Elfman on stage with Oingo Boingo, circa 1985

Elfman on stage with Oingo Boingo, circa 1986

This week’s Sunday Evening Video presents one of your PopCulteer’s favorite bands, Oingo Boingo, performing live at The Ritz in an MTV special from 1985. Boingo, of course, were the “quirky” band that rode their success in the New Wave era to some pretty decent commercial success. Then the group’s leader, singer/composer Danny Elfman, became one of the most prolific and successful composers of film scores in modern history. The last Oingo Boingo show happened Halloween night, nineteen years ago.

In an interview this week at the Oinon’s AV Club, Elfman said that the songs he wrote for “Nightmare Before Christmas” were analogous to his desire to leave his band, “It was really simple. Jack, in Halloweenland, was me in Oingo Boingo. So I just wrote completely from that perspective. I understood completely where Jack was coming from. I wanted to leave Oingo Boingo, but I couldn’t, so Oingo Boingo was my version of Halloweenland. I was the king of my own little world—as anyone is when they’re the singer-songwriter in a band. I was trapped and couldn’t leave.”

Watch the band live and hear some of the most powerful songs that hardly anyone took seriously back in the 1980s.