows and merch alone. And lord knows the record companies have done nothing in recent memory to warrant anything but contempt from the public and even many artists. So let’s bust this one open.

I’m going to use my musical alma mater Oingo Boingo as an example this time for several reasons. One, having been the keyboardist for the band from unsigned status thru two and a half label deals (I’ll explain the half, don’t worry) I can speak with a certain amount of authority on Boingo’s commerce with those label
s back in the day and can attest that we never received a dime in record royalties while I was around. And two, Boingo is an excellent example of a mid-level band that never reached star status, but wasn’t a flop out of the box either. Even thought we were artistically a bit off-center, financially in the record industry we were pertty much straight middle class. And three, we always made our personal money from live appearances and merch.

Okay, record companies first. When I joined Boingo in 1980 (damn that’s a long time ago) they had just finished pressing up 130 copies of a self-produced four song demo EP out of their own meager pocketbooks. They were put in plain white cardboard covers that our trusty crew (Charlie Unkeles and Sean Riley, take a bow) would hand airbrush individually with a stencil of the band’s name on the front. These were being distributed to the record companies and to anybody we thought could help our cause. Jed the Fish, a renegade DJ on what was at the time a renegade little radio station called KROQ, began spinning “Ain’t This the Life” from that EP. Suddenly we were packing them into Madame Wong’s West and then the Whiskey, without benefit of a label. But of course we knew that in order to expand beyond just a local following we would need the resources of a label. Miles Copeland III stepped up to the plate first and signed us to his new little label I.R.S. (International Record Syndicate) Records, which was distributed by A&M Records.

Here’s a little fun aside – Miles’ brother Stewart had started a band with two other fellows called The Police. Miles became their manager, forming LAPD (Los Angeles Personal Direction) to handle those duties and I.R.S. to sign new bands that came their way. Their brother Ian (R.I.P.) started a booking agency called FBI (Federated Booking International) to deal with all of the live shows. The Police, I.R.S., FBI, LAPD – what was this fascination the brothers Copeland had with law enforcement? Their father, Miles II, had been one of the very first agents in the CIA.

Anyway. We made a few changes on the EP and released it eponymously with a proper cover on I.R.S. It made enough of a splash that we were bumped up to the big leagues of A&M proper for the debut LP, Only a Lad. When that LP was released things started to happen for us. We were playing larger and larger venues and expanding our market from L.A. to all of Southern California and beyond. We always remained a cult band, though, with a rabid local following. The three LPs we made under the I.R.S./A&M contract each performed roughly the same – we would sell approximately 100,000 copies in California (mostly southern) and sell only an additional 25,000 copies in all other markets combined. Pretty much the definition of a regional band.

Our contract was fairly typical for new bands at the time – I don’t remember the exact numbers, but let’s say we received 9% of retail net sales. 125,000 units sold multiplied by retail price of $12 (remember, this was pre-CD) means tha
t A&M/I.R.S. brought in around 1.75 million dollars per record. We should have received (according to my very murky memories) around $157,500 per album. Except that the actual total cost of making the record (in our case around $125,000) had to be paid back out of OUR measly 9% share before we were to see a nickel. Then figure in various typical record company accounting practices – a 30% holdback (because retail stores had the right to return any records not sold for a refund) and my favorite, a 5% ‘breakage fee’, amongst others – and suddenly we were actually in the red to the record company, even though they were well into black ink. To make matters worse, the debt accrued from album to album, meaning that the second record was started with a, say, $20,000 cost added before we had even bought the first reel of blank tape. And so on to the third record.

So reading this it is easy to see why record companies and their business practices are so widely reviled. But let’s go a bit deeper.

There is no way that Oingo Boingo could have afforded to record the Only a Lad LP out of our own pockets. The band was in debt at the time we signed to I.R.S. because of the costs of making that little demo EP – I.R.S. at least made us whole. We never could have dredged up $125,000 for Only a Lad without record company support. Even if we had, the major labels held a stranglehold on the distribution pipelines and on radio (remember radio?), making the thought of self publishing moot for any band. What A&M gave us in return for our typical usurious deal was a career. The guys could finally afford to quit their day jobs as live performance money zoomed up because of increased radio play and exposure on countless TV shows and movie soundtracks. All of that was made possible by I.R.S./A&M. In addition they gave us tour support, allowing us to travel across the country to hawk our musical wares. Danny did endless radio and press interviews, we were hired for TV shows and movies and even a TV ad or two (most notably Budweiser! [saltyka added:, and we made the one token cheesy 80s video per album on A&M’s dime (dig em out on youtube if you like).

So for artists or others to say that record companies rip off artists and give nothing in return is a bit disingenuous, a
t least in my humble experience with I.R.S. and A&M. After our three record commitment to A&M was up, though, we were now in debt substantially to the label, making the hopes of garnering any band profits for a potential fourth A&M album very dim. Miles had negotiated a new home for I.R.S. over the hill at MCA Records. In a very funny publicity stunt the entire staff of I.R.S. actually walked out of A&M en masse and walked up La Brea and over the Cahuenga Pass to their new offices at MCA Universal, some with various office belongings in hand. Miles always had a flair for the dramatic. We were offered a deal on MCA which we accepted, allowing us to walk away from our A&M debt. There was one special provision in the contract. I had been growing increasingly restless within the band and had started my own band called Zuma II (that’s another story for another time). I was given 60 days to opt out of the MCA contract after I signed, with impunity for me or Boingo. Kerry Hatch, our bass player, was also in Zuma II and was listed in the same clause. At the last minute Kerry and I opted out, leaving Boingo. Hence the half deal.

In closing allow me to say this – although I hate record company practices and am among their most vociferous critics, I know that there were many passionate and intelligent individuals at those companies who worked tirelessly on our behalf back in the day. Those folks were not bad guys – far from it. Without them Oingo Boingo would have remained bouncing off the walls at Madame Wong’s West (may that crazy old Chinese lady, Esther Wong, rest in peace). Today there is close to zero incentive for a record company to go the distance with a bizarre band like Oingo Boingo – there simply is not enough money in it for them because most fans just download the songs they like for free."

