Top 10 Oingo Boingo Songs

Oingo Boingo Songs

Our top 10 Oingo Boingo songs list presents ten of the best songs released by an American new wave outfit that rose to the height of its popularity in the ‘80s. Formed in the late ‘70s, Oingo Boingo has its legacy majorly credited to the musicianship of its founder singer/multi-instrumentalist Danny Elfman. The singer led the band in playing a momentous role in the ‘80s pop culture, blending pop music with ska, rock, and world music influences.

Thanks to the inspirational musical chops of songs such as “Weird Science,” “Only a Lad,” and “Dead Man’s Party,” the band managed to gain a cult following. Despite a few lineup changes, Oingo Boingo retained its liveliness during onstage performances throughout its career. The band’s new wave style and energy have been closely compared to Devo, an outfit that Danny cited to have influenced Oingo Boingo’s sound. Other bands that influenced Danny Elfman and his band Oingo Boingo’s sound include XTC, Fun Boy Three, Madness, and The Specials.

Oingo Boingo’s Career Beginnings and Album Releases

Oingo Boingo marked the start of its professional musical pursuits with the release of its eponymous debut EP in 1980. The four-track EP had all of its songs penned by Danny except the hit “Violent Love,” which was written by the blues legend Willie Dixon. This EP would soon be followed by the band’s 1981 debut album, Only a Lad.

Only a Lad saw the band take on a blend of new wave and ska sounds. The album was a success, peaking at number one hundred and seventy-two on the Billboard 200. “Only a Lad,” “Capitalism,” and “Little Girls” are some of the best Oingo Boingo songs from the album. Only a Lad also featured the band’s cover of the 1964 hit “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks.

In 1982, Oingo Boingo released its sophomore studio album, Nothing to Fear. The album was purely new wave, featuring reputable musical gems like “Private Life,” “Grey Matter,” and “Nothing to Fear.” Nothing to Fear went on to sell over a hundred and twenty-five thousand copies in the US. The success of the album saw Oingo Boingo tour as an opening act with Fear and The Police.

Oingo Boingo returned in July 1983 with its third studio album, Good for Your Soul. The album saw the band explore a blend of new wave and ska sounds. Good for Your Soul went on to peak at number one hundred and forty-eight on the Billboard 200. “Wake Up (It’s 1984),” “No Spill Blood,” “Nothing Bad Ever Happens,” and “Who Do You Want to Be” are some of the best Oingo Boingo songs from the album.

Unfortunately, the band cut ties with A&M Records. Singer Danny Elfman went on to start his solo career, issuing his debut album, So-Lo through MCA Records. While So-Lo was a solo pursuit, Danny still featured members of his outfit Oingo Boingo. This has seen the album habitually retrospectively accredited to Oingo Boingo. “Gratitude” and “Lightning” are the top musical gems featured on the album.

In 1985, Oingo Boingo issued its most sought-after album, Dead Man’s PartyDead Man’s Party was a success, peaking at number ninety-five on the Billboard 200. The album competed fairly with other new wave releases of 1985 including Songs from the Big Chair by Tears for FearsWelcome to the Real World by Mr. MisterDon’t Stand Me Down by Dexys Midnight Runners, and Little Creatures by Talking Heads. “Weird Science,” “Dead Man’s Party,” “Just Another Day,” “Stay,” and “No One Lives Forever” are the best Oingo Boingo songs from the album.

Boi-Ngo, issued in 1987, marked the band’s sixth studio album. The album finds Oingo Boingo exploring a blend of new wave and pop-rock sounds. Boi-Ngo went on to peak at number seventy-seven on the Billboard 200, rising to number ninety-eight on the Australian Albums Chart. “Pain,” “We Close Our Eyes,” and “Not My Slave” are the most popular songs by Oingo Boingo from the album.

The band went on to issue its seventh studio album, Dark at the End of the Tunnel, in 1990. Dark at the End of the Tunnel saw the band explore a blend of alternative rock and ska. The album managed to rise to a peak position of number seventy-two on the Billboard 200. “Flesh and Blood,” “Out of Control,” “Skin,” and “When the Lights Go Out” are the best Oingo Boingo songs from Dark at the End of the Tunnel. This was the band’s last album issued through MCA Records.

Boingo, issued in 1994, marked the band’s eighth studio album. The album was issued through Giant Records, marking the last LP by Oingo Boingo. This alternative rock outing features remarkable musical gems such as “Insanity” and “Hey!” The album also featured the band’s cover of the 1967 hit “I Am the Walrus” by The BeatlesBoingo was a success on the charts, peaking at number seventy-one on the Billboard 200. The band would eventually disband in 1995.

