This summer, we interviewed Marty Scott of Jem Recordings, the newly-reactivated New Jersey label which released the first recordings by Hoboken group The Bongos. Scott told us that a vintage unreleased Bongos LP would be the label’s first release – and we now have some details about the disc for you.
Phantom Train was recorded by The Bongos over 1985 to 1986, primarily at the famed Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas. After several years on RCA Records, the band had been wooed to Island Records by its founder, Chris Blackwell, but his interest in other projects (namely the fledgling Palm Pictures studio) put the record on the back burner. Ultimately, The Bongos would split, with frontman Richard Barone releasing a critically acclaimed live solo album, Cool Blue Halo, in 1987. (Two of those tracks, “I Belong to Me” and “Tangled in Your Web,” came from the Phantom Train sessions.)
But The Bongos didn’t stay away too long, regrouping in 2006 for a reissue of the band’s first album, Drums Along The Hudson, and have toured steadily ever since. Most recently, they were the final act to play Hoboken’s famed venue Maxwell’s in July 2013 – a fitting occurrence, as they were (in the band “a”) the first band to play the same stage.
And now, more than 25 years later, Phantom Train will be released on CD in its entirety – featuring the original 11-track program produced by The Bongos and Eric “E.T.” Thorngren, parts of it newly remixed, as well as three demos and outtakes from the album sessions.
The disc is available to order now, and will be available on October 1.
Phantom Train (Jem Recordings MVD6036A, 2013)
- My Wildest Dreams
- I Belong to Me *
- Sunshine Superman
- Diamond Guitar
- Run to the Wild *
- River to River *
- One Bold Stroke
- Phantom Train
- Tangled in Your Web
- Saturn Eyes
- Roman Circus
- Under Someone’s Spell (Demo) *
- Town of One
- My Wildest Dreams (Demo) *
* new mixes by Richard Barone and Steve Addabo