Read more here:

ONLY A LAD (1981)

"You never lived in the streets though you wish you had
Not enough talent to play a guitar
You failed as an artist 'cause you lacked in the confidence
Now you're a critic and you're at the top
(The top of what)

You don't believe what you write
You're and imposter you don't, don't, don't believe what you write...

You're just a critic, we know why you drink so much
Jealousy slowly consuming your gut
The streets that you never knew are just where they've always been
Your head is firmly lodged way up your butt (where it belongs).."
(The Imposter)

Arranged By [Horns] - Steve Bartek
Artwork By [Art Direction] - Chuck Beeson (
Artwork By [Illustration] - Chris Hopkins (
Bass, Vocals - Kerry Hatch
Drums - Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez
Engineer - Steve Brown (
Engineer [Assistant] - Brad Gilderman (, Cary Pritikin, Chuck Kirkpatrick ( and, David Ahlert
Guitar [Lead] - Steve Bartek
Keyboards, Trombone - Richard Gibbs
Lead Vocals, Guitar [Rhythm] - Danny Elfman
Mastered By - George Marino (
Mixed By - Oingo Boingo , Rick Ruggieri
Photography [Back Cover] - Charlie White , Dave Willardson ( and and and
Photography [Inner Sleeve] - Bob Sinskey
Producer - Oingo Boingo , Peter Solley (
Saxophone [Baritone] - Leon Schneiderman
Saxophone [Tenor] - Sam Phipps
Trumpet - Dale Turner
Written-By - Danny Elfman (tracks: 1 to 4, 6 to 10), Written-By - Ray Davies (track 05)

Credits of Oingo Boing Ep 1980:

Producer - Jo Julian (ex-Berlin, (tracks 18, 19), Michael Boshears (see Forbidden Zone album) (track 20)

Mixed at The Mix Room, North Hollywood, CA. Recorded at Record Plant, United Western Studios, Cherokee Studios and Westlake Audio. Mastered at Sterling Sound.

"You Really Got Me" originally performed by The Kinks.

"Only A Lad - live"


01 Little Girls
02 Perfect System
03 On The Outside
04 Capitalism
05 You Really Got Me
06 Only A Lad
07 What You See
08 Controller
09 Imposter
10 Nasty Habits

11 I've Got to be Entertained (from movie soundtrack "Longshot " 1981)
12 I've Got to be Entertained (edit)

13 Don't Go In The Basement (1978 credited as Mystic Knights Of The Oingo Boingo and appeared on the soundtrack "Face Like a Frog")

DEMO EP (1979)

14 Ain't This The Life
15 Only A Lad
16 Forbidden Zone
17 I'm So Bad


18 Only A Lad
19 Violent Love
20 Ain't This The Life
21 I'm So Bad


22 Ain't This The Life
23 Capitalism
24 Cinderella Undercover
25 Controller
26 Forbidden Zone (Original)
27 Imposter
28 Little Girls
29 Nasty Habits
30 On the Outside
31 What You See
32 You Really Got Me

Link to download:

More info:

Lyrics of On The Outside:

"They laugh at me aloud
They say I'm just a clown
That I ain't got no pride
I'm on the outside
The girls look really cute
They really make it work
They think I'm just a jerk
I'm on the outside
I never could sit still
I never was too hip
I never caught the ride
I'm on the outside

I'm on the outside, I'm on the outside now
This is where it all begins right here
On the outside lookin' in, I'm on the outside

I never was a punk
I never shot junk
I never even tried counter
Counter culture passed me right by
(I'm on the outside)

Don't talk to debutantes
Don't eat in restaurants
The patrons sit and stare
The waiters make wise cracks behind my back
(I'm on the outside)

Teachers there in school
They flunked me by the rule
They say I had no motivation, brains or dedication
I guess the imbeciles were right I'm on the outside

I'm on the outside, I'm on the outside now
This is where it all begins on the outside looking in
Looking in
At you
I'm just an alien through and through
Tryin' to make believe I'm you
Tryin' to fit
Just a stranger on the outside looking in

The disco makes me sick I
Wear the wrong clothes
I say the wrong things
You know I can't dance
My feet are much too wide (I'm on the outside)

You think you set the trends
You wear your hair just right
Your clothes are out-a-sight
Your house is modern really kitch
You get so macho when you're with your bitch
(I'm on the outside)

I see them go to work
I see them go to sleep
I see them on T.V.
I see them laugh and cry
I'm on the outside. I'm on the outside. I'm on the outside

(Repeat chorus)

I'm on the outside. I'm on the outside now
I'm on the outside
I'm on the outside now"

"The new band alignment came together officially in 1979 and managed to gain a record agreement before the year was out. As Marc Shapiro, writing in the Santa Ana (California) Register, noted "The prevailing feeling when Oingo Boingo signed its first recording contract was: 'Why them?' A new wave attitude was apparent, but a lot of people continued to question the seriousness of the band's venture."

"The group's initial release, Oingo Boingo (an extended-play album on the IRS label) brought fierce negative appraisals from local critics. Among the charges was that the main reason for the new stress on music was to pander to teenage tastes for commercial ends. Stung by the press barbs, Elfman got back at reviewers with the scathing lyrics of the 1981 song "Imposter" (whose primary targets reportedly were the music writers of the Los Angeles Times)."

"Elfman indignantly denied he had slanted his early writing specifically for the teenage level.
"On the contrary," he told Henry, "when we started up, one of the reasons it was hard to get signed was because they said our music was too complex for a young audience to understand, rythmically, melodically, and lyrically. And as the kids out here discovered us on their own, we were surprised. We had almost begun to believe what they had been telling us. But we came out with our first EP and it was the kids that we caught on."

The band had a modest local hit with the EP, which encouraged A&M Records to sign them to a multiyear contract. The debut on that label, Only a Lad (1981), contained "Imposter"."

"They were accepted as engaging oddballs in Los Angeles, but the rest of the country had decidedly mixed feelings. Either you didn't care much one way or another or you flet, as New York rock critic Robert Christgau did, that they combined "the worst of Sparks with the worst of the Circle Jerks.""

