Incredible Bongo Band was the brain child of prolific film and record producer Michael Viner, put together in 1972 to supplement the soundtrack to the virtually anonymous B-Movie film The Thing With Two Heads. They went from a loose studio collective to an instrumental pop covers consortium, interpreting classics of the day in their own inimitable percussion-heavy fashion. Viner recorded 'The Incredible Bongo Band' at MGM studios during down time assembling line-ups from whoever was available at the time.
Apache, originally made famous by The Shadows, is simply legendary in the worlds of dance music and hip hop. One of the most sampled tracks of all time it has been used by Nas, Beastie Boys, Moby, Kanye West, Sugarhill Gang, Jay-Z, Aphex Twin, DJ Shadow, Goldie, Double Dee & Steinski, Faith Evans, Ultramagnetic MC’s, Leaders Of The New School, UNKLE, IBM Nation and DJ Spinna, The Bizzie Boyz, Schoolly D, LL Cool J, 2 Live Crew, 4 Hero, Godfather Don, IAM, Diamond D, Luke Vibert, Sway & King Tech, Rebel MC, to name a few...
Apache was a staple for the likes of Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash as they invented the art of DJing at the Bronx block parties of the ‘70s. Over the years it has become a hip hop and breakers anthem and is revered as the break of all original breaks, with the rhythms of this LP even helping to coin the term 'breakbeat'.
The band line up varied across the two albums. Most notably the addition of none other than Ringo Starr on 'The Return' and Harvey Mason replacing the gifted/troubled Jim Gordon on drums.
Bongo Rock: King Errisson (Percussion), Jim Gordon (Drums), Steve Douglas (Saxaphone), Jerry Scheff (Bass), Robbie King (Organs), Mike Deasy (Guitar), Kat Hendrikse (Drums), Perry Botkin Jr (Producer/Arranger)
The Return: King Errisson (Percussion), Harvey Mason (Drums), Hal Blane, Jim Gordon, Ringo Starr, Mike Melovin (Clavinet), Perry Botkin Jr (Producer/Arranger).
The band released two albums, 'Bongo Rock' and 'The Return' in 1973 and 1974 respectively, both re-issued by Mr Bongo.
The 2013 documentary 'Sample This' by Dan Forrer recounts the story of Viner and the group.