Tuesday, December 10, 2013
The Bongos - Numbers With Wings
The title track “Numbers With Wings” opens side one. Released as a single, this pop song has rich harmonies and a steady beat. It topped the College Music Journal charts for six consecutive weeks in 1984. I first discovered it on a new-wave music collection from Rhino Records that I picked up in the mid-90’s.
“Tiger Nights” opens with a simple guitar accompaniment, followed by the rest of the band joining in on the second verse. Don’t let that “false ending” catch you off-guard at the 3:35 mark; there is another forty seconds of instrumental fade out.
Side two begins with “Barbarella”, a song likely inspired by the early 1960‘s comics by French sci-fi author Jean-Claude Forest (which in turn was made into a 1968 film by the same name starring Jane Fonda). I like how the tribal drums go from one speaker to another on this one. Later CD and digital releases of the album included a dance remix version of this track.
The mid-tempo “Skydiving” was the B-side to the single.
The slower, seducing “Sweet Blue Cage” closes out the record.
From what I read, fans of the band did not like this new direction that the band was taking with this release. I had not heard any of their earlier stuff (yet); I knew the Bongos, as I noted above, just from the title track of this EP. However, upon my first listen to the rest of Numbers With Wings, I have to say this is definitely the kind of 80’s pop-rock that I totally enjoy. For a couple dollars, I am definitely going to pick up these tracks.