Danny Elfman:
"I think.. it was around '78 that I got kindof charged up by music I was hearing out of England. Sca bands, and I really just wanted to start up a sca group; I think I was sick of lugging around so much stuff with the theatre troupe. You know, towards the end it was a big production. It was like a "semi" full of stuff.."

Danny Elfman:
"you know, I spent a year in West Africa when I was 18 and I came back and I got into an avant garde musical theatrical troupe for 8 years, and when I heard a sca come over from England - this pumped up reggae with bits of salsa, it reminded me of the music I used to listen to in Africa called highlife. And I said, 'I wanna do that. It has enough energy that I could do it.' I was pretty manic and nothing was really catching my attention. When I heard this really fast beat, that's it - that's what I want to do, and I just let the Mystic Knights ended and Oingo Boingo the band started up."

"Their sound was wholly original: Elfman picked up on the themes of punk—self-destruction and rebellious spunk—but added a black humor that frequently confronted death."

"Out of this finally Oingo Boingo emerged, an oversized, smart-alecky, insanely quick-tempoed group of guys who looked like nerds, Elfman says, to distance thimselves as much as possible from the concurrent punk movement.

"I've never really identified with any segment of youth culture, particularly—not even when I was a kid," says Elfman, at 42 a grudging member of the Woodstock Generation. "I never felt any alliance toward anybody, unless my generation consisted of maybe four people." Putting a inger on the pulse of Elfman's political alliances has been equally difficult. Early on Oingo Boingo got a peg as a "reactionary" band, pretty much on the basis of two songs on its debut album: "Capitalism" (pro-free market) and "Only a Lad" (seemingly pro-capital punishment, anti-criminal coddling)."

Hi , were you influenced by the band XTC?

"Yes. XTC, The Specials, Madness, and PIL all caught my attention and caught me quite off-guard, when they first came out around the same time."

A socialist friend of mine swears that your song "Capitalism" is satire, but I believe it's serious. Which is it?

Danny Elfman:
"You're both right. It's serious satire."

Lyrics of Capitalism

"There's nothing wrong with Capitalism
There's nothing wrong with free enterprise
Don't try to make me feel guilty
I'm so tired of hearing you cry

There's nothing wrong with making some profit
If you ask me I'll say it's just fine
There's nothing wrong with wanting to live nice
I'm so tired of hearing you whine
About the revolution
Bringin' down the rich
When was the last time you dug a ditch, baby!

If it ain't one thing
Then it's the other
Any cause that crosses your path
Your heart bleeds for anyone's brother
I've got to tell you you're a pain in the ass

You criticize with plenty of vigor
You rationalize everything that you do
With catchy phrases and heavy quotations
And everybody is crazy but you

You're just a middle class, socialist brat
From a suburban family and you never really had to work
And you tell me that we've got to get back
To the struggling masses (whoever they are)
You talk, talk, talk about suffering and pain
Your mouth is bigger than your entire brain
What the hell do you know about suffering and pain . . .

(Repeat first verse)

(Repeat chorus)

There's nothing wrong with Capitalism
There's nothing wrong with Capitalism
There's nothing wrong with Capitalism
There's nothing wrong with Capitalism"


"Only a Lad introduced the world to a man who would later become one of its most recognizable popular composers. Danny Elfman, later to write the score for The Simpsons as well as countless movie soundtracks, formed Oingo Boingo in 1977, but it wasn't until Only a Lad's 1981 release that they achieved national recognition.

Only a Lad contains obvious new wave elements, but it doesn't stick to any one style long, undulating over a vast musical terrain. Ska, new wave, classical, heavy metal -- they all make at least cameo appearances. The band's musicianship, even at this relatively early stage, far exceeds most of their peers, and Elfman's deft songwriting ability offers a clear glimpse of what was to come.

Elfman's voice fits perfectly within an '80s context, but otherwise, the album sounds far ahead of its time. As such, it should come as no surprise the album had more influence on musicians and artists than on the charts. It's probably a good thing that this particular Oingo Boingo collection never reached too high a level of prominence, though, because the lyrical content of Only a Lad could have landed them in serious hot water.
Although never vulgar, the album brazenly shuffles through taboos without compunction, writing from a pedophile's point of view in "Little Girls," not-so-clandestinely discussing masturbation in "Nasty Habits," and generally adopting a socially whimsical and irreverent attitude. The lone track not written by Elfman is a stellar tribute to the Kinks' classic cut "You Really Got Me." Later cited as an influence by such diverse bands as Nirvana, Mr. Bungle, and Fishbone, this album stands up well to the test of multiple listens and would make a worthwhile addition to any album collection."

"This is a really good debut album, and I'm going to go on record as saying it's probably Oingo Boingo's best.

Listening to it now, it really strikes me just how influenced Danny Elfman was by XTC--especially Drums and Wires. Elfman's songs are creepy in a way that XTC songs never were, but the fact remains--Elfman is basically "doing" the album as Andy Partridge--I'm kind of surprised nobody on Amazon mentioned this fact yet. Anyway, the music and songs on this album are otherwise really original, and the album holds up much better than a lot of albums from the same time period, songwriting- and production-wise."

"I reccomend this album. Danny Elfman rocks with his new Oingo Boingo rock band in the 80's who would soon become one of the best pop bands in the 80's with Danny Elfman and Steve Bartek playing guitar, Vatos on drums, and Oingo Boingo's incredible horn section.
This is a fan favorite. Boingo's first album is mainly Devo and XTC-influenced punk with wild songs about dispicable people and outsiders. Funny, satirical. This album rocks hard. Later Boingo would introduce different sounds into their songs.
Lyrics definately Danny's. Boingo's sound is still undeveloped really in this release but still recognisably Boingo (hear "You Really Got Me" who else but Danny and the band could do just that to a song?)
Fun Fun Fun."

"How do I even start? This is one of Oingo Boingo's best. It's classic!

The layering of instruments is really awesome. What You See has so many turns it takes a while to get sick of it.

