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

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Van-Anh Vo of Hanoi Masters

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE WORLD MUSIC QUESTIONNAIRE: Van-Anh Vo of Hanoi Masters

Since Vietnam opened itself for Western tourism in the mid Nineties, thousands have travelled there to experience the wonderful food, cheap beer, beautiful beach and mountain villages and the... > Read more

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: The Emperor (Nascente/Triton)

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan: The Emperor (Nascente/Triton)

For many people the great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan from Pakistan (who died in 1997) was and remains the greatest ever qawwali singer. He certainly reached Western audiences in a way that few had ever... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Martin Phillipps of the Chills

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Martin Phillipps of the Chills

And now we introduce a man who needs no introduction . . . Martin Phillipps' appearance (and more recent absence) in the New Zealand music world has been the stuff of legend. He helmed... > Read more

Dub Spencer and Trance Hill: Riding Strange Horses (Echo Beach/Yellow)

Dub Spencer and Trance Hill: Riding Strange Horses (Echo Beach/Yellow)

Those who know their spaghetti westerns and love a bit of dubbery will welcome this new installment from the Swiss band Spencer/Hill (aka bassist Marcel Stalder, guitarist Markus Meier, keyboard... > Read more