The Story Behind Danny Elfman and Oingo Boingo’s Halloween Classic “Dead Man’s Party”

Jack Skellington himself also discusses working with Tim Burton and the Big Mess track "Sorry"

The Story Behind the Song: Danny Elfman and Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party,” photo by Jonathan Williamson

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    Over the last 40 years, true renaissance man Danny Elfman has delivered it all through various incarnations. As performer, frontman, composer, conductor, and visualizer, he is the consummate multi-dimensional artists. Always unconventional, always out of place — and always slightly dangerous because of it — the Grammy- and Emmy-winning innovator and his body of work are undeniably genius — and also all a bit mad.

    The frenetic and haunted mind of so many mediums, Elfman was meant for the Halloween season. For this special spooky season edition of The Story Behind the Song, Elfman — Jack Skellington himself — joins host Peter Csathy to discuss his jaw-dropping body of work and his remarkable journey. He begins with Oingo Boingo’s 1986 “new wave” classic “Dead Man’s Party,” and takes us up to “sorry,” a raging, shocking track form his recent album, Big Mess.

    (A remix version of the album, Bigger. Messier., was released in August, and the video for Boy Harsher’s remix of “Happy” from that LP dropped last week.)

    Along the way, Elfman discusses how he grew from a young kid whose elementary school orchestra teacher rejected him for having “no musical sense” to an adult artiste who simply doesn’t give a damn. He also touches on his working relationship with the great Tim Burton, and what’s next on the horizon. Listen to him discuss “Dead Man’s Party” on The Story Behind the Song podcast now, or watch part of the chat via the video player below.


    Don’t forget to like, review, and subscribe to TSBTS wherever you get your podcasts, and keep an eye on the Consequence Podcast Network for updates on all our series. You can also follow host Peter Csathy on Twitter @pcsathy and at Creative Media.

    If you’re having trouble seeing the player below, watch via YouTube.

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