The lyrics are really clever...I'm assuming Danny Elfman wrote them. They're dripping with sarcasm, dry comments on people in our society...awesome! It takes a real genius to turn a subject like pedophiles into a song that makes you smile and tap your foot.

Speaking of pedophiles, "Little Girls" deserves its own paragraphs. It opens up the album. The first time I heard this song I was like, "this is so awful!". The lyrics were just so...yikes. But at the same time I was having way too much fun listening to it. After awhile you begin to think, "how can you NOT love this song?".

Finally, Danny Elfman is unbelievably fun to listen to. He just might be my favorite singer. The vocals in "What You See" are fantastic. His voice can go from sounding tender to demonic in a few seconds, and he's so expressive.

I think I've listened to nothing but Oingo Boingo for about two weeks now. This CD is a complete earworm! It wriggles into your skull and camps out. Don't worry, you won't mind at all! It's nasty, it's controversial, it's funny, it's a good time!"

"If you lived in LA in the eighties you were required to like Oingo Boingo, the jumpin purveyors of new wave madness whose stage show was as unbelievable as their obsessions were bizarre. Only A Lad is where it all began, the excellence of 'Controller', 'Capitalism' and the title track is emphasized by Elfman's biting political commentary. There was no one quite like the band before or since, although the psyco-billy movement shares many of the same obsessions. Sound wise they were closer to Adam Ant, The Hoodoo Gurus or seminal LA act Sad Monster. No artist better expressed the feelings of people trapped in the pressure cooker that is modern life, and the madness they are brought to. This near perfect album is a worthy addition to any collection, but will be especially treasured by fans of New Wave. All the tracks are standouts, but in addition to those previously mentioned 'On The Outside' (one of the finest examinations of teen angst ever recorded) 'What You See', 'Imposter' and 'Little Girls' are especially worthy of note. It's an album you will never tire of, that sounds as fresh now as when it was recorded all those years ago."

"You will listen to Only a Lad. You will not stop. You will learn to appreciate every song on here, even the ones (or perhaps especially the ones, depending on your tendencies) dripping with libertarian sympathies. You will admit that Danny Elfman is an evil mastermind and trust him when he says "Put your life into my hands/Look around you'll understand". You will like all of the other Boingo albums very much, you will appreciate Danny's soundtracks, but they will never match the hyperkinetic joy of Only a Lad. Submit."

More reviews: (french)



01 Insects
02 Reptiles And Samurai
03 Ain't This Life
04 What You See
05 Controller
06 Perfect System
07 Little Girls
08 Two Twisted Trees
09 I Stand Defeated
10 Little guns
11 You Really Got Me
12 Capitalism
13 Grey Matter
14 On The Outside
15 Only A Lad

Link to download:

Live at Ritz, N.Y with The Go Go's:


"Everyone says we've come such a long, long way
We're civilized, isn't that nice?
We've gotten so smart
We know how to blow the whole world apart
But when it comes to the simple things
(Like living together) . . . HA!" (Why'd We Come)

Bass, Vocals [Rhythm] - Kerry Hatch
Drums - Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez
Engineer - Joe Chiccarelli
Engineer [Second] - Krohn McHenry , Mitch Gibson
Guitar [Lead], Vocals [Rhythm], Arranged By [Horns] - Steve Bartek
Keyboards, Synthesizer, Bass Vocals - Richard Gibbs
Lead Vocals, Guitar [Rhythm] - Danny Elfman
Producer - Joe Chiccarelli , Oingo Boingo
Saxophone [Baritone], Saxophone [Alto] - Leon Schneiderman
Saxophone [Tenor], Saxophone [Soprano] - Sam Phipps
Trumpet, Trombone - Dale Turner
Artwork By [Back Cover & Sleeve], Artwork By [Art Direction] - Jules Bates/Artrouble
Artwork By [Front Cover (from The "lou & Pearl Beach" Collection)] - Georganne Deen (
Bass, Vocals [Key Rhythm] - Kerry Hatch
Drums [Lead], Drums [Rhythm] - Johnny "Vatos"*
Engineer - Joe Chiccarelli (
Engineer [Second] - Krohn McHenry
Guitar [Lead], Vocals [Rhythm], Horns [Arrangements] - Steve Bartek
Keyboards [Keys], Synthesizer [Synths], Bass Vocals - Richard Gibbs
Lead Vocals, Guitar [Rhythm] - Danny Elfman
Mixed By [Second Engineer] - Mitch Gibson
Other [Production Manager] - Charles Unkeless
Producer - Joe Chiccarelli , Oingo Boingo
Saxophone [Baritone], Saxophone [Alto] - Leon Schneiderman
Saxophone [Tenor], Saxophone [Soprano] - Sam "Sluggo" Phipps*
Technician [Production Assistant] - Laura Engel ( and )
Trumpet, Trombone - Dale Turner

"Oingo Boingo on MV3 - Nothing to Fear & Grey Matter (Live)"


01 Grey Matter
02 Insects
03 Private Life
04 Wild Sex (In The Working Class)
05 Running On A Treadmill
06 Whole Day Off
07 Nothing To Fear (But Fear Itself)
08 Why'd We Come
09 Islands
10 Reptiles And Samurai

11 Better Luck Next Time (from the soundtrack "The Last American Virgin" 1982)

MAYO SHONO - Ai, Ai, Ai (1982)

Lyrics - Mayo Shono / Music - Masami Koizumi / Arrangement, background band - Oingo Boingo

"Do you know that Oingo Boingo,around the time of "Nothing To Fear",all played music for a Japanese Band/Singer/Artist..called "MAYO"? It was mentioned on several Oingo Boingo Secret Society compilation sheets (No singing, just music)." ( and

12 Ai, Ai, Ai
13 Fugative
14 Oh My Papa
15 Slow Samba
16 Tokyo 3AM

Link to download:

More info:

More info of Mayo Shono:

Also read these articles (incl.interview):

The album "Ai Ai Ai" in '82 by Mayo Shono known for the hit tune "Tonde Istabul" was performed by Oingo Boingo for intruments in A-side.

