10 Songs, 36 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Until The Bongos’ shelved 1986 album Phantom Train was finally released nearly three decades after the fact, 1985’s Beat Hotel represented the band’s swan song. While The Bongos' debut, Drums Along the Hudson, remains most hardcore fans’ favorite, Beat Hotel is what made most people aware of the band. It was the The Bongos' first full-length major-label release, boasting do-or-die production befitting that. Sonically speaking, it’s the Hoboken cult heroes’ biggest, boldest record; the arrangements are more in-your-face than before, and the album leans more toward uptempo rockers than subtle, mysterious tunes. Fortunately, those rockers include effervescent explosions of power pop glory like “Space Jungle” and “Apache Dancing,” as well as the dashingly danceable glam-pop perfection of the title track. Ironically, though The Bongos were posed to break big with their most accessible record to date, they split before a follow-up could be released.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Until The Bongos’ shelved 1986 album Phantom Train was finally released nearly three decades after the fact, 1985’s Beat Hotel represented the band’s swan song. While The Bongos' debut, Drums Along the Hudson, remains most hardcore fans’ favorite, Beat Hotel is what made most people aware of the band. It was the The Bongos' first full-length major-label release, boasting do-or-die production befitting that. Sonically speaking, it’s the Hoboken cult heroes’ biggest, boldest record; the arrangements are more in-your-face than before, and the album leans more toward uptempo rockers than subtle, mysterious tunes. Fortunately, those rockers include effervescent explosions of power pop glory like “Space Jungle” and “Apache Dancing,” as well as the dashingly danceable glam-pop perfection of the title track. Ironically, though The Bongos were posed to break big with their most accessible record to date, they split before a follow-up could be released.

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