Oingo Boingo’s Legacy

Oingo Boingo doesn’t have a huge catalog of accolades to showcase for its musical excellence. However, the band remains one of the most reputable new wave acts from the ‘80s. Oingo Boingo distinguished itself with vivacious onstage wave performances which saw the band gain a cult following in the ‘80s. The band’s 1985 LP, Dead Man’s Party is the band’s best display of its impactful music career in the new wave scene.

Oingo Boingo was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Music Video, Long Form category in 1997 thanks to the live album, Farewell: Live from the Universal Amphitheatre, Halloween 1995. However, the band lost the award to The Beatles Anthology by The Beatles. Here we present the ten best Oingo Boingo songs of all time.

#10-  When the Lights Go Out

Ushering us to the top 10 Oingo Boingo songs list is the upbeat hit “When the Lights Go Out.” The song was penned by the band’s lead vocalist Danny Elfman and featured on the band’s seventh studio album, Dark at the End of the Tunnel. Like most of the songs on the album, “When the Lights Go Out” feels quite rhythmic with Danny giving us a taste of his amazing vocal delivery.

The song was a mainstream success, peaking at the fifteenth spot on the Billboard Alternative Airplay. “When the Lights Go Out” was featured on the band’s second compilation of the band’s greatest hits. The song is the only release on Dark at the End of the Tunnel to make it to the Billboard charts.

#9 – Running On a Treadmill

“Running On a Treadmill” is one of the best Oingo Boingo songs picked from the band’s sophomore album. There are two things that are so evident on this cut off Nothing to Fear, the first being the elegant instrumentation exhibited by the band on the song from the start to the end. The horn section adds extra glamour to this hit. You also ought to love the songwriting exhibited by Danny on this hit.

#8 – We Close Our Eyes

Coming in at number eight on our top ten best Oingo Boingo songs list is the striking hit “We Close Our Eye.” The song is among the most sought-after hits by Oingo Boingo featured on the band’s sixth studio album, Boi-Ngo. “We Close Our Eyes” serves as a commentary on how life can transform with just a flicker of an eye. The song was covered by Ninja Sex Party, Susanna Hoffs, Allister, and Reel Big Fish. “We Close Our Eyes” is featured in the last scene of the final episode of the detective comedy TV series Psych.

#7 – Just Another Day

After signing a recording deal with MCA Records, Oingo Boingo rose to new levels with the commercially successful fifth studio album, Dead Man’s Party. “Just Another Day” is among the top musical gems featured on this Gold-certified album. This slightly paranoid ballad finds the singer communicating the deep uncertainties of the external world.

“Just Another Day” was a success, peaking at position eighty-five on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is the second and only hit by Oingo Boingo to ever grace the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This song’s title seems quite popular with multiple artists including John Mellencamp, Jade Valerie, Lady GagaJon Secada, and Jonathan Wilkes, issuing a song with a similar title.

#6 – Private Life

Number six on our top 10 Oingo Boingo songs list is the rip-roaring hit “Private Life.” The song is featured on the band’s sophomore studio album, Nothing to Fear. “Private Life” finds the singer crooning from the perspective of a loner. Danny expresses his need to be isolated having him proud of how orderly his life gets in solitude.

While he is pleased by the autonomy that comes with his life in solitude, there exists angst deep within his soul since his material possessions can barely fill his emptiness. However, he doesn’t seem ready to trade his solitude with having friends over, asking them to come and get out of his place since it is private. The longer version of this hit features prominent bass and xylophone tunes.

#5- Stay

Dead Man’s Party, the band’s fifth studio album, is home to the fifth pick of our top ten Oingo Boingo songs, “Stay.” “Stay” is a bluntly romantic hit that finds the singer wishing that a lady stays for the night. The singer gets shows Danny’s emotional vulnerability which comes with expressing himself in the rawest form to the lady.

“Stay” managed to rise to number thirty on the Australian Singles Chart. This was the band’s second but last time to make it to the Australian Singles Chart, the first time being in 1985 with the hit “Weird Science.” “Stay” was remixed in 1986 by Arthur Barrow, formerly Frank Zappa bass guitar player.

#4 – Only a Lad

Despite being among the band’s initial releases, “Only a Lad” showcased Danny’s handy songwriting skills. The song serves as the album title track to the band’s debut studio album. “Only a Lad” tells the story of Johnny, a young felon who gets away with his evil actions since society believes he doesn’t know how to act better.