"A&M issued two more Oingo Boingo albums, Nothing to Fear and Good for Your Soul, from 1982 to 1984. Both contained tracks that received extensive dance-club play (supported by videos that appeared on MTV and other music video outlets), notably "Private Life" on Nothing to Fear and "Wake Up, It's 1984" on Good for Your Soul. The albums achieved modest sales and, backed by constant nationwide touring, helped slowly to add to the group's audience across the U.S."

You can expound further on how you feel the approaches differed from album to album?

Danny Elfman:
"The first album really was a stuff we had been working on for a number of years. My disappointment with it was that it wasn't diverse enough. It was too one-dimensional. The second album we played more live because that was another element we missed on the first one. We started to diversify and get more into what we considered to be critical Boingo elemente, getting into funkier feels like "Nothing To Fear" and stuf like "Grey Matter", which was different than the first album, but very much Boingo.

Lyrics of Grey Matter:

"They say you're stupid
That you're too young to vote
They say you'll swallow anything
That they shove down your throat

They say you can't think
That you haven't got a brain
That you're just there to listen
That you're just being trained

There's something inside your head
There's something inside your head
There's something inside your head
There's something inside your head

They say you lost the ability to even think
That your tiny little brain
Slipped down the kitchen sink

They say that you'll buy anything
That they turn your way
That you'll listen to everything
That they decide to play

Grey matter grey matter ooh . . .
Grey matter grey matter ooh . . .
Grey matter grey matter ooh . . .
Grey matter grey matter ooh . . .

I think you like it--like it
To be told what to do--isn't that true
I think you're better--better--better off
Stone cold dead--without your head

They say you're stupid
That you're too young to vote
They say you'll swallow anything
That they shove down your throat

If they say lie down, you'll do it
If they say--buy it now--you'll do it
If they say--turn around--you'll do it
If they say--hit the ground--you'll do it
If they say--bite the big weenie--you'll do it
If they say--wasn't that good--you'll do it
If they say--bend over baby--you'll do it
If they say--take it and like it--you'll do it


We got little more experimental with "Island" and "Running On A Treadmill", and the extremes were a little more from one song to the next, which felt more Boingo to us. Plus, everything on that album had been written just that year as was the material for this album except for one song, "Dead Or Alive", which i wrote just out of the studio from doing "Nothing To Fear". I had a real prolific year, fortunately, and ended up with tons of material to chose from this album."

How come you have so much death in your Oingo Boingo stuff?

Danny Elfman:
"My Boingo stuff? How about everything?"

True. I didn't want to say it, Danny, but...

"My choice of movies..."

Your skull collection at home...

"Monsters and horror just always held this fascination for me. I never quite got over it and became an adult. It started probably when I was 10. I had the walls of my room covered with gore, cutouts from Famous Monsters of Filmland. It was a monster museum."


"Though Nothing to Fear is by no means Oingo Boingo's best album, it is certainly not as bad as many near-sighted critics have asserted. Elfman's songwriting, even when he's not firing on all cylinders, still blows the hinges off most of his peers on their best days. It is true that many songs on this go-around lack the smooth transitions that characterize Only a Lad, but the intricately woven, complex song structures do well to sustain Elfman's erratic mood swings. The album begins strongly, with Boingo's trademark bells and synth on "Grey Matter" and then switches gears with an abrupt slap-bass progression on "Insects." "Private Life" brings it all together, oozing forth elaborate instrumentation and rich songwriting. If you can humor Elfman when he gets too excited by his own proselytizing with songs like "Nothing to Fear (But Fear Itself," and you give the album a few listens, you'll recognize it's a vastly underrated sophomore effort."

"This is Oingo Boingo's second release. And there is a difference here.Danny Elfman's clever songwriting is still as intact as ever except the sound is a lot less guitar oriented then it was on Only a Lad-replaced with more emphasis on the horn section and the then new bass sounds from the DX7 synthezier. So all it really ammounts to is the adaptation of the more techno-informed variety of new wave. There's also a stronger overall sense of the groove on this recorded with the playful "Insects" and the catchy "Running On A Treadmill" containing a lot of funk and a lot of guitar distortion. The best way to hear where all these sound elements came with the title song,an Oingo Boingo favorite with a funky 80's dance piece that,except for the distortion towards the middle is coming close to the sound the band would achieve on their popular hit "Weird Science" from their Dead Man's Party album. What dominates this album is more of Danny's musical luncacy-meaning:each songs stretch and split from one vein into another quicker then you can snap your fingers. "Islands" take the whole affair to a much more traditional "rock haunted house" feel Oingo Boingo are famous for going for. The album closes with the almost Devo-esque "Reptiles And Samurai",which makes sense because Oingo Boing and Devo both come from the same era and share certain things in common-like a fondness for quirkiness. Whatever way you cut it 'Nothing To Fear' is a great album from the 80's and since it's available at a discount price this is more then worth picking up!"

"For a short time in the early '80s, Oingo Boingo was right up there with the premier bands of the time. Their infectious grooves, incredible soundscapes and Danny Elfman's wacky vocal stylings dripped with their unique blend of genres infused with a bit of something nobody will ever be able to put their finger on much less duplicate. There just aren't that many bands that can inject so many different sounds into their music without it becoming bloated. With Oingo Boingo, though, every sound has its place and none detract from the overall feel of the music.

If you think you've heard Oingo Boingo but you've never heard this album (or Good For Your Soul), you really haven't heard Oingo Boingo. If you know nothing about Oingo Boingo, start here. This is by and far the best album to start with to get the Oingo Boingo firehose pointed in your face. Good For Your Soul (their next release) is also extremely good, though.

Nothing To Fear is quite possibly one of the best releases of any bands in the 1980s. There just isn't a weak song here. Give it a critical listen. Give it several listens, because it'll be a long time before you get to the point where you listen to it and *don't* hear something you never heard before. It's the gift that keeps on giving; an all-time classic!"

