The Incredible Bongo Band: Bongo Rock (Elite)

 |   |  1 min read

The Incredible Bongo Band: Apache (Grand Master Flash remix)
The Incredible Bongo Band: Bongo Rock (Elite)

Formed in the early 70s by record company exec and musician Michael Viner with composer Perry Botkin Jnr, the Incredible Bongo Band was an informal gaggle of musicians who got together to capitalise on a one-off single lifted from the soundtrack to the B-movie The Thing With Two Heads.

Recording in Canada because it was cheap and they would get automatic airplay because of Candian content, the band -- which included drummer Jim Gordon (Traffic, Derek and the Dominoes) -- knocked off an album of mostly bongo-driven and horn-heavy tracks in a few days, and it sold pretty well.

They repeated the trick in LA and stars dropped by to sit in, including Ringo, Harry Nilsson, Glenn Campbell, drummer Hal Blaine, and John Lennon who did some mixing.

Sessions were loose and not entirely sober. Plans to record the William Tell Overture with the London Symphony fell through.

The Incredible Bongo Band, such as it was, broke up -- but out there in the Bronx . . .

Hip-hoppers sampled their albums extensively (eg. Sugarhill Gang's Apache Rap lifts from Apache off the first Bongo Band album).

Here are their two albums on one disc -- and there is a terrific kitschy 70s soundtrack feel to most of this. They cover Satisfaction, Raunchy, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Pipeline and Wipeout but also have some hilariously titled originals: Last Bongo in Belgium (which appears in a lengthy remix), Dueling Bongos, When the Bed Breaks I'll Meet You in the Spring, and Hang Down Your Head Tom Dolley Your Tie is Caught in Your Zipper. Apache appears again in the seven-minute Grand Master Flash remix.

Retro fun which will have you thinking of blaxploitation flicks and bellbottoms.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   World Music articles index

Terakaft: Aratan N Azawad (World Village)

Terakaft: Aratan N Azawad (World Village)

Just as John Mayall's bands spawned others when players left the ranks, so it seems the desert blues out of the sub-Sahara is an ever-flowering plant: this group -- which formed in 2001 -- contains... > Read more

Sambasunda Quintet: Java (World Music Network)

Sambasunda Quintet: Java (World Music Network)

This group from West Java make a very different kind of music from that of the familiar gamelan orchestras on nearby Bali. This music is based around the zither-like kacapi which was originally... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

MASTERPIECES FROM THE HERMITAGE (2015): Catherine the Great Collector

MASTERPIECES FROM THE HERMITAGE (2015): Catherine the Great Collector

Try as we might, it's very hard for us to think of the Old Masters as contemporary artists. Yet in the time of Catherine the Great of Russia, that's exactly what they were. Catherine –... > Read more

THE ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CRITIC (Essay)

THE ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE CRITIC (Essay)

Since I first seriously reviewed an album about 40 years ago (the George Harrison triple set All Things Must Pass) I guess I have written in excess of maybe 6000 reviews of records/CDs/tapes etc --... > Read more