Oingo Boingo‘s sound changed by 1985 when they issued their best-selling album, Dead Man’s Party. Their quirky image was still in place, as was their horn section. But the keyboards became more pronounced, and many of the drum sounds had synthetic elements as well. In the past where complex assortments of acoustic instruments were created to perform songs like “Grey Matter”, now the band could create the sounds with keyboards and even with a new device called a Macintosh computer. Boingo was increasingly connected to the movie industry from their native Los Angeles. Danny Elman’s not-really-solo hit “Gratitude” had been included on the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack, and in early 1985 they found themselves writing a theme song for John Hughes’ next movie, Weird Science.

“Weird Science” was a true hit at a national level for the first time, hitting number 45 on the pop charts during the summer of 1985. The song was included in extended form for Dead Man’s Party, issued in the fall. “Just Another Day” was another charting song, and Boingo commenced with college touring that had become their stable plan. In Los Angeles, Boingo could now sell out a small arena, yet outside the west coast they could barely sell tickets.

The title track “Dead Man’s Party” was a fan favorite from the album, and another longer anthem in the formula of “Grey Matter” or “Who Do You Want To Be?”. Clocking in at over six minutes, the song brought all the main elements of Boingo together: great horn riffs, a chugging guitar, and lyrics about “dark” subjects. The adoption of the Dia De Los Muertos imagery for the album’s cover cemented the skeleton fashion for the group and it’s fans. ¬†”Dead Man’s Party” was tapped for the band to play in the Rodney Dangerfield comedy Back to School in the summer of 1986, and the song was issued as a single. Though the song did not chart, a 12″ remix was well received by the faithful.

Boingo would issue the follow-up albums BOI-NGO, Boingo Alive, and Dark at the End of the Tunnel in the following four years with generally declining success. ¬†Though the band would sell out Irvine Meadows for their infamous Halloween shows, national chart attention was no longer forthcoming. Even Danny Elfman’s success as a film composer did not boost Boingo’s attention.

The group’s last studio album in 1994 was a departure sonically (no horns), and even shortened the group’s name to just Boingo. The grungey album did not really make a dent and the group called it quits the following year.