"Wow-- This is my favorite Oingo Boingo album EVER! If you're into seriously cracked-out music, this is a monument of absurdity. (My only peeve with this album is its length-- too short).
"Nothing to Fear" has all the great Boingo classics, such as "Private Life," "Grey Matter," and "Wild Sex (In The Working Class)," but better yet, it has many other terriffic songs that aren't included on greatest hits or compilations.

"Running on a Treadmill" is perfect for those times when you feel like life isn't going anywhere... "Islands" is the anthem of solitude... "Why'd We Come" covers several different themes of human evolution, wondering what lead people to present day, as well as tapping into the rational mind of a dying relationship... "Reptiles & Samurai" and "Insects" are both quite surreal and inventive. I haven't heard anything like them before, or since."

More reviews:

LIVE U.S. FESTIVAL (03.09.1982)


"Wild Sex - live US Festival '82"


01 Whole Day Off
02 Insects
03 Capitalism
04 Nothing To Fear
05 On The Outside
06 Goodbye Goodbye
07 Ain't This The Life
08 What You See
09 Private Life
10 Little Girls
11 Grey Matter
12 You Really Got Me
13 Wild Sex

Link to download:

Some about US festivals:




01 Who Do You Want To Be
02 Private Life
03 Dead Or Alive
04 Grey Matter
05 Insects
06 Wild Sex
07 Little Guns
08 What You See
09 Whole Day Off
10 Little Girls
11 Little Girls
12 On The Outside
13 Ain't This Life
14 Only A Lad

Link to download:

LIVE U.S. FESTIVAL (05.28.1983)

"Grey Matter live"


01 Introduction
02 Cry Of The Vatos
03 Dead Or Alive
04 Ain't This The Life
05 Who Do You Want To Be
06 No Spill Blood
07 Private Life
08 Grey Matter
09 Insects
10 Wild Sex
11 Nothing To Fear
12 Violent Love
13 Sweat
14 Capitalism
15 On The Outside
16 Goodbye, Goodbye

Link to download:



"Animals came from miles around
So tired of walking so close toe the ground
They needed a chance, that's what they said
Life is better walking on two legs
But they were in for a big surprise
'Cause they didn't know the law!

The rules are written in the stone
Break the rules and you get no bones
All you get is ridicule, laughter
And a trip to the house of pain!

We walk on two legs not on four
To walk on four legs breaks the law
What happens when we break the law?
What happens when the rules aren't fair?
We all know here we go from there
To the house of pain!
To the house of pain!"
(No Spill Blood)

Arranged By [Horns] - Steve Bartek
Artwork By [Back Cover Illustration] - Georgeann Deen (
Artwork By [Direction] - Lynn Robb
Artwork By [Front Cover Illustration] - Lane Smith ( and
Photography [Inner Sleeve] - Francis Delia
Bass, Synthesizer [Bass] - Kerry Hatch
Drums - Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez
Guitar [Lead] - Steve Bartek
Horns [Solos] - Dale Turner , Sluggo*
Keyboards - Ribbs*
Lead Vocals, Guitar [Rhythm] - Danny Elfman
Other [Original Instruments] - Leon Schneiderman
Saxophone [Baritone], Saxophone [Alto] - Leon Schneiderman
Saxophone [Tenor], Clarinet - Sam "Sluggo" Phipps*
Trumpet, Trombone - Dale Turner
Written-By - Danny Elfman
Backing Vocals - Marko Babineau , Mike Gormley ( (tracks 03, 09)/
Horns [Additional] - Mario Guarneri (, Miles Anderson ( (tracks 04, 08, 09)
Harmonica - James Wood* ( and (track 06)
Mastered By - Stephen Marcussen (
Engineer - Howard Siegel (?? )
Engineer [Assistant Extraordinaire] - Steve Macmillian (
Producer - Robert Margouleff (

"Nothing Bad Ever Happens To Me"


01 Who Do You Want To Be
02 Good For Your Soul
03 No Spill Blood
04 Cry Of The Vatos
05 Fill The Void
06 Sweat
07 Nothing Bad Ever Happens
08 Wake Up (It's 1984)
09 Dead Or Alive
10 Pictures Of You
11 Little Guns


12 Something Isn't Right 3:41 (from soundtrack "Bachelor Party" 1984)
13 Goodbye, Goodbye 4:34 (from va- Fast Times At Ridgemont High • Music From The Motion Picture 1982)
14 Bachelor Party (from soundtrack "Bachelor Party" 1984)
15 Hold Me Back (from soundtrack "Surf II." 1984)

WAKE UP (IT'S 1984) (12") (1984)

16 Wake Up (It's 1984) (Edited Version) 3:00
17 Wake Up (It's 1984) (Long Version) 4:39

GRATITUDE (12") (1984)

18 Gratitude (Extended Dance Version)
19 Gratitude (Tornado Version)
20 Gratitude (Short Version)

Link to download:


"No Spill Blood"


01 Sweat
02 Dead Or Alive
03 Wake Up, Its 1984
04 All The Pieces
05 Nothing Bad Ever Happens To Me
06 Good For Your Soul
07 Nothing Bad Ever Happens To Me
08 Waiting For You
09 Pictures Of You
10 Nothing Bad Ever Happens To Me
11 Who Do You Want To Be
12 Sweat
13 Little Guns
14 No Spill Blood
15 Dead Or Alive
16 Who Do You Want To Be
17 Freak Show
18 All The Pieces
19 Good For Your Soul
20 No Spill Blood
21 I Can't Pretend
22 Dead Or Alive
23 Lost Like This
24 Lightning
25 Sweat
26 Waiting For You
27 Fill The Void
28 Head In The Clouds
29 Good For Your Soul
30 Lightning
31 Waiting For You
32 Nothing Bad Ever Happens To Me
33 Who Do You Want To Be
34 No Spill Blood
35 Fill The Void
36 Little Guns

Links to download:

"The group’s third album was “Good For Your Soul.” On this record, the group inserted a secret message on the song “Cry of the Vatos” (track 03). When you play the song backwards, a pro-Christian message is heard. They wanted to make fun of all the conservative paranoia about music that was popular at the time."

