November 6, 2014

25 Years Of Mr Bongo

ARTIST: various artists
TITLE: 25 Years Of Mr Bongo
LABEL: Mr Bongo
Mr Bongo got started as a London record shop in 1989, focusing on indie hip hop, Brazilian and Latin music. They soon started their own record label so they could reissue deserving out-of-print material and release original material by related artists. This two-CD compilation celebrates their 25th anniversary and provides a very small sample of a few of the wonders in the Mr Bongo catalog. There’s way more great music here than I have space to write: from the Brazilian catalog, try disc 1-track 3, 1-13 (the original version of this massive hit) and 2-12; in Latin 2-13 and 2-14 are stone classics; in hip hop, there’s Grandmaster Flash’s awesome remix of “Apache” (1-1); 1-4 is from one of today’s best reggae projects; and 1-8 is top-shelf Afrofunk. Don’t miss these three obscurities: 2-5 is a superb, totally surprising cover by indie-rock band Junip, 2-10 is a cover of “16 Tons” that must be heard to be believed, and 2-11 is one of the best unknown songs of the samba-soul era. Two CDs are nowhere near enough for a Mr Bongo best-of -- 10 CDs would be more like it.
TOP TRACKS: Disc 1 – 1    3    4    8    13      Disc 2 – 5    10    11    12    13    14
ALSO RECOMMENDED: Disc 1 – 2    7    9    14    15    17      Disc 2 – 2    3    6

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