Friday, September 18, 2015

Oingo Boingo - Oingo Boingo (EP)

Yesterday (September 17th) marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of the self-titled major-label debut from Oingo Boingo. This four song extended-play album from 1980 appeared on IRS Records and was issued in both vinyl and cassette formats.

Three of the four cuts first appeared on the group's self-released 1979 EP called, appropriately enough, Demo EP. That release is very rare as only one hundred and thirty copies of the vinyl were pressed. As such, this album is officially considered the group's debut. Oingo Boingo spent five weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 163.

Side one opens with "Only a Lad", which would go on to be re-recorded as the title track of the band's first full-length album Only a Lad a year later. If you listen to the two versions side by side, you can hear the slight differences between the two (mostly on the instrumentation side).

"Violent Love" is a ska cover of a song by blues performer Willie Dixon which was first recorded in 1951 by the Big Three Trio. I first heard Oingo Boingo's version on the 1988 Boingo Alive album. I do like hearing this version as well as it helps show how the band further gelled over nearly a decade.

Side two opens with "Ain't This the Life", and it features David Eagle on drums (he had left the band since). The carefree romp is very firmly an early new-wave ska groove.

"I'm So Bad" closes things off on a darker and more ominous note.

I was pleasantly surprised when stumbled across Oingo Boingo digitally a number of years back. I had been a fan of the band since the early 80's, so finding out about this four-song EP was like unearthing a forgotten relic.

For more from Oingo Boingo, click here.

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