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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Bongo Rock

Incredible Bongo Band

1973

Buy At Rough Trade
Bongo Rock
Album Summary

The Incredible Bongo Band, also known as Michael Viner's Incredible Bongo Band, was a project started in 1972 by Michael Viner, a record artist manager and executive at MGM Records. Viner was called on to supplement the soundtrack to the B-film The Thing With Two Heads. The band's output consisted of upbeat, funky, instrumental music. Many tracks were covers of popular songs of the day characterized by the prominence of bongo drums, conga drums, rock drums and brass. Bongo Rock was featured in Robert Dimery's book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.27

Votes

11428

Genres

  • Funk

Reviews

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Sat Jun 26 2021
3

This better have bongos in it lol. Ok it does, lot of fucking bongos. Too many fucking bongos, if I'm honest. 3/5.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
5

Bongo's check. More Bongo's check. Some bad ass rifts with Bongo's, check! I got a feva; and the only prescription is more bongos!

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Fri Jul 23 2021
4

Album contains the sweetest cover of inna godda davida ever. I was in the right mood for this today.... Another reason O appreciate this 1001 album site... Would not have actively sought this out

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Mon Aug 09 2021
5

Wow. I so enjoyed listening to this album from the time that I turned it on. Love the horns, bongos, guitar riffs and the feeling that I'm either hanging out with The Sugarhill Gang making music or reviewing the Rockford Files with Starsky, Hutch, TJ Hooker, Barney Miller, Thomas Magnum, The Six Million Dollar Man / Bionic woman and planning my next vacation on the Love Boat. ... Incredible. https://www.whosampled.com/Incredible-Bongo-Band

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Tue Sep 28 2021
1

I like bongos, but not that much

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Fri Sep 17 2021
1

“Bongo Rock” by Incredible Bongo Band (1973) This album is highly entertaining, and if you can’t dance to it, you’re comatose. But, except for percussion, the music here (there are no lyrics) is completely sappy, corny, schmaltzy, and twee. What it could really use is a vocal performance by Alvin and the Chipmunks. And the percussion is—well, ‘formulaic’ would be a generous compliment. The gimmick on this record is to take tested tunes and render them with lots of bongo playing and other colorful percussion (uncredited but performed by quite creditable session musicians). It requires steady (I.e., boring) tempos and soulless attention to meter. Thus we have knockoffs of “In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida”, “Dueling Banjos”, “Wipeout”, “Apache”, etc. This is ‘music’ best enjoyed at old style parties for boomers, preferably after everyone is two sheets in. I believe the only country where any of these tracks charted was Canada. I’ll leave it to the reader to draw the appropriate inferences. There is humor here, but it’s at a small college marching band level. It’s the kind of thing serious musicians do on their time off, or when they’re bored, depressed, unemployed, or insufficiently talented (or all of the above and failing to connect the dots). This record might have improved productivity in a 1950s Soviet gulag or Chinese laogai, but I doubt it would have been allowed. Actually, it would make for a great YouTube video as a soundtrack to clips of chain gang workers from the Paul Newman movie Cool Hand Luke. Roofers and carpenters, however, should not play this as background music while working. It could cause seizures. 1/5

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Fri Jul 02 2021
2

Neat little time capsule of 70s vibe, but a bit much to listen to all at once... This kind of soul sound but with the bongos turned down to a reasonable level was done well on The Olympians' self-titled (2016).

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Mon Sep 13 2021
5

WOW I am so glad I listened to that. Perfect 10/10 for me. That was just miraculous. Actual sonic perfection. It blows my mind that these groovy songs that slap so hard were made in the early 70’s before my parents were even born. I have heard one of the songs before, Bongolia from Baby Driver. It’s really funny when I’m listening to old stuff like David Brubeck or Focus and am like… “Where have I heard this song before?” And once I realize it’s Baby Driver, it makes me love the movie that much more just because of how based Edgar Wrights taste in music is. Anyway, I couldn’t possibly recommend this album more. Actually just incredible.

