Personnel: Sam Phipps (vocals, soprano, tenor, saxophone, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Leon Schneiderman (vocals, alto, saxophone, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone); Richard Gibbs (vocals, bass voice, trombone, keyboards, synthesizer); Danny Elfman, Steve Bartek (vocals, guitar); Kerry Hatch (vocals, keyboards); Dale Turner (trumpet, trombone); Johnny Hernandez (drums, bass drum); Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez (drums).
Recording information: Cherokee studios.
Unknown Contributor Role: Kerry Hatch.
With many new wave bands of the late '70s and early '80s, the second album, where the balance between quirky credibility and commercial reality is struck, is the best. This is certainly the case with Oingo Boingo--1982's NOTHING TO FEAR is clearly their most artistically satisfying record.
Reducing the ska element found on 1981's ONLY A LAD, the band's three-man horn section takes on a more Zappa-esque jazz influence. Singer/songwriter Danny Elfman's best tunes are found here, with the semi-hit "Private Lives" being the best pop song he ever wrote. The more self-consciously goofy "Wild Sex in the Working Class," the danceable "Whole Day Off" and the straightforward "Nothing to Fear (But Fear Itself)" are nearly as good. If you want only one Oingo Boingo record, this is the one to get.