Nothing To Fear (Remastered) Oingo Boingo
Artist: Oingo Boingo
Album including Album cover
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- 1Grey Matter05:52
- 3Private Life03:17
- 4Wild Sex (In The Working Class)04:08
- 5Running On A Treadmill03:21
- 6Whole Day Off03:57
- 7Nothing To Fear (But Fear Itself)03:54
- 8Why'd We Come03:57
- 10Reptiles And Samurai05:18
Info for Nothing To Fear (Remastered)
For their second full length outing, Oingo Boingo expand on the hyperactive sound of their debut by adding more aggressive guitars and even a bit of dance funk. The single and video for 'Private Life' got further MTV and west coast radio attention, displaying the band as what can be described as institution escapees or a circus attraction gone mad. Elfman’s crazed vocal style adds tremendous energy to the layered, complex musical arrangement on the vibrant 'Grey Matter' and 'Insects'. 'Wild Sex (In The Working Class)' and 'Nothing To Fear (But Fear Itself)' are like jack-hammers pounding with energy and excitement, with the former included in the popular 1984 coming-of-age comedy Sixteen Candles. 'Whole Day Off' was released as a promotional single, showcasing a more laid back funky dance sound, while 'Reptiles and Samurai' closes the album focusing firmly on electronics.
"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." (Kieran McCarthy, AMG)
Danny Elfman, lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Steve Bartek, lead guitar, vocals
Richard Gibbs, keyboards, synthesizers, vocals
Kerry Hatch, bass, vocals
Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez, drums
Sam "Sluggo" Phipps, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Leon Schneiderman, baritone saxophone, alto saxophone
Dale Turner, trumpet, trombone
Although Oingo Boingo was often compared to Devo throughout their career (due to both bands' affinity for quirky new wave, goofy stage acts, and most obviously, peculiar yet intriguing band names), Oingo Boingo never obtained the mainstream success that Devo did. But the band did manage to obtain a large and devoted fan base, especially in their hometown of Los Angeles, CA. Oingo Boingo started not as a traditional group per se, as they were originally put together in the '70s by movie director Richard Elfman, who needed music for a whacked-out, John Waters-esque flick he was working on, called Forbidden Zone. Enlisting his younger brother Danny Elfman (vocals, guitar), Steve Bartek (guitar), and Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez (drums), the group originally went by the name Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo before shortening it to Oingo Boingo. Tired of sitting around and waiting for the movie's completion, the group began playing out in the L.A. area, where they built a substantial following with the punk/new wave set (as their lineup would often multiply for performances). But Oingo Boingo had a step or two ahead of the local bands, both musically and visually, as Danny Elfman had spent several years in France working with a theater group and studying orchestra, which reflected in Oingo Boingo's hodgepodge of styles.
The soundtrack to Forbidden Zone was finally issued in 1980, which proved to be a wild, musical roller coaster ride and gave Oingo Boingo their first appearance on record. But by the time a four-track release, 10 Inch EP, was issued the same year (on IRS Records), the group had focused their sound and approach drastically. A recording contract with A&M Records followed shortly thereafter, resulting in some of the early '80s finest new wave releases, 1981's Only a Lad (whose title track received plenty of airplay on the influential L.A. rock radio station KROQ), 1982's Nothing to Fear, and 1983's Good for Your Soul, the latter of which spawned a popular early MTV video hit for "Nothing Bad Ever Happens." Like their live shows, Oingo Boingo's recordings featured a hefty amount of additional members lending a hand, but despite it all, Danny Elfman remained the group's leader and focal point (Elfman even found the time to issue a solo album, So Lo, in 1984). A switch to MCA immediately paid off for the group, as they scored the biggest hit of their career with 1985's Dead Man's Party (eventually earning gold certification in the U.S.), made a cameo appearance in the hit Rodney Dangerfield comedy Back to School, and scored a moderate hit with the theme song to John Hughes' teen comedy Weird Science. But despite their commercial success, Oingo Boingo was unable to sustain it, as such further releases as 1987's Boi-ngo, 1988's Boingo Alive, 1990's Dark at the End of the Tunnel, and 1994's Boingo failed to storm the charts, yet managed to retain the group's cult following.
But during the mid- to late '80s, Elfman struck up a friendship with director Tim Burton and began contributing music to Burton-directed movies on a regular basis, first with the major comedy hit Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, and then later Beetlejuice, Big Top Pee Wee, Batman, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Mars Attacks!, Sleepy Hollow, and the remake of Planet of the Apes, among others. In return, Elfman became one of Hollywood's most in-demand film composers, providing music for countless films and TV programs (receiving Grammy, Golden Globe, Emmy, and Oscar nominations for his work). With Elfman primarily focusing on film composing by this point, Oingo Boingo was laid to rest in 1995 after a farewell performance at L.A.'s Universal Amphitheatre, which was issued a year later as a CD and video, appropriately titled Farewell. A pair of Oingo Boingo collections surfaced during the '90s, 1992's Best O' Boingo and 1999's double-disc Anthology, as were a pair of anthologies of Elfman's film scores: 1990's Music for a Darkened Theater, Vol. 1: Film & Television Music and 1996's Music for a Darkened Theater, Vol. 2: Film & Television Music. (Greg Prato, AMG)
This album contains no booklet.