Oingo Boingo

Best of Oingo Boingo: Skeletons in the Closet

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Even for a career spanning over a decade, three Oingo Boingo greatest-hits albums seem a little far-fetched. Each one contains a good sample of some of their best songs, ranging from early new wave days to pop and rock, all in their twisted tongue-in-cheek style. The reasoning behind the triple deal is that their earlier albums were distributed by A&M records while their later releases were owned by MCA. Skeletons in the Closet is the A&M collection, filled with rambunctious, madcap fun and perversion dabbling. Misfits and punk lovers will cling to this music; conservative parents who hear "Nasty Habits" will rebuke it. These are some of their wildest goods, including "Insects," which make the band and the listener "want to dance," "Only a Lad," the anthem for a boy who has been molded by society to cause havoc and eventually shoot someone in the leg, and an edited version of "Private Life." If you have to choose between Skeletons in the Closet or the MCA collection titled Best of Boingo, choose neither. The merging of Universal and Polygram allowed the company to overtake the old master tapes and release a comprehensive collection in 1999 called Anthology, a two-disc set that is the only way to go for anyone interested in singer Danny Elfman's joyfully wicked little band that had great fun helping out the degenerating of a generation.

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