Friday, November 10, 2017

"Bongo Bongo" by Steve Miller Band

Song#:  2218
Date:  02/16/1985
Debut:  87
Peak:  84
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Rock, Synthpop

Pop Bits:  Miller's thirteenth album, Italian X Rays, was not shaping up to be a hit like its platinum predecessor, Abracadabra. The LP's first single, "Shangri-La," stalled at #57 and even failed to make the Rock chart. This second single did even worse and could only hang on the Pop chart for a very minor few weeks. Without a solid single to promote the album, it barely charted and disappeared quickly. The results were quite devastating and Miller's career certainly took a significant blow. He would never be able to recapture the chart magic of his prior hits.

ReduxReview:  <looking down shaking head> I dunno what to say. Apparently Miller's label sent him off with money and a mission to dink around with new technology, which is fine, but effects and studio trickery are meaningless when there isn't a good song behind them. A chunk of the album consisted of throw away tunes and adding bleeps and bloops and sampled sounds did not make them any better. "Shangri-La" was bad enough and it didn't do well as a single, so why someone thought this song would do any better is beyond me. This sounds like something Oingo Boingo could fart out on demand. It's like someone got a new toy and is just dinkin' around with it while imbibing on some vice. I just don't get it. I can understand how some folks might find this fun, but it is not my thing at all.

ReduxRating:  2/10

Trivia:  The album contains two songs co-written by Miller and Tim Davis. Davis was a co-founder of the Steve Miller Band and stayed on with them for five albums before leaving to work on other projects. This was before the band hit it big in 1973 with the #1 song "The Joker." Despite Davis' departure from the band, he and Miller maintained a friendship over the years. Later on, Davis began to suffer from the effects of diabetes. The disease took a toll on his body and career, yet he managed to collaborate on a couple of songs with Miller. These would represent their last collaborations as Davis would die a few years later in 1988.



  1. I really thought we would have another "one" with this song. It is universally reviled. That someone who created a wealth of memorable songs could come up with this mess, is beyond comprehension.

    1. So true. I almost did a one, but kept thinking that if it was a different, quirky artist doing this, I'd still dislike it but might have found it interesting. Knowing it came from Miller just made it worse.

  2. 5/10 for me. Liked it better than you did, but I still don't care for it too much.

  3. An abomination from a dude that just dropped off a cliff in this decade.