Sunday, July 21, 2013

JEM Records resurrected, the Bongos first up to bat!

The Bongos circa 1985, photo by Emil Schult, courtesy Wikipedia Commons 

Music industry veteran Marty Scott, the founder of JEM Records, is getting back into the game. JEM made a name for itself during the arid 1970s, when rock 'n' roll fanatics such as the Reverend could read about bands from far-off foreign lands, but couldn't get our hands on the music. Scott and JEM stepped in, the importer/distributor bringing in hard-to-find albums from labels like Virgin (Mike Oldfield), EG Records (King Crimson), and WEA International for U.S. distribution. JEM's "homegrown" label, Passport Records, would be home to a lot of diverse and exciting music between 1973 and 1988, including the Good Rats, Synergy, Pezband, Nektar, and Anthony Phillips, among many others.

Scott's resurrected JEM imprint will launch with a release from Hoboken, New Jersey's favorite sons the Bongos, and the band's long-lost album Phantom Train. Recorded in 1986 and never released, Phantom Train was remixed by Bongos frontman Richard Barone and is scheduled for September release. The band itself will make a big announcement on July 31st, 2013 at Maxwell's in Hoboken as they perform for the last show to be held at the legendary venue. As for JEM Records, Scott plans on signing new artists to the label as well as licensing classic old sides for reissue, which is great news, indeed!

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