Oingo Boingo members vents their angst about society’s moral decay in failing to make kids responsible for their deeds. “Only a Lad” was covered by Let Go, an American indie rock/power pop ensemble.

#3 – Little Girls

We return to the band’s debut album, Only a Lad where we encounter the hit “Little Girls.” “Little Girls” serves as the opening track to the album. The song was penned by the band’s lead vocalist Danny Elfman, who was inspired by a newspaper article he read. “Little Girls” is a mockery of how Hollywood senior managers and rock stars exploit underage girls.

The song is penned from the perspective of these young little girls. “Little Girls” has one of the creepiest music videos ever recorded for an Oingo Boingo song. The video showcases Danny in an empty room dancing with dwarfs. Danny is followed by on-lookers as he makes bouts with underage ladies.

#2- Dead Man’s Party

“Dead Man’s Party” is the album title track to the band’s most acclaimed fifth studio album. The song was penned by Danny Elfman with its lyrics alluding to attending a burial and getting buried. “Dead Man’s Party” features magnificent horn sections that remind us of songs like “Running On a Treadmill.” The song also features an awe-inspiring bassline and transcendent guitar riffs. Danny Elfman’s vocal range on this hit is just mind-blowing!

#1- Weird Science

Number one on our top 10 Oingo Boingo songs list is the sizzling hit “Weird Science.” The song was penned by Oingo Boingo’s vocalist Danny Elfman and featured on the band’s most acclaimed LP, Dead Man’s Party. “Weird Science” was penned as the theme song of a 1985 film of the same name. Other reputable songs that went on to be featured on the soundtrack of the film include “Turn It On” by Kim Wilde, “Eighties” by Killing Joke, and Cheyne’s cover of the hit “Private Joy” by Prince.

“Weird Science” is the highest-charting hit by Oingo Boingo, peaking at number forty-five on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also made it to the Canadian Singles Chart, peaking at position eighty-one. “Weird Science” also graced the Australian Singles Chart, peaking at number thirty-nine.

Feature Photo: : Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

Top 10 Oingo Boingo Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business, or organization is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain creative commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with ClassicRockHistory.com. All photo credits have been placed at the end of the article. Album Cover Photos are affiliate links and the property of Amazon and are stored on the Amazon server. Any theft of our content will be met with swift legal action against the infringing websites.

DMCA.com Protection Status

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Fleetwood Mac Songs Sung By Christine McVie
Top 10 Fleetwood Mac Songs Sung By Christine McVie
Mr Bungle Songs
Top 10 Mr. Bungle Songs
Elton John Christmas Songs
A Look At Elton John’s Christmas Songs
Stevie Nicks Bella Donna Album Review
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Stevie Nicks Bella Donna Album
Best Rock Albums Of 2021
Best Rock Albums Of 2021
Best Rock Albums Of 2018
Best Rock Albums Of 2018
Ann Wilson Albums
Complete List Of Ann Wilson Albums And Discography
Best Rock Albums Of 2017
Best Rock Albums Of 2017
Christine McVie Of Fleetwood Mac Dies At 79
Christine McVie Of Fleetwood Mac Dies At 79
Frank Zappa 1972 Albums
50 Years Ago In 1972, Frank Zappa Released Three Brilliant Albums
Feature Photo: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Cermony Crosses Many Genres Of Music
Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Ceremony Crosses All Genres Of Music
Billy Joel And Stevie Nicks To Perform Stadium Shows Together
Billy Joel And Stevie Nicks To Perform Stadium Shows Together
10 Classic Rock Bands That Have Never Released A Live Album
10 Classic Rock Bands That Have Never Released A Live Album
Will Music CDs Become Collectors Items?
Why Basic Music CDs Will Become Collectors Items
Greatest Rock Bass Lines Of The 70s
Greatest Rock Bass Lines Of The 70s
Don Kirschner Rock Concert
Before MTV, There Was Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Harry Styles Fine Line Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Harry Styles Fine Line Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Stevie Nicks The Wild Heart LP
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Stevie Nicks The Wild Heart LP
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Harry Styles Debut Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Harry Styles Debut Album
Steely Dan Can't Buy A Thrill: Album Review
Steely Dan Can’t Buy A Thrill: Album Review
Pulp Albums
Complete List Of Pulp Albums And Discography
The 1975 Albums
Complete List Of The 1975 Albums And Discography
Joe Satriani Albums
Complete List Of Joe Satriani Albums And Discography
Ultimate Red Hot Chili Peppers Page
Ultimate Red Hot Chili Peppers Page