22. “We Close Our Eyes” by Oingo Boingo
I can’t definitely figure out if “We Close Our Eyes” was officially released as a single by Oingo Boingo in the United States. The song is right in the middle of the band’s 1987 release, Boi-ngo, and I certainly think of it as one of their bigger tracks. Then again, memory about which songs in the nineteen-eighties were or weren’t crossover hits has been colored by years and years of revisionist nostalgic airplay. It seems sure that it was released as a single somewhere, and the programmers at KROQ (undoubtedly abetted by the listeners who were unafraid of the request line) liked it well enough to make it the band’s highest charting song of the year. It’s surely one of Danny Elfman’s finer songwriting efforts, built with slick, elegant pop craftsmanship instead of the jagged insistence of a lot of Oingo Boingo efforts. It arguably portended the complete preference for film scores over rock ‘n’ roll brattiness that was to lock in irreversibly just a few years later. This is the second of two Oingo Boingo songs in the countdown.
21. “Please” by the Bolshoi
The Bolshoi was a band formed in the U.K. in the mid-eighties, and they were sometimes accused to trying to merge the sound of every semi-successful band around them into a lush, commercially-viable paste all their own. Lead singer Trevor Tanner certainly seemed to think he deserved to be a big old rock star (just check out the preening narcissism of his “I’d fuck me” look as he stares down the camera the first time it finds him in the video embedded below), which is reflected by an air of intense posturing throughout their music. They may have had the ambition, but it was an open question as to whether they had the chops. Ira Robbins, writing in some edition of the Trouser Press Guide books, summed up their 1987 album, Lindy’s Party, this way: “ten new slices of threadbare lyrical pretension delivered in Tanner’s usual semi-tolerable voice.” I don’t think it’s as bad as that, but I’ve previously admitted to having a soft spot for the band. “Please” was released a single from Lindy’s Party.
40 and 39: “4th of July” and “Bizarre Love Triangle”
38 and 37: “Heartbreak Beat” and “Not My Slave”
36 and 35: “Alone Again Or” and “Absolute Perfection”
34 and 33: “Love Removal Machine” and “The Passenger”
32 and 31: “It’s Still Warm” and “Hourglass”
30 and 29: “Alex Chilton” and “We Care a Lot”
28 and 27: “Crazy” and “It’s a Sin”
26 and 25: “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and “Rules and Regulations”
24 and 23: “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before” and “Twenty Killer Hurts”