More info:

Also read this interview:

And this is about why Boingo left A&M for MCA (interview):

However i feel that with your third album there was an attempt made to be more commercial.

Danny Elfman:
"There was an attempt made on the third album to break the image of a band that just plays fast frenetic music, because we were starting to become pigeonhled in that style and i don't like that. The band doesen't like that.twenty-two songs were written for this album and we intentionally chose songs that were different feels and tempos that people would not immediately recognize as Oingo Boingo to counterbalance the fast crazy stuff that is very obviously Boingo.

Vocally , i tried to set myself a different set of standards. Everybody knows i can scream and yell and do what theí call a certain kind of of crazí yelping Danny Elfman style, so i didn't want to keep doing that. If it's obvious that that's what i can do,then it's time for me to try to do something else. There are slower feels, which is something that was real important for us to work in, if for nothing else to prove to ourselves that we can do that, that we're not just a band condemned to play a certain tempo and a certain style.

It is something that we started on the second album and someting that we simply went further into on this album. I think this album has stronger contrast tune by tune than our first album did and that's important."

Danny Elfman:
"I generally write about things i'm angry about. I also have to laugh at myself and everything i do and try to keep a certain humor involved in everything. Otherwise, i'd just go nuts. On the other hand, everything isn't tongue in cheek at the same time.
"Little Girls" is tongue in cheek, but "Grey Matter" and "Nothing To Fear" are not tongue in cheek. "Grey Matter" is real obvious. It says they will force you to bend over and they will fuck you in the ass unless you say no, and that happens on many different levels so that is not to be taken lightly.
It us something that happens every day to almost everybody and it's important to say "Uh, uh. I ain't buying it".

"Nothing to Fear" is the same thing. It is basically saying there is plenty to fear out there but you've got to do something about it at the same time.

Lyrics of Wake up (it's 1984):

"Big brother's watching, we watch him back
We see right through his disguise
He tries to scare us, with angry words
But we all know that they're lies
Whole world is waiting
Just see the fear in their eyes

Whole world is watching, observing every move
Is it beginning or the end?
Just like a chess game, but so intense
That I just don't understand
It's much to big to pretend

Big brother's screaming but we don't care
Cause he's got nothing to say
Think of the future, think of the prophecy
Think of the children of today
Big brother's marching
So we all stand in his way
Open your eyes, sisters and brothers
Neatly disguised, so far away
Open your heart, try to remember
Two worlds apart, but so close

Whole world is watching
Big brother's marching
Is it beginning or the end?"

"1984" is basically saying that Big Brother did not come here the way Orwell had predicted but he is there just the same,and on the one hand, we can all breathe a sigh of realief, but on the other hand we can't get so comfortable thet we can say it will never happen. Because instead of one Big Brother, there are many little Big Brothers thet would love to be Big Brother and fortunately we've never let that happen.
But unless we consciosly continue not to let it happen, 1984 could happen in 1994 and Orwell could only have been a little early in his prediction instead of being totally incorrect.

On the other side, you've got songs like "Wild Sex In The Working Class" and "Little Guns" and you've got "Dead Or Alive" which are Boingo style craziness and fantasy.So there are two side of Oingo Boingo, and i don't think one side is necessarily the side.It's a schrizophenia that has always been in Oingo Boingo, a kind of juxtaposition of several different worlds that don't necessarily blend or that don't blend well, that makes Oingo Boingo what it is."

Lyrics of Dead Or Alive:

"There in the shadows, looks like a hand
Without its owner, to give it a command
It's got a purpose but I don't know what it is
I'm in trouble

There in the streets, looks like a man
But something wrong that I don't understand
His eyes are open but he don't see a thing
His skin is peeling off, his bones are sticking out
I'm getting scared

Oh my god (Is it dead?)
Is it living? (Is it dead?)
Is it dead or alive?
(Is it dead?), Is it dead? (Is it dead?)
Is it dead? (Is it dead?)
Is it dead or alive?

Hiding in the cupboards, like little mice
Hiding in the frigerator, that isn't nice
It's not an animal, it don't have legs
No one else can see it

It moves so fast, corner of my eye
Look again it's gone, it's hiding
Won't somebody help me, doesn't anybody care?
It waits so patiently, for me to lose my guard
I'm getting scared

Is it dead, is it
(Is it dead)
Is it dead
(Is it dead)
Is it dead or alive
(Is it dead)
Is it dead
(Is it dead)
Is it dead, is it

I remember there was a time
When dead and buried meant just that
Underneath the cold dark ground
Things stay put!

Oh them bones they make them bodies walk
Them bones, them bones
If they could only talk!

Is it dead (Fade)"

You mentioned that anger often inspires a song. Anything else?

Danny Elfman:
"Sometimes adream will. I'll wake up in the middel of the night laughing. "Little Guns", for instance."Pictures Of You" definetly was a nightmare i had and some of it's from movies. "No Spill Blood" was directly inspired from The Island Of Lost Souls. "Dead Or Alive" was inspired by, belive or not, The Beast with Five Fingers, the hand that pursued Peter Lorre, which is a recurring nightmare i have. It tends to be stuff like that, fantasy or something that just bugs me about what's going on,an article i read in the paper or the news."


"Not as highly regarded as Only a Lad or Dead Man's Party, Good for Your Soul may have been underrated in the Boingo canon. While there are moments where Elfman and company are straining a little ("Wake Up (It's 1984)"), there are other moments where the band is in full flight and at the top of their form — "What Do You Want to Be?" gets the album off to a roaring start, "Cry of the Vatos" is a very warped anthem, and "No Spill Blood," inspired by The Island of Dr. Moreau, is a chilling, thundering commentary. Inconsistency is the sole problem here."