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Fri Oct 07 2022
3

This is good record to play “who sampled this?” with….and boy are there are a lot. Musically, it’s decent r&b/funk record, but…a little bit of bongo goes a long way, you know what I mean? You’re going to be hearing bongos in your sleep after listening to this and, soon, the “clop-clop” of bongos will permeate your psyche until you slowly disassociate, unsure where you end and the bongos begin…Somebody help me….Every day is a waking nightma— CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP

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Mon Sep 20 2021
5

APACHE!!! Origin of so many samples. This whole album is just super cool.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
5

I never realised this album existed, and suddenly the origin of every hip-hop and dnb bongo sample I've ever heard has been revealed to me. Not only that, it's an absolutely banging album, I don't think there is a single track I didn't enjoy - whenever I got bored of the bouncy bongo beats a guitar riff appeared from nowhere to drag me back from the brink of not having fun.

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Wed Nov 03 2021
4

I'm not sure that I should like this album as much as I do - but I do. It's like a collection of the greatest TV and game show themes from the 70s and 80s, and I mean that as a compliment. It's just fun. Their rendition of Satisfaction is almost (maybe) better than the original. Ironically, the only thing that wore on me was the bongos. Sometimes they were cool, but - at the end of the day - they end up making every song sound like Apache. Every ounce of my being wants to give this a 5, but I'm just not sure I can justify it.

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Thu Jul 29 2021
2

So bongo cover versions then. I could have done without hearing it but not too terrible

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Fri Nov 05 2021
2

A decent knock knock joke. I chuckled, I smiled, I forgot it straight away.

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Wed May 25 2022
5

I knew within five seconds of the first song "Apache" that I would like this album. This album started as a supplement to the soundtrack of B-film "The Thing with Two Heads." It is mostly cover songs using bongos, conga drums, rock drums, brass horns and guitar. The songs are all instrumental, mostly upbeat and funky and highly influential among hip hop artists - a lot of songs are sampled. To me, the sound is like "The Peter Gunn Theme" enhanced with bongos and funk. It's interesting; it does have a soundtrack feel but there are a lots of guitar, organ and other instrument solos making it feel also like a rock song. No need to further explain the song "Dueling Bongos" either. Great production also on this record. "Apache" starts with a great bongo and drum beat, horns and organ come and the funk kicks in. Great bongo solo. The orginal song was popular in the UK by The Shadows and in the US by Jørgen Ingmann. It also became very popular in the late 70's among hip hop artists. "Last Bongo in Belgium" is musically all over the place with organ jams, an impressive guitar solo sounding like Steely Dan, a few brass horns solos and of course, the multiple percussions keeping the rhythym. It has also been sampled by the Beastie Boys, Massive Attack and the Leftfield. I was in a bar last week, heard "In a Gadda da Vida" from the juke box and mentioned to a friend that has been a few years since I've heard this song. Little did I know, a week later I'd hear a bongoed-up version of "In a Gadda da Vida," a song that has also been used as the main loop in two Nas' songs. And, as if the orginal song isn't strange enough. I knew I was in for a unique experience when I saw this album pop up on the 1001 randomizer; It was to some extent but the real highlight was finding out about its influence and enjoying listening to the music.

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Wed Jan 26 2022
4

I am a sucker for some good percussion, and this album delivered on that and much more. I really enjoyed the upbeat/funky vibes that were present throughout "Bongo Rock". This record was just pure fun, and I had a great time listening to it throughout its super quick tracklist (I listened to the original eight song release rather than the extended 2006 version, but I am now tempted to listen to all of the bonus tracks in the future). The tight collection of songs here just feels timeless with all of the performers clearly giving it their all. After doing some research, it looks like a good chunk of these songs are covers of older hits (In a Gadda Da Vida was the only one I knew for sure was a cover), but I feel that they did a fantastic job making these tracks their own and giving them the twist they need to keep things exciting. This definitely feels like a record that had the potential to be sampled a lot in the future, and I recognized 'Apache' by its use in the Sugar Hill Gang's song 'Jump On It' immediately. Overall, this was a great album to go through, and I feel like I should own this one on vinyl in the future. 4/5.

