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4.8 out of 5 stars104
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on September 25, 2003
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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on June 17, 2000
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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on November 30, 2003
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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on April 7, 2004
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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on October 16, 1998
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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on October 6, 2015
The boys best recording.......two of the songs were used in movie soundtracks, while others never made it to the radio.

My favorite is "No One Lives Forever", and is hard to get out of your head. We all have an upcoming appointment and this song, while morbid, is an interesting look at the inevitable.
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on October 10, 2015
First of all, this is a review of the October 2015 vinyl reissue of the album, not of the musical content. I will spare the details but music itself is amazing, not a single dud. The reissue is by Geffen Records, and to be honest I am slightly disappointed in the quality of the pressing considering the label. Mine has a slight wobble to it in the vertical plane that doesn't seem to affect playability but I am worried about uneven wear of the vinyl over time. It is also a slightly off-center pressing which sometimes makes it difficult to set the tone arm before track 1 on side A of the particular copy I received. It has happened a couple times where the tonearm hopped due to the grooves oscillating left to right, and it skips violently right into the music. While I can painstakingly lower the cue arm as carefully as possible and generally avoid this (though I'm not sure if I can consistently), there would be no alignment issue if better quality controls were instated in production.

Pretty red vinyl though. Wish the label was properly centered when applied though, as part of it is stamped over the grooves at the end of the sides and the needle actually runs over it, and you can hear low noise come through the amp. Doesn't sound like its wrecking my needle but I doubt it can be good for it.
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on January 4, 2015
This Amazon service that let's you buy the CD version of an album and immediately download the CD songs as MP3s is great! Also I then get the CD in the mail too, cheaper than buying the songs only in great! Album is good too.
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on March 29, 2013
I'm no massive Oingo Boingo fan, but admit to a certain predilection back in the day. In my opinion this is not only their best album, by far, it also--arguably, of course--stands alongside some of the greatest rock-and-roll output as a nearly "perfect" album. There simply isn't a weak track on it and, within those mere 9 songs, the mood and vibe ranges across all the various emotions embodied in the concept of `living fully now, for tomorrow we die.' Sound-wise, there is so much going-on that it can be a bit overwhelming to take it all in. The production, however, is so good, and the musicianship at such a high level of perfection, that it's like having an insane, psychedelic kaleidoscope brought into perfect, macroscopic focus for your perusal.
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on September 11, 2013
Amazon asked me "how many stars would you give to Dead Man's Party?" ALL OF THEM! ALL THE STARS!!! DON'T TELL ME THEY'RE NOT ENUMERABLE!

Seriously, though, I've loved the title track since first hearing it in the Rodney Dangerfield movie Back to School and the entire album is one of the pinnacles of 80s New Wave. This is essential Oingo Boingo right here.
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