Album 0400: Oingo Boingo – Boingo Alive

Oingo_Boingo_-_Boingo_Alive

Release Date: 1988
Genre: New Wave/Rock

Tracklisting:

DISC ONE

1. Dead Man’s Party (06:22)
2. Dead Or Alive (04:04)
3. No Spill Blood (04:33)
4. Stay (03:57)
5. Cinderella Undercover (04:38)
6. Home Again (05:25)
7. Help Me (03:57)
8. Just Another Day (05:07)
9. It Only Makes Me Laugh (03:42)
10. My Life (04:46)
11. Nothing To Fear (But Fear Itself) (03:49)
12. Not My Slave (04:08)
13. We Close Our Eyes (03:29)
14. Elevator Man (04:26)
15. Return Of The Dead Man (01:44)

DISC TWO

1. Winning Side (03:58)
2. Wild Sex (In The Working Class) (04:16)
3. Grey Matter (05:43)
4. Private Life (03:09)
5. Gratitude (04:47)
6. No One Lives Forever (04:06)
7. Mama (04:53)
8. Capitalism (04:13)
9. Who Do You Want To Be (03:21)
10. Sweat (04:30)
11. Violent Love (02:21)
12. On The Outside (03:44)
13. Only A Lad (03:50)
14. Goodbye, Goodbye (03:32)
15. Country Sweat (05:13)
16. Return Of The Dead Man 2 (02:38)

Total Length: 02:08:21

Dead Man’s Party kicks off this live album in a fantastic way. A new intro graces the song, and it’s a pretty amazing one, and the rest of the song is still the insanely upbeat, dancey track that I’ve always loved. Now, this is a live album, but not in a usual way. The band is on a soundstage, all the songs are played in one go, but there is no audience. In that sense, it’s the cleanest live album I’ve ever heard, with every part being completely audible and easy to hear. The only negative I can say about it is that there is a tiny lack of energy, especially notable when you compare it with their other live album.

Dead Or Alive honestly kind of has more energy than the album version, and I think the best part about the song is the arrangement. Some of the hooks or the chorus don’t entirely catch me after all these years, but I love how the song builds. No Spill Blood is a fantastic song, and they changed how the song goes a little bit, resulting in a larger focus on the guitar throughout. It’s heightened the song a bit, I love it.

Stay is still fantastic, and this version doesn’t fail it one bit. Cinderella Undercover is not a new song for the band, it was actually at one point going to be on their first album, but instead this is its first release. This is also more of an acoustic version of the song. I love the fairy tale lyrics, and as usual the arrangement and little bits throughout are just unbelievable. Home Again has one clear difference right at the beginning, and that’s the piano patch seeming kind of constricted to what is heard on the album. That is kind of forgotten fairly quickly as the rest of the song lives up and is amazing, but it’s weird to mess up the first impression like that.

Help Me was already a really cool song, and this version gets a change in an extended solo section, with frankly one of the best guitar solos I’ve ever heard. I absolutely love it to death. Just Another Day is much the same as the original, still a fantastic song. It Only Makes Me Laugh is as well, except that this is one of those rare times where I very much notice a key change compared to the original. It’s also interesting to note that this song (and one other on here) was from Danny Elfman’s “solo” album, so in case anyone had any doubts that it wasn’t just a disguised Boingo album, there you go.

My Life has some neat things about it, but it’s still probably one of the lesser Boingo songs for me, and this version doesn’t really do anything to change that. Nothing To Fear (But Fear Itself) is still a fantastic track, there’s not too much I can about this version though. Not My Slave is an odd song in that the band seemed to never really lock down on an arrangement for the song, but that’s a really minor detail. Still a great pop song.

We Close Our Eyes is also one of their best pop songs, and it does an odd thing where the lyrics are just the tiniest bit morbid but the music is all happy and fluffy. Elevator Man actually has a more invigorating instrumental section, it adds something nice to the song. Return Of The Dead Man is an instrumental that they seemed to invent just for this album, it plays on themes from the song that started this whole thing off, and is honestly pretty cool.

Winnning Side is another new song, and man I freaking love it. The lyrics are amazing and I just love the rhythm of the whole thing. It gets stuck in my head constantly. Wild Sex (In The Working Class) has a cool new intro and some other neat added bits, and remains a great song. Grey Matter has the issue of Home Again in that the intro doesn’t have as cool of a synth sound, but the rest of the song lives up to the original and you can’t dislike it.

Private Life gets a big change and has become mostly acoustic. It’s a neat change while still keeping the fundamentals of this classic song. Gratitude has the extra lyrics that were left out of the final album version for some reason, I get a good kick out of this song. No One Lives Forever is still great as well, though this version pales compared to the later live version. Mama is a creepy as hell song about Norman Bates, and this version (compared to the version that was a hard-to-find extra for their previous album) is darker and gives more tension.

Capitalism doesn’t do much for me, but it’s a neat/odd song to include here. Who Do You Want To Be is fast and awesome. I’ll always love this song. Sweat is faster than its original version, and I really love this version a little bit more to be honest. It’s just got more nervous energy to it. Violent Love is the band bringing back their cover of the Willie Dixon song, and again speeding it up even further. This is pretty much a third wave ska song, it’s very cool.

On The Outside is still pretty much my favorite song ever, and they do it well here. They tone down the bridge a bit, but it’s still amazing. Only A Lad is also fantastic, and introduces some new vocal bits in it that are catchy as hell. Goodbye, Goodbye is still super impressive overall, I love it. Country Sweat is a really odd piece here. They slow down and change the arrangement and sound of the song Sweat, until it’s become this track. It’s pretty nice but a bit lengthy at this pace. They did do a version in later years where the first half was this version, and the second half was even faster than regular version found on here, it’s really cool. Return Of The Dead Man 2 is basically an extended version of the first one, still fairly cool. I find some issues with this album, but as a collection of songs it’s hard to go wrong and there are enough variances that they are worth listening and paying attention to.

Final Rating: 9.5/10

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