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Mon Jul 05 2021
3

Upon getting this album pop up for today's listen - I was really skeptical. But the first song on the album is Apache which at first didn't recognise by name, but recognised the sound from countless covers, samples and features in films. The entire album has a soundtrack like quality to it, which makes sense when you realise that Michael Viner was a record artist manager and executive at MGM Records. Overall a good listen for a Friday afternoon Best: Apache; In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida Worst: No real weakness just a nice flow through the album as a whole Disclaimer - I only listened to the first 8 songs on Spotify as they were part of the original album. The remainder was part of the 2006 CD Release

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Wed Nov 03 2021
3

Well this is a lot of fun. No grand artistic statement here just a bunch of talented musicians showing off their substantial chops on some old favourites. Nothing wrong with that. 3.5 stars

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Mon Jul 26 2021
5

We were pleasantly surprised by how lively and fun this ridiculously named band was. It's fantastic.

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Tue Nov 01 2022
5

Despite my initial fears of this having too much bongo to handle, I actually found myself wanting/needing more bongo from the Incredible Bongo Band. This is a 5/5 instrumental covers record on its own but the bongos really bring this into a whole new world. Most of this could easily be used as the soundtrack to a paradoy Tarantino film. I would also like to hear it substituted for the original Dirty Harry soundtrack - I reckon that would fit very well.

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Sat Sep 11 2021
4

TIukkaa bongotykitystä ja rytmikästä menoa. Mukavan pirtsakkaa musaa, tätä kuunteli mielellään!

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Thu Nov 11 2021
4

Can't help but bop around when listening to this. Duelling Bongos was a bit of a let-down due to it not being a cover of Duelling Banjos. I feel like I should be driving around Santa Monica in a bright pink low-rider, with my uzi on the back seat, smoking like a chimney, picking up some roller babes and just being an all-round badass. 10/10 would listen to again. Would give 4.5/5 but withholding my 5/5 for something which I can just listen to on repeat

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Wed Jan 26 2022
4

One of the more quintessential blueprints for what would be known as hip-hop/b-boy culture and it is perfect condensed and understood in the four minutes and fifty-four seconds of the first track (which I've just learned was a cover of a two decade old song). This is a pretty good collection of innovative songs and intriguing covers (the aforementioned Apache, In a Gadda da Vida, Satisfaction) and it's worth the time. Bongos have never sounded so funky.

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Tue Jan 25 2022
3

Nice tunes and enjoyable all the way through, all covers though

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Wed Feb 07 2024
3

It's a rocking bongo album delivered as packaged. There is no false advertising here. It's a proper groove.

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Wed Sep 15 2021
2

Yeah it sure does have that funky soundtrack sound for a movie in the early 70s. I keep anticipating Issac Hayes piping in with: You see this cat Shaft is a bad mother (Shut your mouth) But I'm talkin' about Shaft (Then we can dig it) After two songs I was wondering why it's called "Bongo Rock '' Yeah, I get it, there are bongos playing but nothing to justify naming the album Bongo Rock. The Bongos stepped up on Bongolia and again on Bongo Rock where they really do sizzle but in general I don't see anything special percussion wise. I guess if the only drummers you had heard play were Charlie Watts (RIP) and Ringo, the percussion might sound unusual enough to be impressive. I'm more impressed by the percussion on the Ravi Shankar album we listened to and the tabla playing on that LP was a footnote rather than the main billing. I'd prefer an a track of tabla soloing over the song Dueling Bongos any day of the week. Watching Dueling Bongos live might be fun but listening to it is as much fun as listening to some knucklehead mow his lawn. Ditto the solo in In-A-Gadda_Da_Vida although the jamming after the solo is quite good. Also, I'm far more impressed with the lead guitar playing than I am with the Bongo playing on Last Bongo in Belgium. I might consider a 3 if it weren't for the bongos. Given the name of the band, a 3 is off the table.

