Ignored, Maligned, and Forgotten Music

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Burn Me Up - Oingo Boingo

Legbamel Not-Pop

This song stands as proof that Oingo Boingo was even better live than their recordings, a rare feat in this over-processed, cheese-pop-raddled world. If you didn't know who was playing (and weren't familiar with Danny Elfman's voice), you'd never peg Burn Me Up as one of their songs. It sloppy, punk-y, and wild without the usual control that Mr. Elfman and the others generally displayed. You can almost see them cutting loose, rip-roaring this barn-burner for a couple of precious minutes in the midst of their final appearance together.

I generally avoid live tracks because they rarely live up to the thirty-take album version, but in this case not only is there no album cut but I can't imagine this song tied town in a studio to the sort of cutting and mixing to which most songs are subjected. Burn Me Up epitomizes the reason that people attend concerts - because live performances ought to offer something more and better than pre-recorded tracks. There should be more energy and more experimentation. There should be more songs like this.

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