Richard Barone

Richard Barone

 New York City, New York, USA

Barone is an acclaimed recording artist, producer, composer, and author. He collaborates with world-class artists in every musical genre. His performance style is both sophisticated and earthy, emotional and cerebral: a modern, melodic celebration of sound that embodies the very essence of Pop/Rock.


Richard Barone is an acclaimed recording artist, performer, producer, and composer. He has produced countless studio recordings, and collaborates with world-class artists in every musical genre - from Moby to Liza Minnelli. Barone recently released "I've Never Seen A Straight Banana," an album which he produced, at age 16, for the pop icon, Tiny Tim. As musical and theatrical director, he scores shows and stages all-star concert events at such venues as Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, and Central Park SummerStage. His first book, FRONTMAN: Surviving the Rock Star Myth, was published by Backbeat/Hal Leonard Books and performed as a 'Musical Reading' at Carnegie Hall. Barone lives in New York City, where he recently completed work on his fifth solo album, Glow, produced by Tony Visconti and others, released in Fall, 2010 on Bar/None Records


Richard Barone | Glow

“Is there a musician more deserving of the moniker Man About Town than Richard Barone?” —THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Barone knows the alchemic formula for converting an everyday thought into a powerful refrain.” —Tom Moon, NPR

Glow, the new album from Richard Barone, frontman of cult faves the Bongos, is a sonic delight, like a lost solo Beatle album from a glam-rock future-world. After taking a break from performing to produce others and write a book Barone is back, working with producer Tony Visconti (along with Steve Addabbo, Jill Sobule and others). Glow positively glows with great songs like “Gravity’s Pull,” “Yet Another Midnight” and a captivating cover of T. Rex’s “Girl.” The king of chamber pop shines on this stunning new addition to his catalog.

The album started as a somewhat casual collaboration between Barone and Visconti. Richard had wanted to work with Tony ever since scheduling conflicts prevented the latter from producing the Bongos’ major label debut. Most of Glow’s tracks were written in the studio; some, like “Girl,” came together very quickly and others, like “Sanctified,” became elaborate Visconti productions. The album utilizes lots of vintage synthesizers and obscure music-making devices that Tony had accumulated from working on sessions with Brian Eno, David Bowie, T. Rex and others.

Glow also features state-of-the-art gear that Barone picked up through his close collaboration with Gibson Guitars, including the Digital Les Paul guitar. Each string has the ability to be recorded on its own individual track. The title tune was written when Richard stopped by producer Steve Addabbo’s studio to pick up a hard drive and showed him the prototype instrument. “Walking through Manhattan, I started hearing the arpeggio chords of “Glow” in my head,” says Barone, “Then some words and a melody became attached, set to the rhythm of my walking. When I got to the studio, I couldn’t wait to show Steve the guitar, plug it in and demonstrate the possibilities. I started playing ‘Glow’ and asked if we could record it. It was amazing how quickly it came together. I didn’t have any lyrics at all for the bridge, but we decided to start recording anyway. When it came to that part, I suddenly belted out, ‘You’re not alone! You are the glow! You’re not alone’ and that was that. We only did one take.”

The song is reprised at the end of the album as an elaborate instrumental that features cellos and violins dueling with vintage synths. With all those individual strings being recorded there were more than 120 tracks to be wrestled to the ground.

Amid the high-tech studio recordings Glow also has some lo-fi parts that just sounded right in sequence. Garageband-generated “Radio Silence,” recorded at home on a laptop, comes off as a Euro-Vision style four-on-the-floor classic. The Paul Williams co-written “Silence Is Our Song” is from a live radio broadcast on New York WFUV-FM DJ Vin Scelsa’s “Idiot’s Delight” program.

How did Barone end up writing with the guy who gave us such pop radio classics as “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “We’ve Only Just Begun?” Did you know Williams wrote the B Side to Tiny Tim’s “Tip Toe Through the Tulips”? Richard did. He met Williams at a tribute show and the two writers from different eras immediately hit it off. After a number of delays Richard made it out to Paul’s house in California and an all day marathon writing session ensued.

“I started strumming chords as he circled his living room spouting phrases I quickly jotted down on a yellow legal pad. We wrote like that all day. The next morning, at breakfast, I sang him what we had come up with, and played him a quick demo I had recorded on my MacBook. “One more thing,” he said. “When you record it, at the very end, say ‘listen.’”

Another frequent Barone collaborator is Jill Sobule. Among other songs, Barone co-wrote “Bitter” for her album Pink Pearl and Sobule returned the favor on “Odd Girl Out.” The song tells the true story of a lesbian teen in the pre-Stonewall days of the West Village. This time Richard scribbled down lyrics whil



Written By: Richard Barone

wherever you go
with all that you feel
with all that you know
the sun that's so high
is soon setting low
the darkness will come
the darkness will go
when you let your feelings flow
everything glows.

beginning to show
even the stars
they never lose hold
nothing is new
nothing gets old
vibrating strings
vibrating souls
when you let the darkness go
everything glows.

You're not alone, you're not alone
You are the glow, you are the glow
You're not alone -- You're not alone

wherever you go
with all that you are
with all that you know
sun's heading high
sun setting low
the darkness will come
the darkness will go
when you let your feelings flow
everything glows
when you let the darkness go
everything glows
when you let your feelings flow

You glow
You glow
You glow….

Words and music by Richard Barone. (c) 2008 Richard Barone Music (BMI). All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Produced by Steve Addabbo.
Executive Producer: Tony Visconti


selected discography

solo albums:
Glow, (Bar/None Records, 2010)
COLLECTION: an embarrassment of richard, (RBM Special Editions, 2004)
Boxed set: The Big Three, (Line Records/EMI, 2000)
Between Heaven and Cello, (Line Records/EMI, 1997)
Clouds Over Eden, (Mesa-Atlantic/WEA, 1994)
Primal Dream, (MCA Records/Universal, 1990; Geffen, 2008)
Cool Blue Halo, (Passport Records/Line Records-EMI/New Rose,1987)

the bongos:
Drums Along the Hudson -- Special Edition, (Cooking Vinyl, 2007)
Beat Hotel, (RCA Records, 1985; SONY/BMG/Legacy, 2008)
Numbers With Wings, (RCA Records, 1983; SONY/BMG/Legacy, 2008)
Drums Along the Hudson, (PVC Records/Fetish Records, 1982; Razor & Tie, 1993)
Start Swimming, (Stiff Records, 1981)

Nuts & Bolts, (Passport Records, 1983)
Primal Cuts E.P., (Line Records, 1991)

Richard Barone's catalog is available at the iTunes Store.

FRONTMAN: Surviving the Rock Star Myth (Backbeat/Hal Leonard Books, 2007)

Set List

Richard's sets vary in length depending on venue. Average concert length is 70 minutes. Sets include songs from his large catalog, as well as covers of David Bowie, T. Rex, Velvet Underground, and associates such as Lou Reed and Paul Williams.