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Thu Sep 16 2021
2

Pre-listening feelings upon seeing the album art: Oh no. Post-listening feelings: So... these are covers of popular songs of the day, but with bongos? That's... that's what this is? Just to clarify - why 1,001 albums, exactly? Why not, ya know, 200 maybe. Weed out a couple. But also - reading up on it, I guess this album has been sampled a good bit, which makes it a little bit interesting. But I'm not otherwise loving it.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
2

I would happily never listen to this again. It wasn't a bad album, but it did nothing for me. I think it was too earnest, and I can imagine that people who understand music would really appreciate it.

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Fri Sep 16 2022
2

OK, this is kind of fun. But I admit I couldn't listen to every song all the way through. But I did have to listen to in a Gadda Davida all the way through. I couldn't make it through satisfaction all the way though. They definitely had some pretty good musicians on this

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Sat Oct 23 2021
1

1/5 it began well, in the end it became disturbing

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Sun Jun 12 2022
1

“Largely ignored “ said the review. Where it should have been left. Ignored forever. Cover art 3/5

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Sat Nov 12 2022
1

Now That’s What I Call Bongos Vol 1. Having the word “incredible” in your band name is like North Korea having the word “democratic” in its name. It doesn’t necessarily make it true.

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Fri Feb 24 2023
1

Stopped listening after I got halfway through the second song. Can’t believe someone convinced a record company to let them fuck around on bongos for almost an hour and a half.

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Wed Mar 15 2023
1

Kitsch. Novelty. Not even done very well. But it's fun to listen to for a while. Some songs are alright, but there's also some very bland versions of more spicy originals, like Pipeline and Satisfaction. A full album of this is too much. If you need samples for your hip hop or dance music, this record is for you. Otherwise ignore it. In my opinion this doesn't belong on the list. Favorite song: Kiburi.

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Thu Sep 16 2021
5

Didn’t get a chance to listen to this one, but… come on, it’s Bongo Rock. Five Stars.

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Wed Oct 13 2021
5

It was way to fun to listen to

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Mon Nov 01 2021
5

Albums like this is the reason why I'm doing this. This is some fun music. 5RS

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Mon Nov 08 2021
5

I was really pleasantly surprised by this. It was not what I was expecting at all. Really funky. A cracker!

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Wed Nov 10 2021
5

Loved it! Very easy to tap along to so probably not the best album for work times

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

What an incredible bongo band

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Wed Feb 09 2022
5

1973 - FUNK; Rare Groove; R&B

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Fri Feb 18 2022
5

Realmente é uma álbum incrível. Uma mistura de ritmos, mas com uma assinatura sonora interessante e marcante.

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Tue Mar 15 2022
5

Das hat gelutscht um tbh zu sein. 5 sterne für den apache break

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Thu May 19 2022
5

Beyond the vey popular first song, there are some awesome tracks in here. Definitely a cool trip thru various genres

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Wed Jun 01 2022
5

BINGO BANGO BONGO BOMBOCLAT ALL TIME GREAT HOT HOT HOT HOT FIYAAA

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Wed Jun 22 2022
5

So many juicy samples for other artists to pluck from the Incredible Bongo Tree. Great to hear the originals.

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Sun Jun 26 2022
5

This was pure joy, gave me a great start to the day. From the sleaze of the Satisfaction cover (it's filthy) to brilliant whole song drum solos. Felt a bit like the music to a terrible British port comedy from the 70s at points, but I'll allow that.

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Mon Jun 27 2022
5

Really fun and funky instrumentals. Can just groove to it!

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Wed Jul 27 2022
5

Classic - dueling bongos and apache. Used as the basis for many songs and samples

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Fri Jul 29 2022
5

This one was an absolute banger. 10/10 will listen again daily. Only criticism is could have done with a few more bongo.

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Sun Aug 07 2022
5

Is het omdat Dranouter nog wat in mijn lijf zit bij het raten van dit album? Of vind ik gewoon erg goed? Goed veel koper, bongobeats en af en toe een stevig gitaartje

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Mon Aug 08 2022
5

Lots of good stuff on this. Lots of bongo. 😅

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

Drums goes Boom, bongo goes bam bam bam! Everything goes wild. Tchick tchack, party up badaboum!! Pouet Pouet

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Sun Sep 11 2022
5

What a hilariously fun album. No complaints here!

