Boingo (album)

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Boingo Cover Art.jpg
Studio album by Oingo Boingo
Released May 17, 1994
Recorded January 1994
Genre Alternative rock, progressive pop
Length 76:45
Label Giant Records
Producer Danny Elfman, Steve Bartek, John Avila
Oingo Boingo chronology
Best O' Boingo
(1991)Best O' Boingo1991
Singles from Boingo
  1. "Hey!"
    Released: April 1994
  2. "Insanity"
    Released: 1994

Boingo is the eighth and final studio album by Oingo Boingo, and the only to be released under their new identity Boingo.


Frontman Danny Elfman, whose career as a film score composer was by that time fully formed, decided to completely overhaul Oingo Boingo with a new alternative rock style and line-up. By 1990's Dark at the End of the Tunnel, Elfman felt he was "starting to get bored" with the band's musical direction and that a change was necessary to stay active.[1] The instrumentation on Boingo is a dramatic departure from all previous work by the band, making use of both acoustic and electric guitars and dispensing with the familiar synthesisers and horns. Brooding orchestral arrangements make appearances on several tracks, orchestrated and conducted by lead guitarist Steve Bartek. The album also features softer ballads, such as "Can't See (Useless)", also a departure from the band's familiar style.

Danny Elfman cited The Beatles as a key influence on his songwriting at the time, paying homage with a cover of "I Am the Walrus".[2]


Recording for Boingo started in February 1993, but was postponed when Elfman was commissioned to score The Nightmare Before Christmas with his long-time colleague Tim Burton. Upon returning to the project, the band became unsatisfied with much of the recorded progress and began to collectively improvise in the studio; a technique they had never before used.[3] This spontaneity yielded much longer songs than usual for the band, with the majority of the eleven tracks at over five minutes in length. Ultimately, so much material was recorded that several significant pieces, including "Water" and "Vultures" were cut from the final tracklist.[4] Notably, the song "Lost Like This" was originally demo-recorded in 1983 for the album Good for Your Soul; it resurfaced during the Boingo sessions in a different arrangement.

Upon its release, Elfman said of producing Boingo, "It's the most challenging, fun, and difficult record we've ever done. It felt like a cold bucket of water splashed in our faces," and that he "expected" long term fans may be put off by the new sound. [5]


The new record company wanted to heavily promote the album as a relaunch of the band, to find success across the USA. The songs "Hey!" and "Insanity" were released as singles, with an accompanying sinister, stop-motion music video for the latter.[6] Giant Records also hoped to produce an MTV music video for the single "Hey!", which never came to fruition.[7]

A limited edition package designed by Deborah Norcross was issued in a foldout digipak, packaged with an embossed hardcover booklet containing lyrics and additional photography by Anthony Artiaga and Melodie McDaniel.[8] A special edition was also released in Europe featuring an additional song, "Helpless," previously only appearing as the B-side to the "Insanity" CD single. The cassette version of the album also included "Helpless" as its final track. It was the first Oingo Boingo album without a vinyl release.

After its release in 1994, the band made numerous television appearances sporting new 'skater' looks, with long unkept hair and loose T-shirts, in contrast to their previous eclectically-suited appearances in the early 1980s. [9] Despite all efforts to re-establish their image, Oingo Boingo announced their decision to split in 1995; thus making Boingo the only studio album produced by this incarnation of the band.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Danny Elfman, except for "I Am the Walrus" by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

No. Title Length
1. "Insanity" 7:58
2. "Hey!" 7:43
3. "Mary" 6:28
4. "Can't See (Useless)" 4:35
5. "Pedestrian Wolves" 9:21
6. "Lost Like This" 4:54
7. "Spider" 5:27
8. "War Again" 5:53
9. "I Am the Walrus" (The Beatles cover) 4:09
10. "Tender Lumplings" 0:37
11. "Change" 15:58
Total length: 76:45
Cassette edition bonus track
No. Title Length
12. "Helpless" 3:36


Oingo Boingo[edit]

Additional Personnel[edit]

  • Carl, Cameron and Taylor Graves, Maxine and Julia Waters: Vocal Backing
  • Orchestra Concertmaster: Bruce Dukov (arranged by Danny Elfman; conducted by Steve Bartek; contracted by Patti Zimitti)
  • Solo Cello: Fred Seykora


  • Produced by Danny Elfman, Steve Bartek and John Avila
  • Recorded by Bill Jackson; Second Engineers: Mike Piersante and Marty Horenburg; additional recording by Michael Barbiero
  • Orchestra recorded by Shawn Murphy
  • Mixed by Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero; assisted by Mike Baumgartner and Chad Munsey
  • Mastered by George Marino
  • All songs published by Little Maestro Music, except track 9 (published by Northern Music/ATV Music/April Music.


  1. ^ Poggi, Alison (July 1994). "The Elfman Cometh". SLAMM, San Diego's Lifestyle and Music Magazine via Flickr. Retrieved 2017-07-05. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-02. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-03. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-06-30. Retrieved 2016-11-29. 
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-02. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-06-30. Retrieved 2016-11-29. 
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-02. Retrieved 2012-03-24. 
  8. ^ "Boingo Limited-Edition Special Compact Disk Package". AIGA Design Archives. Archived from the original on 2007-08-24. Retrieved 2008-12-15. 
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-17. Retrieved 2016-11-29.