Tuesday, 23 April 2013


Mr Bongo started up at the tail end of the 1980's and went on to become very well known in the underground dance music scene, not just in the UK, but worldwide.
In 1998 USA magazine, The Source, featured the shop in an article about UK hip hop, recommending it as one of the best record shops in London.
Mr Bongo would often crop up in Bar-F-Out magazine too because they also had a shop in Japan.
Earl Zinger even managed to name-drop Mr Bongo in his amusing jazzy track "Saturday Morning Rush"!
Anyway, the photo at the top is one I took of the shop in Poland Street in 2002.
Some of the items in the window display include various Biz Markie product, a Mr Complex LP, a Chester P & Farma G Task Force 12, a Non Phixion album, the Wild Style soundtrack, plus posters for their Musica De Futebol album, as well as Pure Salsa and Terry Callier.
You can see from their ads what kind of music they specialised in, and the four I have on display above cover the span of a decade.
The first one dates from 1990, a year after Mr Bongo began in biz, and shows their former address.
Next ad is dated 1995 and highlights some of their Brazilian product.
Underneath that is one from 1997 and displays their Tokyo & London address.
The last one is from 2000 and contains various music styles they indulged in.
Mr Bongo shops closed down in 2003 but they remain online and not only still continue with their own record label but they now also release movies from around the world under the Mr Bongo name.
The last item I have is an album I think they may have felt compelled to release on their own label, the Incredible Bongo Band's "Bongo Rock", an album with a historical connection to B-Boy culture of course.
My copy here is a promo CD version.

1 comment:

  1. Nice, I used to go in Mr Bongo quite a bit, good shop. Shame it's no longer there. In fact it is sad walking around Soho now days and seeing all the spots where great record shops used to be, Groove, Hitman, Daddy Kool, Red/Unity...