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Mon Sep 12 2022
5

Really beautiful music to listen to at any time

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Mon Oct 24 2022
5

Even if the principal instrument is a bongo and the rest of the music are percussions it isn't repetitive. This album have the videogame soundtrack vibes, the only issue is the duration, it's really long but enjoyable

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Thu Nov 03 2022
5

Really relaxing music, i enjoyed it very much..

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Sun Nov 06 2022
5

Don't know what I was expecting, but I wasn't expecting this. I rather like it.

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Tue Jan 24 2023
5

5/5 why not. Funky! Pretty damn good. I would get down to this.

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Tue Feb 07 2023
5

I guess it will be the first time I'll rate an instrumental album with the maximum rate, but this one was so unexpected that it deserves it. It is so jazzy and so funky that it's impossible to listen to it without enjoying at least one song.

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Thu Feb 09 2023
5

What just happened? An instrumental album featuring the bongos was going to start off ok, then get boring quickly. Nope! Not in the least. It's an ode to the rhythm section with some of the greatest rearrangements of popular songs. Especially the surf songs. Particularly Pipeline. This was such a wonderful surprise.

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Wed Mar 08 2023
5

Wow, so many instrumental hits here.

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Fri Mar 17 2023
5

As a big time hip-hop fan, did this album influence almost every album because there is so many melodies that I've heard before in other songs. In other words, this album itself is so damn groovy.

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Sat Apr 01 2023
5

Genre: Bongo Rock Review: That was brilliant. Apache is the one that screams (read: "percusses") at you from the get-go, but it's all pretty damn good. The combo of bongo and rock is so cool. Loved the covers of famous rock songs like "In A Gadda Da Vida" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" too. Rating: 9/10

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Mon Apr 03 2023
5

Je moet wel heel erg van bongo's houden, wil je dit leuk vinden. Gelukkig hou ik heel erg van bongo's. Lekkere jaren 70-funk met trompetten, wah-wah-gitaren, een orgeltje, en... bongo's. Wat wil je nog meer?

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Tue Apr 04 2023
5

I came here to listen to bongos and kick ass.

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Sat Apr 08 2023
5

WHAT IS THIS?! I’ve never heard of Incredible Bongo Band, but I am a big big fan of this sort of thing. The album does not disappoint. Great bongo-centric covers and tunes that were new to me, leaning heavily into the bongos, horns and organ. I loved every minute and spent the day grooving around my house to the crazy beats. A welcome addition to my musical library!

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Sat Apr 08 2023
5

Funktastic! Highly recommend!

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Sat Apr 08 2023
5

I mean, funky bongos?!? What more could one possibly ask for???

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Sat Apr 08 2023
5

This is absolute happy music. I love it so much. The fact that it started from the soundtrack to "The Thing with Two Heads" is just amazing. "In a Gadda da Vida" is a masterpiece.

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Fri Apr 21 2023
5

10/10, one of the best instrumental albums I've ever listened to. No notes other than 'everything is perfect'

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Mon Apr 24 2023
5

Yeah I knew about Apache and Bongo Rock but wasn't expecting to spot a famous sample in almost every single track on the whole album! An essential history lesson that also happens to be a great album in its own right.

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Tue May 30 2023
5

Great album, like the ultimate backing track. I really was put off by the name of the band and album thinking it would be something gimmicky but it really works.

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Wed Jul 05 2023
5

wow! didn't see this one coming, flawless for what it is, maybe it's an embarrassment of riches bit but wtf, it's bongos

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Sun Jul 09 2023
5

baita sonzao instrumental, bongo mandando lenha

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Mon Jul 17 2023
5

Surprised to find this was excellent

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Wed Aug 02 2023
5

This was really good. Didn't know what to expect, but good beats were definitely not on the card. Simply great.

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