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Boingo Alive - Celebration of a Decade 1978-1988

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iTunes Review

Though Oingo Boingo was renowned for its high-energy concerts, Boingo Alive wasn't recorded at a club or in an arena. Instead, it was recorded without an audience at the Power Plant Rehearsal Studio in North Hollywood, Calif. While some fans might say that this greatest-hits set lacks the fervency caused by a live audience, the band’s definition of “live” has more to do with how the songs were played than who was watching. These performances have no overdubs and no postproduction effects. For a studio-intensive unit like Boingo, it was imperative to celebrate its legacy by showing that its songs weren't the result of technological wizardry but rather of deep chemistry that had been developed over more than a decade. The 31-song tracklist contains all the Boingo classics plus some hidden gems, like “Country Sweat,” “Dear or Alive," and “Help Me.” Though a better title for the album might have been Naked Boingo, this unembellished project emphasizes the quality that propelled all those legendary live shows: the band’s instrumental chops and the spirited camaraderie of its members.

Customer Reviews


The beauty of this album is that it captures the live sound of the band, rather than the overproduced sound that dominated the great studio albums "Dead Man's Party" and "Boi-ngo." For some reason, 20 years ago we all loved drums that sounded like a friggin' bomb going off with each hit. For that reason all the tracks from "Dead Man's" and "Boi-ngo" are alone worth the price - not to mention an extended versions, faster paced versions ("Gratitude" is far superior here than on the original), and more organic sounding arrangements. "Only Makes Me Laugh" is almost unrecognizable from the original (that's a really, really good thing). That track alone shows how popular bands now (i.e. No Doubt and pretty much any other band who's done ska/punk/new wave recently) owe a heavy debt to Boingo. Many original songs that I've become bored with (been a Boingo fan since the 80s) sound way more interesting here. The only downside: some of my favorite songs weren't here. Do yourself a favor and buy this now.

Their Very Best

Featuring 1988 recordings of some of their best songs, Boingo Alive features a "live-in-the-studio" sound that is unavailable on any other Boingo album. Most of the songs sound more matured musically than any of their other material -- even songs like "Home Again" and "Not My Slave," which were released only one year prior to these recordings, sound much more energized here. Some songs, like "Private Life," feature a more acoustic sounding Boingo that we're not used to. This album is solid gold, and is a must-have for any Boingo fan or anyone interested in buying their first Boingo album.


Actually, this is a "live" album in the respect that it was recorded "live" on a soundstage and not recorded in the traditional way albums are made - laying down the drums, then laying down the guitars, then the vocals, etc. So, while it's not a true "live" album, it has a very live element to it because all the guys were essentially playing together as a band at the same time. Hence, the title of the album - "Alive". Regardless of the details, a great album which catches the essence of the band and is a fantastic compilation of a decade's worth of work!


Formed: 1977 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Although Oingo Boingo was often compared to Devo throughout their career (due to both bands' affinity for quirky new wave, goofy stage acts, and most obviously, peculiar yet intriguing band names), Oingo Boingo never obtained the mainstream success that Devo did. But the band did manage to obtain a large and devoted fan base, especially in their hometown of Los Angeles, CA. Oingo Boingo started not as a traditional group per se, as they were originally put together in the '70s by movie director Richard...
Full Bio
Boingo Alive - Celebration of a Decade 1978-1988, Oingo Boingo
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