1985) For most of the 80's Oingo Boingo was to L.A. and Orange County what the Grateful Dead was to San Francisco. Oingo Boingo developed the kind of fan following that made every appearance an event. They were "our band", and we believed they knew and appreciated our enthusiasm.
If you must compare them to any other groups, I think Madness would come close; Not so much for musical styling as for their composition. Both groups were mini-orchestras, and to see them on stage was to behold brilliant chaos.
Musically, they were one of a kind. Sonically bright and cheerful, lyrically questioning and slightly morbid, they were at the forefront of what became known as New Wave.
To those who are not familiar with their songs, they can be intimidating and strange (think Sparks, if you're familiar with them).
Their most accessible songs are Dead Man's Party, Weird Science and I Love Little Girls: listen to these a couple of times and the rest of their catalog will come easier.
SoCal remembers our house band, and we miss them very, very much.
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