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Dead Man's Party

88 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 28, 1986
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Dead Man's Party + Only A Lad + Nothing To Fear
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Editorial Reviews

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Before he wrote half the soundtracks in the world (Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Batman, The Nightmare Before Christmas) Danny Elfman led himself an eccentric little rock band called Oingo Boingo. Actually they weren't so little; in fact, the eight-man band boasted one of rock's finest horn sections in addition to Elfman's devilishly good, often humorous songs. Dead Man's Party is Boingo's finest hour, melding their whacked-out mix of XTC, Frank Zappa, and Tower of Power with a genuine pop sensibility. Elfman is in perfect vocal form here, leading the combo through their biggest hit, "Weird Science" (which put Elfman on the soundtrack path) as well as Boingo chestnuts "Fool's Paradise" and the infectious, macabre title track. --Michael Ruby


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. Just Another Day (Album Version) 5:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Dead Man's Party (Album Version) 6:22$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Heard Somebody Cry (Album Version) 4:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. No One Lives Forever (Album Version) 4:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Stay (Album Version) 3:37$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. Fool's Paradise (Album Version) 4:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Help Me (Album Version) 3:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Same Man I Was Before (Album Version) 3:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. Weird Science (Album Version) 6:09$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 28, 1986)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000002O2E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,722 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 25, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Dead Man's Party is indeed their finest hour, too bad it comes in rather short. Even the non-album B-side 'Mama' should be sought after. DMP boasts a wild and frenetic energy notably lacking most of today's music. Elfman who was always a undiscovered gem until his soundtracks took off (except to us So Cal die hards) really shows off his composition talents to make no mention of the fact that he is an awesome singer, capable of a wide range of vocalizations. One of the superb facets of Oingo songs was Elfman was always able to incorporate every element of the band and let them shine. All members really get their chance here: Steve Bartek's distorted feedback riffs infiltrate every song, Avila's bass is a lovely gem buried in the mix too (see the track 'Help') and the horn section also gets their kicks in almost every track. What your left with is an intelligent, intriguing, edgy and very fun album with never a dull moment.
Bottom line for the uninitiated: start here and work your way backwards through the Oingo Boingo discogprahy. The three previous albums deserve much more notice for their influence and originality.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert English on June 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This CD, and the others from Oingo that followed, were "producer's records" - much like the Doors' "Soft Parade", or the Tubes' "Remote Control". It is the sound of a band that has given it's best shot creatively, and is now ready to concentrate their efforts to "make a hit record".
That said, this record was successful in that attempt - the sound and melodies are fully accessible mainstream pop, and yet the substance is fully recognisable as "Oingo Boingo" (crystalizing in the title track, and "Wierd Science"). That's a rare achievement, and deserves kudos.
But, as indicated earlier, the band was having more fun when putting together the earlier releases, and even a casual listen to their first few albums will confirm that.
Fans of XTC, Thomas Dolby, or Devo will probably like this album more than Oingo's other records. People who appreciate this band's first album ("Only a Lad") will probably feel slightly betrayed when listening to this one. Caveat emptor.
It defines the age in which it was produced, but earlier Oingo albums defined the band.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Tefer on November 30, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This probably one of my favorite mid 80's albums. Perhaps a close second to Peter Gabriel's So album in 86.
To me, Oingo Boingo is a weird / funny name. In fact I think there was a pair of jeans of the same name in the 80's.
Arguably, this is one of their best. In fact, I believe there may be some kind of underlying theme here. I think this is more of a focused / concept type of album (though only Danny Elfman probably knows what the specifics are to this theme). Many of the tracks don't necessarily deal with a dead man's party, but they do include mentions of ghosts, souls, and death. The lyrics are morbid / mordant. Songs like the title track, "no one lives forever", "same man i was before", and "heard somebody cry" all deal with similar anthems. Not that this initially would seem like fun material, but lead singer Elfman seems to poke fun at himself in the process, which lightens the sometimes errie tones.
If Oingo's morbid lyrics aren't appealing though, DMP keeps itself interesting for a plethora of other reasons. Sounds of trumpets, bells, xylophones, and synthesizers create a noisy and strange atmosphere, yet they're set with ingenious juxtapositions with some funky rythyms. It's a driving album and perhaps Oingo did accomplish more with Only a Lad, but from a commercial perspective, this was the peak of their success.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Billy on April 7, 2004
Format: Audio CD
A great listen from Oingo Boingo.
Just Another Day - 7 out of 10
Dead Man's Party - 10 out of 10 - I absolutely love this song. It has a great sound to it.
Heard Somebody Cry - 8 out of 10
No One Lives Forever - 10 out of 10 - My favorite on the album. There's really no words to describe how much I love this song.
Stay - 10 out of 10 - A great ballad-type song.
Fool's Paradise - 7 out of 10
Help Me - 9 out of 10
Same Man I Was Before - 8 out of 10
Weird Science - 10 out of 10 - This song has great parody potential. ;)
Yet another great album released by Oingo Boingo.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 16, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Oingo Boingo is a band for all the eccentric, dramatic people out there. Dead Man's Party is their most accessible and least "bizarre" album---its tunes are quirky, energetic and incredibly fun. Even those who avoid pop music, and especially idiosyncratic 80's pop music, can find something to like. The songs range from wacky soundtrack themes ("Weird Science") to unusual "alienation" songs ("Heard Somebody Cry") to songs that are the core of the group's attitude---delectable macabre-fests like "No One Lives Forever" and unique "Dead Man's Party." Elfman's voice is original and a trip to listen to, Steve Bartek's guitar work and orchestration are flawless, and none of the songs are truly weak. If you take joy in the strange, darker things in life but like living it anyway, DMP is your album.
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