The Bongos recorded their early singles and their well-received debut EP for UK-based Fetish Records. Their debut U.S. album, Drums Along The Hudson, compiled from the band's British singles, was released in 1982 to mostly favorable reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. While Trouser Press suggested that the group "may trade a certain amount of substance for easy appeal," it added that "there's no better musical equivalent of whipped cream anywhere."
Writing in the Village Voice, Robert Christgau dryly commented that "for all their jumpy originality [the songs are] still slight, and Richard Barone's lyrics are so oblique you have to wonder what his angle is.
In 2007 however, Jim DeRegotis wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times: "The initial impression of naivete is offset by deceptively simple lyrics that actually hint at deep, dark mysteries and unfathomed mystical enigmas."
The group's cover of T. Rex's "Mambo Sun" reached #72 on the Billboard Dance Chart.
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The Bongos - Drums Along The Hudson
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