Ignored, Maligned, and Forgotten Music

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Songs My Kids Like: Dead Man’s Party – Oingo Boingo

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Legbamel Not-Pop

Imagine, if you will, a young Robert Downey, Jr. in a movie with Rodney Dangerfield. Certainly, this movie requires watching at least once, correct? Now imagine further that an enormous Oingo Boingo fan, all unawares, does so.

In case you have no clue to what I’m referring, it’s Back to School and I was the fan in question. Somehow Danny Elfman’s involvement with the movie had escaped my attention. Imagine my delight when I recognized his signature sound in the score. That was dwarfed by the party scene, when the whole band appeared onstage and performed Dead Man’s Party.

I both hoped and feared that would presage a rush of popularity for the band but, outside of some massive radio play for that song and Weird Science, nothing much changed for them. Their albums were as hard as ever to find (back in the dark days of pre-Internet radio) and their biggest fan base stayed out in California where I happened to be living at the time.

I’ve stayed faithful to my love of Oingo Boingo and of Dead Man’s Party and I’ve passed that love on to my offspring. They know all the words and we sing along with gusto in the car which has, as I’m sure you imagine, led to some fantastic looks at stop lights when I’ve got the top down.

Have a listen to Dead Man’s Party and, if you’ve never seen Back to School, look it up on Netflix or something. It’s not high cinema but it’s a fun flick and you get some truly epic 80s fashion along with great music and an adorably-young Mr. Downey, Jr.

Dead Mans Party by Oingo Boingo on Grooveshark

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