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Beat Hotel

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iTunes Review

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.

Customer Reviews

a flawed classic

the production can definitely be called into question-the studio craft dates this for sure, but "Come Back to Me" and "Splinters" are singles that most bands of that (or any) era would have killed for.


OMG-HARD-TO-FIND album(not an overstatement,by the way!)is now available on Itunes...nearly fell off my chair when i saw this was available on Itunes for the 1st time...Yes,it's 80s...and yes,the art-music critics will swear "Drums Along the Hudson" as the Bongos' classic album.For my money,this is the album that can't be beat.It is truly phenomenal 80s rock-pop at its' best.Thank you,Itunes for re-issuing this underrated classic.


Formed: 1979 in Hoboken, NJ

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s

Hoboken's Bongos -- founded as a trio consisting of Richard Barone (guitar, vocals), Rob Norris (bass), and Frank Giannini (drums, vocals) -- made no pretense of being anything other than a pop band; fortunately, they were a good pop band, covering guitar pop from the Byrds to T. Rex, all of it pulled together by Barone's original songs. Although he was the focal point, the other members were by no means peripheral. After their first full-length album, Drums Along the Hudson (1982), James Mastro...
Full Bio
Beat Hotel, The Bongos
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