Life Just Bounces don't you get worried at all. (A weblog of music and otrogenerica)

Monday, 11 May 2009

Oingo Boingo — "Little Girls" (remaster)

My pal Andy from Out From Animals wanted to demonstrate to me the peculiar genius of Oingo Boingo, so he remastered "Little Girls", the opening track from their first album Only A Lad, and to his ears their best song.

Says Andy:
I remastered this myself as the original song didn't have enough kick.

Danny Elfman's band and this song is from 1980. He also did the voice for Jack Skeleton and wrote all the songs for A Nightmare Before Christmas. So just imagine Jack Skeleton singing about being a paedophile 80s style!
About being a whatnow? Yes, indeed... quoth Allmusic:
It's probably a good thing that this particular Oingo Boingo collection never reached too high a level of prominence, though, because the lyrical content of Only a Lad could have landed them in serious hot water. Although never vulgar, the album brazenly shuffles through taboos without compunction, writing from a pedophile's point of view in "Little Girls," not-so-clandestinely discussing masturbation in "Nasty Habits," and generally adopting a socially whimsical and irreverent attitude.
(They've also got one called "Capitalism", a kind of Republican swipe at the same collegiate anarchist types targetted on the DKs' "Holiday in Cambodia" (and named one of National Review's 50 greatest conservative rock songs), which includes damningly hilarious lines like "I'm so tired of hearing you whine / about the revolution / bringin' down the rich / When was the last time you dug a ditch, baby!" and "You’re just a middle class, socialist brat / from a suburban family and you never really had to work / and you tell me that we've got to get back / to the struggling masses (whoever they are) / You talk, talk, talk about suffering and pain / Your mouth is bigger than your entire brain", sentiments which in certain cultural sectors are undoubtedly more taboo than either public masturbation or lusting after minors.)

i'd actually been eager to check out Oingo Boingo for a while anyway, and had coincidentally been listening to Only A Lad after my curiosity was finally piqued enough by the discovery on Spodify of last year's compilation oddity Nightmare Revisited, a cover album of the entire Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack featuring a couple of re-recordings by Mr Elfman himself. Only A Lad's most noticeable parallel for me was the recurring hint of a US slant on what Cardiacs were doing in the late-70s/early-80s.

It certainly makes sense that OB were "a semi-theatrical music/comedy troupe" before they were a band, performing everything from Cab Calloway covers to Russian ballet music to Balinese gamelan instrumentals, sometimes with up to 15 band members handling 30 instruments, some of which were hand-built; and the New Wave and ska leanings have got some parallels to the likes of "In a City Lining" or "The Breakfast Line" off A Little Man and A House and the Whole World Window, especially when you factor in the turn-on-a-sixpence time changes and excursions into modern classical and jazz territories. By way of comparison (as if we really need any excuses to throw up a Cardiacs video on here), here's the stone-cold classic "R.E.S.".

Oh, and speaking (tangentially) of things not having enough kick, does anyone else think The Loudness War would be a great name for a band? Their sound would be somewhere between Black Flag in their sludgy metal phase and Merzbow maybe.

MP3: Oingo Boingo — "Little Girls (remaster)"

1 comment:

artikal_10 said...

that loudness image thing is amazing.