"I'm surprised this is out of print, because if you ask me it's THE one to get. Not only is it their moost spooky-fun record (forge
t Dead Man's Party) but it's also their most intelligent, shot right through with literary themes. No Spill Blood is based on The Island of Dr. Moreau and Animal Farm, and Wake Up (it's 1984) is based on George Orwell's "1984". I also suspect that "Pictures of You" is loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe's "The Oval Portrait" although I could be wrong (if I am though, I have no clue what it's about.).
However, I think what I like most about it is that sense of frantic paranoia which runs through the entire record, and is largely absent from later releases. This feeling is embodied perfectly in Swead and Dead or Alive (the best song about zombies ever). Now I know what you're thinking. "I can get most of these songs on the Boingo Alive compilation, so why bother hunting this down?"

I love the Boingo Alive collection, but if there's one album the rerecords failed to capture, this is it. It's just not the same, folks.

I can't conclude this review without mentioning the album's closer "Little Guns." This is probably one of the weirdest songs they ever recorded and no Boingo collection is complete without it. It rocks. Also, great saxophone solos throughout. I bought my copy used on vinyl and ripped it to cd, but there are obviously bettter ways to go about it. So get thee to a record shop, consumer!"

"During an era where rock music was growing more and more silly on on the pop side Oingo Boingo was one of a handful of groups standing out strong amid all the "radio ga ga". Conbining everything from surf,ska,jazz,cartoon music and gothic poetry into this funk-rock mix few others outside them,Talking Heads,Frank Zappa and Was (Not Was) were able to tackle.

Danny Elfman's musical world is actually a lot more frenetic than any of those people in a lot of ways because there was this flamboyant madness to what they did.
Wheras new wave touches were very strong on their two first albums (they are here too) the influence of funk,always part of the foundation of their sound begins to emmerge here.

Bands like Fishbone would soon be making a killing off of music such as "Who Do You Want To Be","Good For Your Soul",'Fill The Void","Sweat","Little Guns" and "Dead Or Alive". All of these songs blend funk,ska and....a bunch of other darkly and intelligently wacky concepts I cannot begin to describe. Now,singular wit aside one thing Elfman and Oingo Boingo had a great knack at were fooling you into thinking they were making a bunch of fun dance music when,in fact some of the ergency in their vocal tone and lyrics made it clear they were more likely whistling past the graveyard musically in the finest funk (and punk) tradition.

You can here the beats and synthesizer accented "naked funk" of the period heavier in jams such as the kinetic "Wake Up (It's 1984)" and "Pictures Of You".Even though they are the most grounded in their timeframe they are also two of the strongest songs on this.........very very strong album for the often singles oriented 80's rock sound. "Nothing Bad Ever Happens" goes for pretty straight ahead dub well,as straight as this always warped band would likely get where "No Spill Blood" and the heavily communal afrofunk inspired "Cry Of The Vatos" were very in the pocket funk. It was great that music such as Talking Heads' Remain in Light allowed bands like this to be able to utilize afrocentric polyrhythms in different band contexts to extend on ideas of musical cooperation.
Considering this bands manic approch the more fluid concept of polyrhythm added an extra element of focus to their sound. This is an excellent and surprisingly consistant album through and through and features lots of the bands very best music."

""Good for Your Soul" goes darker than Danny Elfman had ever done before it - with the purely vile sound and delicate human ideas in "Pictures of You" to the sardonism in "Who Do You Want to Be" and "Nothing Bad Ever Happens."

The best of this album is definitely "Nothing Bad Ever Happens." Something about it is really true, really dark, and really cleverly told.

Also of note is the absoutely enjoyable "Dead or Alive." Hearken to "Skin" on "Dark at the End of the Tunnel" for some sort of similarity in idea or feel, if your really like the ideas. Although "Skin" is not as fun as it is dark and searching.

"Good For Your Soul" is out of print, as you may have noticed. Let me tell you, there is good reason, and if you can get your hands on it, do so!"

"There never has been a band like
Boingo, and maybe there never will be again. The closest thing at the time was Adam Ant or Juluka; the only thing close recently was legendary LA alt band Sad Monster. Driving, propulsive and frenetic, Boingo did not just encourage you to dance; they demanded that you do it.

Add to this sharp, witty, quirky lyrics and you get a manic dance band that only the New Wave era could have produced. Scorned by critics, ignored nationally, Boingo's unique brilliance has yet to be truly appreciated, but if you lived in LA in the eighties you knew all about them.

In that city, in their time, they were king. No one has ever matched them.
Many have suggested that this album was not as good as ONLY A LAD or DEAD MAN'S PARTY, but in truth the band is just as good as ever. It is a superb album overflowing with excellent tracks. Note how the use of brass and the use of the almost echoing chorus punch up the excellent `Wake Up (It's 1984)'. Check out the quirky angst of `Who Do You Want To Be' or the manic intensity of `Cry Of The Vatos'. Ponder the mystery of "Pictures Of You' and `Dead Or Alive' (Boingo's Halloween obsession needs no better introduction than the latter track).
Thrill to the driving tension that is `Sweat' (which deals with the trauma of teenage sex), enjoy the esoteric vision that is `No Spill Blood' (based on Wells).

Stroll with the sarcastic indifference of `Nothing Bad ever Happens To Me' (`Did you here about Fred whose unemployed, they threw him away like a useless toy, he went down the drain after 20 long years, no warning, no pension, nobody's tears, and I can't believe that anyone would, wanna do such a terrible thing, but why should I care, nothing bad ever happens to me').

Cruise with `Fill The Void' or `Good For Your Soul'. From the former check out the lyrics: `They all come to me with their demands what do they want from me, what do they want from a boy who can't believe? They want to fill the void, they want to fill the empty spaces but I won't let them consume me with the rest of the lifeless faces' you'd be hard pressed to find a better expression of adolescent angst (except perhaps, on `Sweat').

Not a guilty pleasure, but a timeless treasure"

More review: (french)


RULES OF ROCK by guitarist Robert Strain 1) All sax players look the same 2) All drummers are mad, and are always late 3) All singers are vain and precious 4) All keyboard players are slightly eccentric - 'boffins' 5) All bass players are sensible (van driving, arranging gigs, doing the accounts) 6) All guitarists are handsome and brilliant - well, I would say that ;-) Actually, all guitarists just want to play guitar (we can't be bothered with all the other nonsense). Well, that and attend to all the women the singer rejects! :)